2016 Video Game Statistics & Trends

It’s that time again! It’s become a yearly tradition for Big Fish to put together a comprehensive view of the state of the gaming industry, including shifts and changes from the year before. This was an eventful year full of Video Game related news and developments. So take a moment, get comfortable and enjoy this…

It’s that time again! It’s become a yearly tradition for Big Fish to put together a comprehensive view of the state of the gaming industry, including shifts and changes from the year before. This was an eventful year full of Video Game related news and developments. So take a moment, get comfortable and enjoy this overview of 2016 video game news and statistics!

Who is playing games?

155 million Americans play games regularly (This means 3 or more hours per weeks). 4 out of 5 households own a video game console. The average age of gamers is 35. The average number of years gamers have been playing games is 13. That’s the same amount of time most students spend from pre-school through high school graduation. That’s quite a lot of gaming education!

American video gaming sales (non-digital) stayed consistent in 2015 with 13.13 Billion dollars in sales.

Check out the interactive infographic below to find out the international mobile gaming revenue projections from 2014 and beyond.

Click on the countries to view the stats:

The top 10 grossing games of 2015

  • 1. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
  • 2. Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  • 3. Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  • 4. Star Wars: Battlefront (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
  • 5. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One) 360, PS3, PC)
  • 6. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  • 7. Minecraft (360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
  • 8. FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  • 9. Mortal Kombat X (PS4, Xbox One)
  • 10.Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)


The top 10 Digital Downloads of 2015 (Over Console, PC, and Mobile)

  • 1. League of Legends
  • 2. Clash of Clans
  • 3. CrossFire
  • 4. Dungeon Fighter Online
  • 5. World of Warcraft
  • 6. Game of War: Fire Age
  • 7. Puzzles & Dragons
  • 8. Candy Crush Saga
  • 9. MonsterStrike
  • 10.Candy Crush Soda Saga

Female gamers

Gender in Gaming

  • 48% of females play games
  • 50% of males play games
  • 75% of the games industry is male
  • Of the most frequent game purchasers, 41% are female and 59% are male

Speaking of females, they played a huge part in video games in 2015. This year there were several major titles that included leading ladies:

Final Fantasy: Type-O
Tales From the Borderlands
Life is Strange
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Fallout 4
Her Story

YouTube Gaming


It’s been established that YouTube (and video in general) is now an integral part of gaming. With walkthroughs, Let’s Plays, ESports, and game reviews bringing in thousands, and sometimes millions, of views. In 2015 YouTube conducted some research on 4,803 viewers in the US, ages 18-54:

  • One third of gamers on YouTube are 35 and up
  • 30% of gamers on YouTube are women
  • 47% of YouTube gamers are now parents

What was the top YouTube gaming related video of the year? It’s not a big surprise really:

Gamer vs. Game Player

One of the arguments we been seeing more of this year, with the rise of digital and casual gaming is the title of Gamer vs. Game Player. Pew conducted a study with results that suggest that the link between playing video games and identify as a “Gamer” is not as strong as you might think.

  • 49% of American adults play video games
  • 10% of American adults describe themselves as a “gamer”
  • 60% of adults who play video games believe that most video game players are men.
  • 15% of men are more likely to describe themselves as gamers
  • 6% of women are more likely to describe themselves as gamers
  • 33% of men aged 18-29 would describe themselves as gamers
  • 9% of women aged 18-29 would describe themselves as gamers

Some people wear the title of “Gamer” as a badge of honor, while some find it confusing when it is ascribed to them, and then there are those who just shrug and go back to their controller or mobile phone.

Call of Duty

Violence in video games

The argument of violence in video games will probably continue until the universe bounces out of existence. With that said, the same Pew study explored this topic:

Here are the percentage of adults who agree that there is a relationship between video game violence and violent behavior.

  • 40% of adults
  • 47% of females
  • 31% of males
  • 32% of video game players
  • 26% of self-identified gamers

A study from the American Psychological Association revealed that, after 20 years of studies, there’s still not enough research to conclude whether games cause actual criminal violence (though they do suggest increases in aggression). Despite these results, the APA is calling for better parental control of childrens’ gaming.

Speaking of parents and gaming:

  • 63% of parents say video games are a positive part of their child’s life.
  • 59% of parents whose children are gamers play computer and video games with their children at least weekly
  • 91% of parents are present when games are purchased or rented
  • 90% require their children to get permission before buying or renting a video game

2015 in review

And finally, here is a rundown of some of the video game related events of 2015 (It was a big year!):

Oculus Rift

-Nintendo announced that it would start making smartphone games. They later clarified that these would be a means of marketing their more traditional titles.

-The tragic death of Nintendo CEO and president, Satoru Iwata, rocked the gaming world.

-PlayStation 4, it would seem, took a decided lead in the console wars, reaching a record-breaking 40 million sales. Though Microsoft has not released numbers for the Xbox One, estimates say it’s reached barely 20 million units sold.

-Valve and Bathesda allowed for Skyrim mod creators to charge for their work. The backlash was so immediate and intense that the decision was reversed.

-The anticipation of Virtual Reality became palpable as details of the PlayStation VR, the HoloLens, and the Oculus Rift were released.

-2015 was the year Hideo Kojima ended a 30-year relationship with Japanese publisher Konami. This put the breaks on the highly anticipated Silent Hills (a collaboration with Guillermo del Toro).

-China liften it 14-year ban on video game consoles this year. The ban was put into practice in 2000 to shield its young people from the influences of video games. In 2015 China experience a 23 percent growth in games revenue.

-The word swatting entered the mainstream and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

So that’s it! Some great things happened in 2015 and 2016 is already shaping up to be a groundbreaking year.

  • http://venturebeat.com/2016/01/14/2015-npd-the-10-best-selling-games-of-the-year/
  • http://www.gamespot.com/articles/2015s-top-digital-games-lists-include-league-of-le/1100-6434142/
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/12/09/the-top-10-biggest-gaming-videos-of-2015/#27246f20be10
  • http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/12/15/gaming-and-gamers/
  • http://www.themarysue.com/video-game-heroines-of-2015/
  • http://metro.co.uk/2015/12/27/the-11-biggest-video-game-news-stories-of-2015-5583723/
  • http://www.polygon.com/features/2015/12/21/10619168/top-video-game-news-2015
  • http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/gameplayers-versus-gamers-study/
  • http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/deloura-violent-video-games/
  • http://www.theesa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ESA-Essential-Facts-2015.pdf


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