What are the top gaming statistics and facts for 2023?
We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the most relevant research-backed online gaming statistics from credible sources. Read on to learn the top online gaming stats and facts, market growth figures, online gaming trends, and much more.
Ready to learn about these statistics? Let’s go!
Top online gaming statistics 2023
- There are 1.17 billion gamers online
- This number is expected to grow to 3.07 billion by 2023
- Global gaming revenues are US$176.06 billion
- In 2021, consumer spending in the video gaming sector reached US$60.4 billion
What is the online gaming industry?
Online gaming is a huge industry that includes a number of segments, each with its own specialism. Game developers, streaming services, distributors and retailers, and mobile and online games are all part of the industry.
Along with game developers and distributors, any game that can be played on the internet or with a mobile device is part of the online gaming industry. The most popular online gaming format in 2023 is multiplayer battle royale gaming. These games allow players to work together to defeat a common foe.
Mobile gaming is the largest segment of the online gaming sector. The unique accessibility of mobile games has helped it grow. Increased mobile connectivity and smartphone use enable online gamers to enjoy games without the expense of dedicated gaming consoles, subscriptions or PCs.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a gamer, it’s likely you’ll have heard of the popular mobile gaming titles. Candy crush, Roblox and Pokemon GO were a few of the top-grossing mobile games in recent years.
Now that you have some background, let’s get into online gaming statistics.
Gaming industry statistics
Online gaming statistics are exciting because of the remarkable growth in this sector. Not only that, it provides a window into the behaviour of millions and how we’re using our leisure time. From the billions in revenue it generates each year to the number of gamers taking to online pursuits, the online gaming industry is one area of entertainment that continues to grow.
Online gaming industry growth
Of the 3.03 billion global video gamers, 2.82 billion game online.
Online gaming accounts for the majority of all video gaming. Of this, mobile gamers are the largest online gaming audience, accounting for approximately 60% of all online gamers. Online gaming includes titles that can be played on consoles, PC gaming and simple free-to-play mobile games like Candy Crush.
Online gaming revenue grew from $135.4 billion in 2020 to $176.06 billion in 2023.
The pandemic saw substantial growth in online gaming revenue. Already an industry seeing strong growth, lockdowns instigated higher and faster levels of growth than had previously been forecast.
As lockdowns eased across the globe and other activities were once again available, online gaming revenue continued to grow, albeit at a slightly slower rate than was seen through the pandemic years.
More than 1.1 billion new mobile game titles are downloaded weekly.
(Statista, Data.ai (formerly App Annie))
Mobile games are one of the most accessible forms of online gaming because nothing other than a smartphone is needed to enjoy them. The increased proliferation of smartphones and mobile connectivity are helping to grow this area of the online gaming industry.
Multi-player online games such as PUBG Mobile and eSport titles have helped to transform smartphones into entertainment devices. Smartphone games account for 45% of video gaming revenue worldwide.
China, United States and Japan are the top three markets for mobile gaming revenue.
These three largest audiences of mobile gamers generated $56 billion, $43 billion and $20 billion in revenue in 2021. China has dominated the global gaming market for years, with the largest number of gamers and the highest levels of revenue.
82.98 billion mobile games were downloaded in 2021.
14.1 billion mobile game downloads took place in the first quarter of 2021. Mobile game purchases increased over the course of 2021. Google’s Play store accounts for the majority of mobile game downloads. Unsurprisingly, the Play Store also generates more gaming revenue than Apple’s iOS App Store.
Mobile gaming is the largest and fastest-growing video game segment.
(Global X ETFs)
Mobile gaming revenue increased by 7.3% in 2021 to reach $93.2 billion. Revenues are expected to continue rising with projections forecasting they will reach $218.7 billion by 2024. Online gamers are increasingly demanding the ability to take their games with them. Cross-platform gaming is actively sought out by 43% of gamers.
Two-thirds of the revenue generated from Google’s Play store comes from mobile gaming.
Approximately half of the 30 billion apps downloaded from Google play in Q3 of 2022 were mobile games. Comparatively, just a quarter of downloads from the iOS App store were mobile games. Mobile gaming is enjoyed more on Android than iOS devices.
28% of all gaming revenue comes from home consoles.
Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox and Nintendo Switch consoles and their games, accessories and merchandise are responsible for nearly a third of all gaming revenue in 2021. Combined, console games generated $49.2 billion in revenue.
Online gaming industry worth
The global gaming industry was worth $214.20 billion in 2021, and $181.72 billion is attributed to online gaming.
(World Economic Forum, Statista)
The global gaming industry expanded by 26% between 2019 and 2021. Many players believed gaming helped their mental health through lockdowns. Although the industry continues to grow, this is expected to be at a slower rate now other activities are available to gamers.
