Edited by Matthias Ruth
Digital gaming has become ubiquitous in our society over the past decades. People play games anytime and anywhere, across a multitude of hardware platforms from computers to mobile phones and tablets. Although it is difficult to pin down specific numbers on the size of the game industry, due to confidentiality associated with sales numbers, several reports (for example, Newzoo 2013) have highlighted the magnitude of the game industry, its rapid growth over the past decade and the increasing degree to which games are embedded in daily lives of any demographic globally. Current estimates suggest 2 billion people worldwide play digital games. The global game industry has grown 8–11 percent per year during the past decade, and by 2013 generated around US$93 billion in revenue worldwide, reaching more than US$100 billion in 2014 (Entertainment Software Association 2014; Gartner Group 2013; Newzoo 2013). In terms of who plays games, data from the US Entertainment Software Association (2014) suggests that 57 percent of Americans play digital games, with an average age of 30–37 years, depending on the source. Total consumer spending in the US games industry on games alone is over US$20 billion, with Europe forming a market of similar size. The Asian market is bigger than either of the two former.
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