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23 Video Game and Online Gaming Statistics, Facts & Trends for 2022

Online gaming isn’t going anywhere; both desktop and mobile gamers are enjoying games more than ever. Keep reading for some fascinating online gaming statistics and trends that show us where the gaming industry is and where it might be headed in the near future.

Andrej Hadji-Vasilev
By Andrej Hadji-Vasilev (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2022-03-23T00:10:37+00:00 Facts checked by Eugenie Tiu

Sure, single-player games can have an engaging storyline and keep you hooked for hours, but they miss out on one very important aspect — the social one. This is where the online gaming industry comes in, and if you look at online gaming statistics, it’s an industry that just keeps on growing in every possible aspect.

Key Takeaways:

  • The video gaming industry is on a constant rise, with billions of gamers worldwide enjoying video games. 
  • The mobile video game industry is the most popular in terms of market share, with console gaming coming in second and PC gaming being last. 
  • The gender gap is very small within the video game industry, with 55% of gamers identifying as male and 45% identifying as female. 
  • Video gaming addiction statistics show that less than 10% of gamers worldwide have an addiction problem with video games, and they’re predominantly male. 

From the number of players to the number of new titles, trends indicate the industry is one to watch. With that in mind, let’s go over some statistics, facts and trends that show where the online gaming industry is at the moment, and where it has the potential to go in the near (and not-so-near) future.

video gaming statistics
  • When we consider that every game at least gets patched via an online download, this isn’t a relevant question any longer. If we look at how many gamers are online at the time of writing, Steam game stats indicate that there were between 16 and 29 million players online in the past 48 hours.

  • The number varies for each game. For example, Lost Ark, one of today’s most popular games, has more than 867,400 players online at the time of writing.

  • With the gaming industry having a revenue of $178.2 billion, and online gaming being a big part of that, it’s safe to say that the online gaming industry is very big nowadays.

23 Online Gaming Statistics 

If you’re curious about the state of the gaming industry in 2022, we’re your source for information. We’ll cover online video games in general, and also discuss mobile gaming, console gaming, revenue statistics and more about the online gaming market. Here are 23 more online gaming stats that show you where the industry is at the moment.

General Gaming Industry Statistics

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of specific platforms, here are some general statistics about the online video game industry and where it is today. 

kid gaming
77% of Millennials and 81% of Gen Zers play video games.

1. What Is the Global Game Market Revenue?

The global game market revenue for 2021 was $178.2 billion. For 2022, that number is projected to go up to $196 billion. While the market has been on a constant rise since 1997, the increase in revenue is significantly higher in the past seven years, likely due to improvements in technology.4

2. How Do Gen Z and Millennials Play Games?

77% of Millennials and 81% of Gen Z consumers play video games. Gen Z gamers spend an average of 7 hours and 20 minutes per week playing video games, whereas Millennials spend a bit less, at 6 hours 50 minutes.5

Percentage of Generations That Play Video Games:

Gen Z: 81%

Millennials: 77%

Gen X: 60%

Baby Boomers: 42%

3. How Does Gaming Affect Relationships and Friendships?

We briefly mentioned the social aspect, and 78% of the gamers in the U.S. agree that online gaming plays a huge part in making new friendships and relationships. Whether you meet new people in the game, or you become better friends with people you hang out with every day, online gaming helps.6

4. How Does Playing Affect Online Gamers?

Gaming is not just about socializing — 90% of the gamers in the U.S. claim that they get joy out of gaming, with 87% of them saying that video games provide mental stimulation as well.6

Players Experience These Affects From Playing Video Games:

Joy: 90%

Mental Stimulation: 87%

Stress Relief: 87%

Teamwork Skills: 81%

Inspiration: 79%

Video Game Demographic Statistics

There is massive diversity in the personal profiles of video gamers. The one big conclusion we can draw from the data below is that just about anyone can enjoy video games. Here are some statistics on player demographic profiles and how they fit in the gaming industry.6

multiple player gaming
The majority of adults and kids play video games.

5. How Many Americans Play Video Games?

67% of adults and 76% of kids younger than 18 in the U.S. play video games. Video games are an excellent way of spending some free time and socializing, so it’s not really a surprise that this number is so high.6

Percentage of Americans Who Play Video Games

Adults: 67%

Kids: 76%

6. What Is the Average Age of Video Game Players?

The average gamer is 31 years old. The age group between 18 and 34 years old is also the most common age group for gamers, including 38% of the entire age range breakdown, followed by 20% for players under 18. The least common age group is players older than 65, at only 7%.6, 7

Gamers by Age Range

7. What Percentage of Players Are Female Gamers?

The online gamer gender gap is very small. The 2021 Entertainment Software Association report demonstrated that 55% of gamers identify as male, whereas 45% identify as female.6

Online Gaming Gender Gap

8. How Prevalent Is Excessive Gaming?

Male gamers have a stronger tendency than female gamers to engage in excessive gaming. Even though the general number of gamers who have compulsive gaming addiction issues is less than 10%, that tendency is much stronger with males who have played video games.8, 9

Even though there is a huge variety of online game genres, there are a few that top the popularity lists. Casual games top the list, with first-person shooters (FPS) and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) close behind, but here’s a more detailed rundown. 

MMORPG gaming
The MMORPG market is expected to grow at a rate of 9.5% by 2026.