The United States became the largest online gaming market in 2022, worth an estimated $54.9 billion.
The United State’s online gaming industry surpassed that of China in 2022 in terms of revenue. China is a close second with an estimated worth of $44 billion. Combined, Chinese and US industries account for approximately half of global online gaming revenue.
Turkey and Pakistan are expected to become the fastest-growing markets.
(World Economic Forum)
The annual growth of gaming in Turkey’s and Pakistan’s markets is expected to reach an average of 24.1% and 21.9% respectively between 2021 and 2026. India is also primed for growth at an anticipated rate of 18.3% in the same period.
Experts estimate that Pakistan alone could generate an annual revenue of up to $400 million if ease of business was ensured. Game makers in Pakistan typically create mobile games for global audiences.
83% of video game sales happen digitally.
(Global X EFT)
Less than two decades ago, most game purchases were made in-store. Today, thanks to faster internet speeds, the majority of sales occur online. Digital delivery of video games increases convenience for gamers while cutting overheads for game producers and distributors.
85% of all gaming revenue comes from free-to-play games.
Asian gamers generated the most free-to-play online gaming revenue. European and North American markets generated 80% of premium games revenue. The biggest source of revenue in free-to-play gaming is advertising.
In-game purchases are less effective at generating revenue, however in 2021 they generated approximately 61 billion U.S. dollars.
At the end of 2019, in-game ads were responsible for 17% ($86.2 billion) of global smartphone gaming revenue.
The most popular method of monetizing online games is in-game advertising. 70.7% of Android gaming apps and 80.38% of iOS gaming apps contain ads. In-game advertising revenue is expected to triple to $258.6 billion by 2024.
Total consumer spending on video games by Americans reached $60.4 billion in 2021.
This amount includes spending across all gaming categories, including console, cloud, mobile, portable, PC and VR platforms. It shows an increase of 8% over 2020 figures. Spending on mobile games alone showed a 14% increase in 2021 over the previous year.
PC games continue to appeal to gamers and this sector of the gaming industry is projected to accumulate $46.7 billion by 2026.
Despite the strong revenue generated by PC gaming, this sector is expected to slow as gamers turn to console gaming alternatives. 60% of online gaming industry revenue in 2022 is led by mobile.
E-sports are a strong segment of the online gaming industry, accounting for $641 million in 2021 from sponsorships and advertising revenue alone.
(Statista, Filmora Wondershare)
E-sport game revenue reached $1.63 billion in 2021. 40% of this is made up of sponsorships while the rest comes from advertising, media rights, game publisher fees, merchandise and ticket sales.
E-sports is growing in popularity among gamers and is sometimes regarded separately from the online gaming industry. However, e-sports are an intrinsic part of online gaming across mobile, console and PC.
The global gaming industry is expected to be worth $504.9 billion by 2030.
Grand View Research Inc projects 10.2% compound annual growth over the coming eight years. The Aisia Pacific region is anticipated to see even stronger growth of nearly 11.0%. This is due to the increased adoption of smartphones and the number of e-sport events.
Multiplayer gaming has added a social aspect to online gaming which enhances the gaming experience and attracts more consumers. The increased popularity of mobile gaming, e-sports and game streaming is behind most of these projections for growth.
54% of U.S adults use their smartphones to play games regularly.
Playing games on consoles is the second favorite form of online gaming for U.S. adults, followed by PC and laptop gaming. Streaming devices were the least preferred method for online gaming. Furthermore, the average American spends 5 hours and 24 minutes on their mobile device each day, with an average of 18 minutes of this spent on gaming.
How many people are in online gaming right now?
There are 3.2 billion video gamers in the world, and 1.17 billion play online.
The number of people who choose to spend their free time gaming is rapidly increasing. The pandemic helped to increase the number of online gamers as people took to gaming to relieve stress, connect with friends and enjoy their leisure time. By 2025, global online gaming audiences are expected to surpass 1.3 billion.
The three largest online gaming audiences are in China, The United States and Japan.
Up until this year, China was the largest online gaming market by revenue. 742.19 million players game online in China while the United States has approximately 197.16 million gamers, an estimated 3 out of 4 Americans play video games.
Japan has a relatively mature gaming market that continues to grow. Currently, there are 78.1 million gamers in Japan.
83.6% of internet users play games online.
The Philippines has the highest penetration of online gaming with 96.4% of internet users playing games across all devices. Belgium had the lowest rate of online gamers with just 70.5% of internet users playing games online.
Asia is the biggest online gaming market with 1.48 billion gamers.
1.48 billion gamers reside in Asia. Many of the world’s most recognised gaming companies also come from this region. Approximately half of Europe’s population between the ages of 6 to 60 play video games.
Valorant is the most popular gaming community with over 950,000 members on Discord.
