Video Game Industry Adds Billions to U.S. Economy

The computer and video game industry added nearly $5 billion to the U.S. economy in 2009, according to a new study released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The study, Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2010 Report, also found that the entertainment software industry’s real annual growth rate from 2005 to 2009 exceeded 10 percent, more than seven times the growth rate of the U.S. economy as a whole.

“Despite a challenging economic environment, the entertainment software industry continues to grow and create new jobs at a rapid pace,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, the trade association that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. “Computer and video game companies have made an important contribution to our nation’s economy while stimulating technological innovations and expanding the impact of games on our daily lives. As the findings of this report suggest, the entertainment software industry is well positioned to sustain these economic and social contributions well into the future.”

The 2009 report is the second such study conducted by Economists Incorporated for the ESA, and provides an updated look at the impact of the entertainment software industry on the U.S. economy. Other findings include:

— The computer and video game industry directly employs more than 32,000
individuals, a number that has increased by nearly nine percent
annually since 2005;
— Industry employees earn an average annual compensation of $89,781;
— Total compensation for all workers directly employed in the computer
and video game industry was $2.9 billion in 2009; and
— The industry directly and indirectly employs more than 120,000 people
in the United States.

The report also examined the entertainment software industry’s economic contributions to state economies across the United States. California remains the largest employer of computer and video game personnel in the nation, providing more than $2.6 billion in direct and indirect compensation to Californians last year. Entertainment software companies in the Golden State added approximately $2.1 billion to the state’s economy and grew by a real annual rate of 11.4 percent from 2005 to 2009, compared to a period of negative growth for California’s overall economy.

The report also found:
— Texas ranked second nationally in computer and video game personnel in
2009, with 13,613 direct and indirect employees;
— Washington’s entertainment software companies directly and indirectly
employ 11,225 individuals;
— Virginia’s computer and video game industry continues to experience
tremendous growth, expanding by 77 percent from 2005 to 2009; and
— The six states with the greatest number of entertainment software
industry employees were, in order, California, Texas, Washington, New
York, Massachusetts and Illinois.

The Entertainment Software Association is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. The ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers including a global anti-piracy program, owning the E3 Expo, business and consumer research, federal and state government relations, First Amendment and intellectual property protection efforts. For more information, please visit

Source: Entertainment Software Association