Video Games

A Brief Overview of the Video Game Industry

Globally, the video game industry, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, is $52.5B and is projected to reach $86.8B by 2014; tripling the music and surpassing the movie industries. In the US, the video game industry is $15.1B and growing fast.

The Entertainment Software Association reports real annual growth rate of the US video game software industry was 10.6% from 2005-2009 while during the same period real growth for the US economy as a whole was 1.4%. The average industry salary is $89,000. Nearly 70% of American households play games on everything from consoles to laptops to mobile devices.

A Two Billion Dollar Industry

Importantly, Mass Technology Leadership Council tells us that video games are already a $2B industry within Massachusetts’ growing creative economy. Seventy six video game companies attract and employ more than 1200 people in Bay State representing the fourth largest video game industry cluster in the US.

Well-known titles like Rock Band, BioShock and Zork were all born here. Fourteen Massachusetts institutions of higher education offer programs of study or courses in video game design led by Princeton Review nationally-ranked #4 Becker College, #7 WPI, both right here in Worcester, and #8 MIT. This past spring over 50,000 attended Boston’s PAX East video game industry conference. Clearly, video games are becoming mainstream big business in Massachusetts and are poised to get even bigger.

Beyond Entertainment

Today’s games have transitioned well beyond entertainment into a wide-array of other intersecting industries including education, defense, language and corporate training, healthcare, advertising and emergency management. For example, the US Army recently committed $50M to make training games and last year a Massachusetts venture firm co-invested $7M in an online social networking game for teaching people in China to speak English. 27% of Fortune 500 companies plan to adopt learning games by 2012.

This summer, Becker interns have been working with UMass Memorial Medical Center Pediatrics and the City of Worcester to create educational safety games.