Essential Facts About the U.S. Video Game Industry: 2023 ESA Report

Discover the latest ESA report on the U.S. video game industry in 2023, highlighting its impressive growth and positive perceptions as we dissect the stats.

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Eliza Crichton-Stuart

Head of Operations

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Essential Facts About U.S.A. Video Game Industry: 2023 ESA Report

The recent release of the "Essential Facts About the U.S. Video Game Industry" report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has shed light on the impressive growth and positive perceptions surrounding video games in the U.S. As the industry evolves, attention turns to the potential impact of web3 gaming. In this article, we explore the implications of the report's key points and examine how web3 gaming can leverage these trends to revolutionize the gaming landscape.

A Captive Audience: Embracing the Majority and Target Audience

With nearly two-thirds (65% or approximately 212.6 million) of Americans engaging in video games regularly (as defined by at least one hour a week), the industry boasts a substantial and engaged audience. Web3 gaming has the opportunity to tap into this large player base and introduce blockchain technology to enhance gameplay experiences. By leveraging the benefits of decentralized chains and networks, ownership of in-game assets, and play-and-earn mechanisms, web3 gaming can captivate and reward players, attracting an even wider audience.

Recognized Benefits: Amplifying Advantages for use in Web3 Gaming

An overwhelming 96% of Americans view games as beneficial, with the ESA report highlighting that a large majority of respondents believe that video games bring joy (86%), provide mental stimulation (84%), offer stress relief (83%), help improve cognitive skills (81%), and aid in developing problem-solving abilities (81%).

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Moreover, they are seen as tools for improving cognitive skills, problem-solving abilities, and fostering teamwork and collaboration. Community is a big driver for web3 gamers, by incorporating blockchain technology gaming studios can introduce more unique gameplay community mechanics, decentralized communal economies, and opportunities for more unique player-driven interactions and experiences.

Inclusive and Diverse: Reflecting the Player Base for Future Acquisition

The report shows that players from all walks of life engage with video games, showcasing a diverse community that transcends age, gender, and racial/ethnic backgrounds. With 53% male and 46% female players, gaming showcases its inclusive nature. The U.S. gaming community comprises 72% white, 10% Hispanic, 8% African American, 6% Asian, and 4% other ethnicities, fostering a rich array of cultures. The average age of players is 32 years old with an average playtime of 21 years.

This inclusivity is crucial to bear in mind when it comes to the future of web3 gaming and user acquisition, as it presents an opportunity to develop experiences that cater to a wide range of players. By embracing diversity and offering inclusive content, web3 gaming studios can tailor their IP to resonate with the appropriate audiences and enhance user experiences.

Deep Engagement: Enhancing Player Experiences and Tailoring to Genre

The report reveals that players dedicate significant time to gaming, with 75% of players spending at least four hours a week gaming across all platforms, with an average of 12.8 hours spent gaming weekly. In terms of engagement, 45% of players believe that video games offer the best value for money compared to movies, TV, and music.

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Puzzle games hold the top spot, capturing the interest of 63% of players, followed closely by arcade games and other genres at 52%. Skill and chance games, shooters, and action-packed adventures also enjoy significant popularity, appealing to 44%, 42%, and 41% of gamers, respectively.

This high level of engagement for Puzzle games could provide a solid foundation for web3 gaming to thrive. By leveraging blockchain's unique features, such as provable scarcity, digital ownership, and interoperability, web3 studios could tap into more immersive experiences that enrich player experiences and increase user acquisition.

Evolving Platforms: Adapting to Player Preferences

The report also provides insights into the devices used by gamers - with mobile devices, both iOS and Android, leading the pack at 64%, followed by consoles (54%), PCs/laptops (45%), tablets (24%), and VR headsets (10%). Mobile gaming has become a global phenomenon, and its continued growth presents a golden opportunity for web3 game studios. With smartphones becoming the go-to gaming devices for many players, building games that are optimized for mobile platforms is crucial.

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By combining the accessibility and convenience of mobile gaming with the unique features of web3 technology, studios can integrate with existing platforms, offering seamless experiences and expanding the possibilities for cross-platform interactions. By adapting to player preferences, web3 gaming can offer diverse and interconnected experiences across various mediums. This was evident in Google Play's latest policy change and its acceptance of NFTs and the technology in its Play Store.

The Economic Impact of Games: Possibilities for Web3 Gaming

In 2022, the U.S. consumer spend on video games reached an impressive $56.6 billion, showcasing the significant economic impact of the industry. Within this spending, console purchases accounted for $6.6 billion, while content, including game purchases and digital downloads, dominated with $47.5 billion.


Additionally, accessories contributed $2.5 billion to the total consumer spend, highlighting the importance of hardware enhancements in optimizing gaming experiences. This substantial expenditure reflects the continuous demand for gaming hardware, engaging content, and personalized accessories, underscoring the industry's pivotal role in driving economic growth and innovation.

Web3 gaming has the potential to transform the economic landscape of the gaming industry by empowering players, creating new revenue streams for developers, and fostering vibrant and inclusive gaming economies.


As the video game industry continues to thrive, web3 gaming emerges as a transformative force with immense potential. The insights from the ESA report reveal a growing and diverse player base, the recognized benefits of gaming, and deep player engagement.

Web3 gaming can leverage blockchain technology to amplify these advantages, fostering inclusive experiences, empowering players, and offering innovative revenue streams through virtual economies and NFTs. By embracing the opportunities of web3, the gaming industry can evolve into an immersive, player-centric ecosystem that caters to the changing needs and desires of gamers worldwide.

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October 21st 2023


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