Discord is a VoIP and communication platform used widely by the global gaming community. This platform allows gamers to speak with each other whilst being immersed in an online game. Apex Legend, a battle royale online game, is the second most popular gaming community with 741,000 members in August 2022.
84% of gamers believe online games help them to connect with others who have similar interests.
The social aspect of online gaming is an important element of the gaming culture and drives much of the innovation in this industry. 80% of gamers meet new people through online gaming.
77% of gamers use online gaming to stay in touch with friends. Many online gamers actively seek multiplayer and cross-platform games specifically to enjoy the social aspects of gaming online.
214 million people in the United States played video games for one hour or more each week in 2020.
Gaming has become a widely accepted way for people to spend their leisure time and connect with family and friends. 75% of all U.S. households have at least one person who plays video games. 70% of under 18’s in the United States play video games regularly.
Online gaming demographics
The traditional picture of the sun-starved pimply teen boy playing video games is fast becoming a thing of the past. Online gaming is being rapidly adopted by all genders and generations of all ages as a leisure activity. The latest research shows video games are being taken up by people of all types and backgrounds.
What percentage of online gamers are female?
48% of video game players in the United States are female.
Gaming, whether it was online or not, used to be a dominantly male domain. Today, the split between genders is almost equal with 48% of US gamers identifying as female. Females are more inclined to game online with a smartphone whereas males have a greater tendency to use a dedicated gaming console or PC.
Female games spend more on downloadable content and gaming accessories than their male counterparts.
Not only are women more likely to buy downloadable games, they’re also bigger spenders when it comes to in-game accessories. The average annual spending by US female gamers was $359 in 2019. Comparatively, male gamers in the United States spent an average of $335 in the same period.
UK women are more likely to use a smartphone for online gaming.
Smartphones are the most popular choice for online gaming in the UK. Smartphones account for around 60% of online gaming devices with tablets and consoles making up the smallest percentage at just 7%.
41% of Playstation 4 and 5 owners are female.
Female ownership of PS1 was a meagre 18% in the 1990s. Sony has actively increased its female audience, by diversifying games and introducing female protagonists over the past decade. Widening gender demographics has created more opportunities for the tech giant.
48.8% of female U.S adults are themselves committed gamers, gaming one or more times each day.
AdColony’s research looked closely at the consistency of time spent gaming by Americans. Most gamers surveyed identify as occasional or regular gamers. This was categorized as gaming between one to several times a month (occasional) or one to several times a week (regular). Committed gamers have a much higher frequency of play, gaming one to several times a day.
Female gamers made up 35% of Asia’s total gamer population in 2019.
Gaming is becoming a socially acceptable pass time regardless of gender. Female gamers across China, South East Asia, India, South Korea and Japan have seen a year-on-year increase of 14.8%, which is significantly higher than the yearly increase recorded for the general population.
48% of the global gaming population identifies as female.
A significant portion of female gamers play online games regularly. While the number of female gamers historically sat at around 40% of all gamers, the past decade has seen a steady shift. Today online gamers are almost evenly split across genders.
1 in 3 men prefer playing female characters in video games
29% of men prefer playing female characters while just 9% of women prefer playing male characters in role-playing games. This shows the importance of creating playable female characters outweighs the importance of playable male characters – despite male online gamers being a slightly bigger demographic.
60% of female avatars in online games are played by males.
Across gaming genres, females have the strongest preference for playing a character of the same gender. Older men are more likely to prefer playing female characters than their younger counterparts. Speculation as to why this is the case ranges from sociological to psychological and game-based reasoning such as female avatars being treated better by other gamers.
What is the average age of online gamers?
The average gamer owns a home, has children and is 34 – 36 years old.
Unlike the traditional profile of gamers, today’s average gamer is male, 34, and owns his own home. The average female gamer is of a similar socioeconomic status but a slightly older age of 36. Interestingly, women between the ages of 18 and 35 are more active gamers than males.
36% of gamers are aged between 18 and 34.
Many gamers in this age group have grown up with video gaming and regularly use their leisure time to relax with both on and offline games. As generations age, their liking of gaming doesn’t wane. Furthermore, the majority of U.S. adult gamers are found among those with higher incomes.
76% of gamers are over the age of 18.
45 to 54-year-olds spend the least amount of time gaming. Just 6% of gamers in the United States are over the age of 65. Older generations that didn’t grow up with video games are less likely to take up gaming as a leisure activity as they age.
35 to 40-year-olds spend the least on games while 18 – 24 years olds are most likely to make video game-related purchases.
Men are three times as likely to make gaming purchases than women. However, the more time that passes between graduation from their highest degree, the less likely they are to spend money on video games. Earnest also found once incomes passed $90,000, the percentage of people buying games dropped by 3% from 12 to 9%.
