Gaming is a huge industry right now. Not only are the number of gamers increasing every year as all genders and age groups find games they enjoy, but the industry is growing larger and worth more every year.
According to recent data, there are 3.11 Billion gamers around the world and that number keeps increasing year after year.
You might be wondering what the statistics look like for gamers. With the industry growing at such a rapid pace, numbers are important. This makes them readily available for anyone who wants to know all the information about games.
Keep reading below to get a good idea of how the gaming industry works and the types of gamers you might encounter throughout the world.
Check out this article for more statistics on mobile games.
The Countries With the Most Gamers
Looking at the big picture, Asia has far more gamers than any other region in the world. They have roughly two times the total number of players as the next-highest region, Europe. North America only places 4th on the list, just above MENA (Middle East and North Africa).
|Region||Total Number of Gamers|
|Latin America||420 Million|
|North America||285 Million|
|Sub-Saharan Africa||144 Million|
To put these numbers into perspective, roughly two out of every five people are a gamer of some sort. This is the case globally, and not per a specific country or region.
The US makes up a lot of the North American gamers. About three-fourths of American households have at least one gamer in the home, whether that be a console, a mobile device, or a PC.
The country with the most gamers is China. They have roughly 665 million players. This number has increased dramatically from 2010 to 2023. This is despite bans to stop the youth from getting addicted to games.
PC and mobile games are the top two categories in China. Console games aren’t as popular thanks to the country’s 14-year ban on game consoles and imports. In 2018, the growth of the gaming industry slowed a little thanks to another ban on new games, but it didn’t stop the industry from still growing.
Age and gender are the two most common genders when it comes to video games.
Gamers have long been thought to be a male-dominated industry. For the most part, that is true, but women are starting to come up and are now almost even with the total number of male players in the world in 2023.
These charts show the percentage of girl gamers is starting to slowly increase. This means a shift in the gaming industry as companies struggle to create games that both men and women enjoy. Some companies aim to target both genders at the same time while others focus on one demographic over the other.
Women gamers tend to not be hard-core or mid-core gamers. Most women who identify as gamers are mobile game players. There are still plenty of women that play on PC and console, however.
Now, take a look at the age demographic. This better fits what one would expect from the gaming industry with people under the age of 34 years old taking up over half of the industry.
|Age Group||Proportion||Number of Gamers|
|Under 18s||20%||618 million|
|18-34 years||38%||1.17 billion|
|35-44 years||14%||433 million|
|45-54 years||12%||371 million|
|55-64 years||9%||278 million|
|65+ years||7%||216 million|
But what about when you combine these two demographics? You’ll find that there’s a higher percentage of older women that play games than older men. So while women make up less of the total demographic, they are the majority of gamers after the age of 36.
One group even went above and beyond with their survey. Not only did they calculate the total percentages of guy and girl gamers, but they broke them down into different categories of why they play and the devices they often use.
|18-34||75% play on a console 51% most often play action games 68% prefer playing with friends 70% say games help them stay connected with family and friends||77% play on a smartphone 46% most often play casual games 48% prefer playing with friends 55% say games help them stay connected with family and friends|
|35-54||70% play on a console 38% most often play action games 44% prefer playing with friends 83% say games help them relax||78% play on a smartphone 67% most often play casual games 58% prefer playing with friends 77% say games help them relax|
|55-64||56% play on a smartphone 48% most often play casual games 42% prefer playing with friends 87% say games provide mental stimulation||63% play on a smartphone 74% most often play casual games 37% prefer playing with friends 82% say games provide mental stimulation|
|65+||68% play on a PC 58% most often play card games 77% prefer playing alone 46% have been playing games for 10 years or less||60% play on a PC 76% most often play card games 81% prefer playing alone 63% have been playing games for 10 years or less|
This is a great table for anyone looking into creating a game, but unsure of their target audience. It’s an amazing visual that breaks down the differences in gender and age groups when it comes to playing all sorts of games, both digital and physical.
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Another interesting statistic is that while the total number of female gamers is going up, the total number of male gamers is decreasing. Men are still winning out in total percentages, but the totals are getting closer every year as fewer men play and more women join in on the gaming craze.
|Year||Percentage Of Male Gamers||Percentage Of Female Gamers|
|2022||Less than 55%||More than 45%|
Types of Gamers
According to NewZoo, there are nine main categories of gamers. These categories are:
- The Ultimate Gamer
- The All-Around Enthusiast
- The Conventional Player
- The Subscriber
- The Lapsed Gamer
- The Backseat Viewer
- The Popcorn Gamer
- The Hardware Enthusiast
- The Time Flier
Of these nine categories, the Time Flier and the Subscriber make up the highest percentages.
Interestingly, the Conventional Gamer takes up the lowest spot, with only three percent of all gamers falling into this category.
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Most of the people in this category are men, much more so than the average gamer. They also tend to be around the age of 32 and are people that have kids.
How Has The Number of Gamers Changed Over the Years
Gamers have been steadily increasing every year. The biggest increases were in the years just before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even now that COVID is done, the industry is only expected to grow.
|Year||Number of Gamers (in billions)||Increase (in millions||Percentage Rate Increase|
Why People Play Games
Most people play games to relax and decompress. They may want to escape from the world or have something to keep them occupied while waiting in line.
