• Video games industry in great health, unlike the rest of the US economy

    Interested in dosing up your video game knowledge with a shot of macroeconomic data? Of course you are.
    The US Entertainment Software Association has delivered its 2010 health report for entertaining software and things are looking rosy. While the US economy was enjoying a steady 2.8 percent annual growth between 2005 and 2008, video game revenues were expanding by 16.7 percent a year. Factoring in the economically arid 2009 chops total US economic growth in half down to 1.4 percent, but gaming again shows its resiliency by taking a smaller dip down to 10.6 percent. That'll be welcome news to the more than 120,000 people whose employment depends on this burgeoning industry, as will the fact that the average annual compensation in the sector is just under $90,000. Good work, if you can get it.

    While we may discuss the relative merits of certain games or gameplay trends, the fact that gaming is a business is often overlooked. The Entertainment Software Association has released its Video Games in the 21st Century report for 2010, and it shows that not only is our hobby a big business, it's a growing business.
    "The real annual growth rate of the US computer and video game software industry was 10.6 percent for the period 2005-2009 and 16.7 percent for the period 2005-2008," the report states. "During the same periods, real growth for the U.S. economy as a whole was 1.4 percent for 2005-09 and 2.8 percent for 2005-08."

    The ESA estimates around 120,000 are employed by the gaming industry, either directly or indirectly. The industry added $4.9 billion to US GDP (gross domestic product), and the ESA also lets us know that the industry is creating actual careers. "In 2009, the average annual compensation per employee (wages, salaries and employer contributions for pensions, insurance and government social insurance) was $89,781," the report explains.
    One surprise is the size of the industry in Texas. "The six states with the greatest number of entertainment software industry employees were, in order, California, Texas, Washington, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois."
    It's not all great news: game publishing revenue is down almost five percent from 2008 to 2009, but the trends are generally positive. The report's message clear: video games add value to the US economy.

    Source: ArsTechnica