What you need to know

The majority (59%) of US adults report that they play video games on at least one platform, suggesting that video gaming has become a mainstream hobby. While more people have begun gaming, however, the industry itself has undergone considerable changes in how titles are distributed and monetized.

Other themes explored in this report include the popularity of selected video game genres, time spent playing video games and consumers’ opinions regarding gaming, and gamers’ perceptions regarding interaction with other players and brands.

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Mobile Gaming – US, October 2013, as well as Console Gaming – US, October 2012, Mobile Gaming – US, June 2012, Social Network Gaming – US, November 2011 and Mobile Gaming – US, May 2011.


For the purposes of this report, video games include any game played on an electronic device with a visual display (eg computer monitor, television, smartphone, tablet, etc). 

Value figures throughout this report are at retail selling prices (rsp) excluding sales tax unless otherwise stated.

Data sources

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through GMI to explore consumer attitudes and usage regarding video games. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted in June 2014 among a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

Mintel selects survey respondents by gender, age, household income, and region so that they are proportionally representative of the US adult population using the internet. Mintel also slightly oversamples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or Black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in our survey results and to allow for more precise parameter estimates from our reported findings. Please note that our surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in our survey results.

Mintel has also analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services, using the Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS), the Simmons National Hispanic Consumer Study (NHCS), and the Simmons NCS Teen Study.

The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NCS/NHCS was carried out during January 2013 -March 2014 and the results are based on the sample of 24,005 adults aged 18+, with results weighted to represent the US adult population. The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NCS Teen Study was conducted during November 2012-December 2013and based on a sample of 1,811 teenagers aged 12-17, with results weighted to represent the US teen population.

While race and Hispanic origin are separate demographic characteristics, Mintel often compares them to each other. Please note that the responses for race (White, Black, Asian, Native American, or other race) will overlap those that also are Hispanic, because Hispanics can be of any race.

Abbreviations and terms


The following is a list of abbreviations used in this report:

CBT Cognitive behavioral therapy
DLC Downloadable content
EQ EverQuest
FCC Federal Communications Commission
GNPD Global New Products Database
MOBA Multiplayer online battle arena
MMOG Massively multiplayer online game
MMORPG Massively multiplayer online role-playing game
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eSports Electronic sports or professional video gaming
Microtransaction In video games, a small payment in exchange for a specific in-game feature or item. For example, players may pay for an item that changes the in-game character’s hair style.
Platformer A genre of video game that relies heavily on jumping puzzles or challenges (eg Mario)

Generations are discussed within this report, and they are defined as:

World War II The generation born in 1932 or before. In 2014, members of this generation are aged 82 or older.
Swing Generation The generation born between 1933 and 1945. In 2014, members of the Swing Generation are between the ages of 69 and 81.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2014, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 50 and 68.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2014, Generation Xers are between the ages of 38 and 49.
iGen/Millennials` The generation born between 1977 and 1994. In 2014, Millennials are between the ages of 18 and 37.

* includes the oldest members of the iGeneration, aged 18-19

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