These numbers tend to be relatively the same in every country, with the same categories winning out globally and per country or region.
|Reason||Share of Respondents||Number of Gamers (Global)|
|Unwind, relax, and decompress||66%||2.04 billion|
|Fill time while taking a break, waiting, or commuting||52%||1.61 billion|
|Escape and be highly entertained||51%||1.58 billion|
|Spend time by myself||48%||1.48 billion|
|Solve a problem, use my brain, and think logically||37%||1.14 billion|
|Be comforted by something familiar||32%||0.99 billion|
Many people also believe that games offer positive benefits. There have been studies that prove that certain games bring stress relief and mental stimulation, while other studies find that games have negative by-products.
While the actual benefits from games are still up in the air, the placebo effect influences people enough for them to continue playing games in the hope of improving their mental health.
How Long People Play Games
Most gamers play games for between one and five hours a week. Usually, they do this during free moments, such as just before bed or while traveling or waiting in line. This only accounts for people 18+ or working professionals. Children weren’t included as they might skew the results.
This number was broken down further, showing how many hours on average a week each age group plays games. As you can see, the ages between 18 and 35 tend to play the most games and for the longest each week.
Though it’s not shown on the table, men also tend to play more on average than women by a whole hour.
However, when you start looking at long stretches of gaming, such as 10-15 hours consecutively, it’s actually women that come out on top. Women tend to play longer during long stretches for anything over 10 hours.
This may have something to do with streamers. While both men and women stream themselves playing games and do marathon gaming, it is possible that women streamers do longer marathons than men, which increases the percentages.
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You can also look at the average hours people play games per country. Though China and the United States have the most number of gamers, they don’t play as often as other countries like Germany and the United Kingdom.
The Number of Professional Gamers
Interestingly, the number of e-sport players is roughly three times higher in the United States than in any other country, though it doesn’t necessarily have the highest number of gamers.
In fact, the US has such a high amount of e-sport players that it has the same number of professionals as the next five countries combined.
|Country||Number of E-Sports Players|
Many people guess that the reason for this is due to the video gaming industry in the US. The country is roughly worth $90 billion when it comes to e-sports.
It’s interesting though. With China having over 660 million gamers, you expect them to be higher up than just third place. China’s video game market is the largest in the world. Out of all the gamers, over 500 million of them play online games on a daily basis.
The e-sports industry as a whole is worth quite a bit of money. In 2021, the winner of the Dota 2 e-sports tournament won a $40 million prize pool. The team that ended up winning went home with over $18 million.
Another interesting fact is that although the demographics for girl vs guy gamers are relatively balanced, the number of men in e-sports is significantly higher. Roughly 70 percent of all e-sports players are male and 80 percent of the viewers were also male.
Though the US has the most e-sports players, most of the viewers come from the Asia Pacific region. They’ve always had a huge fan base and with TV stations starting to broadcast the competitions live, the number will likely stay high for quite a while.
Favorite Genres of Games
Since many people play games to relax, according to surveys, you might expect casual and relaxing games to rank at the top. In this case, you’d be right. However, what’s interesting is that the next few categories tend to be fast-paced and adrenaline-inducing games like action, shooters, and racing games.
As you can see from the chart above, the US follows this principle, with casual games leading by quite a bit, followed by action, shooter, and racing games. What is neat is that this game preference is the same throughout the world.
Whether you’re questioning just the US population or people throughout the globe, the top categories are always the same, as well as the order they’re in.
At most, the games change percentages, but not enough to put them in a different order. Since the US isn’t the country with the highest number of gamers, you might expect the numbers to differ a little, but they’re almost exactly the same.
|Type of Game||Share of Respondents||Number of Gamers (Global)|
|Casual games||63%||1.95 billion|
|Action games||39%||1.21 billion|
|Shooter games||39%||1.21 billion|
|Racing games||37%||1.14 billion|
|Family games||33%||1.02 billion|
|Adventure games||31%||0.96 billion|
Favorite Devices for Games
For the millennial generation, the majority of them find their favorite device to play games on is a PC. 56 percent of millennials say they prefer playing on a PC over a console or a mobile device.
This is a different number than most people expect. 43 percent of smartphone usage has to do with gaming of some sort. This has led many people, both in the industry and outside of it, to assume that mobile games are the favorite, but that is far from the case.
In the UK, the statistics are a little skewed. Only a quarter of the total gamers in the UK play games on computers. Some of this is due to the difficulty in getting computer parts, especially right now in 2023 where a shortage of all sorts of computer chips is very common.
Although PC games tend to be the most popular throughout the world, they offer the lowest market revenue. Mobile games take the lead with over $86 billion. Consoles are next at $51 billion, and PC games (both browser and downloaded games) come in last at only $37 billion.
How Many People Pay for Games and Game Subscriptions
Like much of the rest of the digital world, gaming is heavily subscription-based. About 52 percent of all gamers have at least one gaming subscription. This is most common with console gamers, as it often costs a subscription in order to play online or get access to games for a discounted price.
About 74 percent of all console gamers use a subscription, which puts consoles in first place for game types with the most subscription-based gamers.
There are a total of 2.29 billion console players that use one form of subscription or another. Xbox consoles are the ones that tend to have the most subscriptions with over 100 million Xbox Live users throughout the world.
Sony, the creator of the PlayStation, is in second place with 47.3 million people subscribing to their service.
In comparison, only 66 percent of PC users pay for a subscription. This is about 2.04 billion people. However, the numbers for both PC and console gamers are only increasing. Already, the number has doubled from 2016 to 2023.