81% of Gen Z and 77% of Millennials are gamers.
The younger someone is, the more likely they are to play video games and the more time they spend playing games. Generation Z gamers spend an average of 7 hours and 20 minutes each week playing video games. For millennials, the time playing games drops by half an hour to 6 hours and 50 minutes.
76% of children under the age of 18 play video games.
(The ESA, PR Newswire)
Video gaming is an accepted leisure time activity and enjoyed by many children. Roblox, an online game for younger children, is the second biggest highest-grossing mobile game of 2021. Animal Crossing, another children’s title, saw similarly strong sales figures when released in 2020. More than 5 million digital copies sold within a month.
67% of parents play video games with their children at least once a week.
Parents use video games regularly to relax and spend quality time playing with their children. More parents are finding playing video games with children is an excellent way to socialize, strengthen relationships and spend time doing something both enjoy.
Where in the world are gamers located?
More than 40% of the global population are gamers.
In 2019 the world had over 2.5 billion active gamers. This grew to 3.1 billion in July 2020. Today with a world population of approximately 8 billion and more people taking up gaming, more than 40% of the world’s population are gamers.
China had 665 million gamers in 2020.
China has the highest number of gamers in the Asia and Pacific region. This is despite the Chinese government enforcing a 14-year ban on game console imports and sales in 2000 amidst fears of the youth developing gaming addictions. Although the ban was lifted in 2015, the majority of gamers in China are PC or mobile gamers.
Spanish speakers in the United States are more likely to be regular gamers than non-Spanish speakers.
A larger percentage of multilingual people in the U.S. play online games. Notably, Spanish speakers in the United States play mobile games over non-Spanish speakers. Of the Spanish-speaking segment, 48% of them play games on their smartphones at least once a day.
Iran has the highest rate of video game addiction in the world.
Video game addiction is a growing yet widely misunderstood problem. According to the world expert on video game addiction, Iran has the highest percentage of gaming addiction with 22.8% of gamers addicted. A higher percentage of males are addicted to gaming than females, however, women tend to be more addicted to mobile gaming.
5 Online gaming trends to watch out for
The gaming industry is bigger than Hollywood and the music industry combined. With new technology innovations and wider adoption of hardware such as VR headsets and smartphones, the industry is primed for further growth. These are the biggest trends in gaming for 2022.
Virtual Reality gaming is growing with more than 2.14% of Steam users using VR headsets.
The Oculus Quest headset is used by 41.49% of Steam customers, an increase of 0.10% in October from the previous month. Valve Index HMD and Oculus Rift S are the second and third most used headsets with 17.51% and 13.87% of customer use respectively.
Cross-platform gaming is growing.
Cross-platform gaming is the development of games that can be played across devices – from mobile to console and onto PC. Given the interest in mobile gaming, cross-platform gaming capitalizes on the convenience of smartphones to draw more gamers into playing.
87% of multiplayer gamers demand cross-platform gaming and 43% of all gamers globally are seeking cross-platform video games. This format allows players to effectively take their games with them, no matter where they are playing.
Multi-player mobile games create a sense of community.
PUBG mobile was the highest grossing mobile game of January 2022 with around $237 million in gamer spending. eSports have become a global phenomenon over the past year with multiplayer formats keeping gamers engaged for longer.
The combined social interaction, team collaboration and sense of achievement over other players help gamers retain their enthusiasm. This level of engagement and excitement supports more in-app purchases, making these kinds of mobile games a win for game developers too.
Puzzle games is a billion-dollar industry.
Puzzle games were expected to reach 22.06 billion in revenue by the end of 2022. A higher percentage of female gamers enjoy puzzle games than males. 10.63% compound annual growth is forecast for 2026, resulting in a total market value of $33.04 billion.
Given that mobile gaming is the largest segment of online gaming, and the one with the strongest levels of growth, the casual nature of puzzle games such as Candy Crush, Homescapes and Gardenscapes looks to be around for years to come.
Hyper-casual mobile games are estimated to grow by 11.9%.
Hyper-casual games are easy and generally free to play. In 2019, games like Fun Race 3D, Crowd City and Helix Jump, grew by almost 23%. As a result, hyper-casual games grew their downloads sales by 78% over the same period.
These mobile games are primed for immense growth up to 2026. Market projections for 11.9% compound annual growth for the global online gaming market support this trending prediction.
Over to you!
There you have it! 51 online gaming statistics for a better understanding of this intriguing and quickly evolving industry.
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About Jasmine Katatikarn
Jasmine Katatikarn is the founder of Academy of Animated Art. She has 20+ years of experience in Feature Animation and VFX. Jasmine’s lighting credits include movies like Ice Age, Ferdinand, Peanuts, and Rio. Read more about Jasmine here.