Casual games are the most popular genre. While most casual games like solitaire or Tetris are usually made for single-player PC gaming, many of them have an online play capability or another kind of multiplayer gameplay. With 63% of gamers playing casual games on the regular, this is the most popular genre in the video game market.6

10. What Percentage of Gamers Prefer Action Games vs Shooter Games?

Many online games bridge the gap between the action games (for example, Super Mario Odyssey or Grand Theft Auto) and shooter games (for example, Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone). However, both genres are the preferred option for 39% of gamers.6

Preferred Game Genres, According to Gamers

The popularity of racing games is on the rise, thanks to online racing simulators like Assetto Corsa and iRacing. About 37% of gamers claim that racing is their most played genre, with arcade-like games such as Need for Speed and Forza: Horizon also being popular. Battle royale games are another incredibly popular game type in recent years.6

12. How Will the MMORPG Market Change Over Time?

The MMORPG market puts a focus on massive in-game worlds where players can play together, level up their characters and help each other on quests and missions. A report by Mordor Intelligence estimates that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% by 2026.10

Game Title Statistics

With gamer demographics and genres covered, let’s take a look at another interesting group of statistics: specific game titles. Some games have amassed huge player bases in an incredibly short period of time, whereas others have kept a consistently high market share among modern games. 

gaming control
Some of the most popular video games have millions of players and subscribers.

13. How Many Gamers Play Lost Ark?

Initially, Lost Ark was available in only a small number of locations, as we mentioned in our best VPN for Lost Ark piece. On Feb. 11, 2022, it was released in a variety of new locations throughout the world, which saw the player base grow quite a bit. 

On Jan. 27, 2022, the game had around 372,000 players. After the launch, Lost Ark reached more than 1.325 million concurrent Steam players in less than 24 hours.18

The game has something for everyone, from excellent combat mechanics and plenty of variety in terms of dungeons, to everything a good MMORPG should have — raids, daily challenges and plenty of opportunities to group up with other players and beat powerful bosses. 

14. Which Online Game Has the Most Players? 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has Steam’s highest all-time peak number of players, with 3,257,248 players. Lost Ark comes in second with 1,325,305 players, a significantly smaller number.11

Epic Games’ most popular title, Fortnite, is no stranger to virtual events. Travis Scott’s Astronomical virtual concert had the game-breaking record, with 12.3 million concurrent players participating live in the event where the artist debuted his (then) latest single. 

This is far from the only virtual concert, with Ariana Grande also having one in Fortnite, Royal Blood and Lil Nas X appearing virtually in Roblox, and The Courier Club recreating South by Southwest in Minecraft and naming it Block by Blockwest, with an excellent lineup.17

This isn’t exactly a positive statistic, but World of Warcraft, arguably the world’s most popular MMORPG PC game, hasn’t topped its peak number of subscribers since October 2010. Back then, the game had 12 million subscribers, but by 2015, that number dropped to 5.5 million. Blizzard stopped sharing the yearly figures after the game dropped to 5 million subscribers.12

World of Warcraft has changed significantly in the past couple of years. The rate at which you could’ve obtained rare gear has dropped quite a bit, the storyline isn’t that player-focused anymore, and Blizzard even introduced what’s known as “time gating,” which means you just can’t do certain things for a set amount of time. 

All of these things likely contributed to players moving on to titles like Final Fantasy XIV and, recently, Lost Ark

A best-selling video game that started its life as a bedroom project, Minecraft has sold over 238 million copies as of April 2021. The game is available on a total of 22 platforms, even though it was initially distributed as a Java applet in its alpha version, and now has up to 173 million monthly active players.13, 19

Gaming Platform Statistics

PC gaming hasn’t been dominant in quite some time, but a recent trend saw console gamers taking up an even larger piece of the market share puzzle, while the mobile game industry dominates the platform race. 

mobile gaming
Mobile gaming is the most popular way for gamers to play, followed by consoles.

18. How Many Gamers Use Their Smartphones for Mobile Games?

More often than not, mobile gamers play on their smartphone, especially action and shooter games; 57% of U.S. gamers game on smartphones. However, many users also game on tablets when playing casual titles — which, by the way, are the go-to for 71% of mobile gamers.6

Devices Used for Video Games

19. How Many Gamers Use Consoles?

46% of players in the U.S. are console gamers. They usually play action games (60%) or shooter games (57%), and casual games aren’t that popular with console gamers. 

Consoles, from the Xbox and PlayStation to the Nintendo Switch, have multiple advantages over PCs. They’re easier to set up and use, they’re often more affordable, and they come with things like aim assist in shooter games.6

20. How Many Gamers Use PCs?

What used to be a dominant market is now last in the competition, with both console and mobile gamers overtaking it in market share. About 42% of U.S. gamers play on PC, and 71% of them play casual games most of the time.6

Console Video Gaming Statistics

Online gaming on consoles has one major advantage when compared to PCs: The lack of cheats (like aimbots or wallhacks) available makes it a much more level playing field. This is why so many gamers switch to console gaming, even though it’s oftentimes more expensive in the long run. 

gaming devices
Millions of gamers subscribe to Xbox Live, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.

21. How Many Gamers Use Xbox Live?

Xbox Live is a free service, but if you want to make the most of it and get access to online gaming, you will want to pay for Xbox Live Gold. 

This tier not only gives you the ability to play online, but it also gets you discounts on game purchases, as well as early access and beta versions of newly released titles. Between the free and paid tiers, the platform has over 100 million monthly active users.14, 20

22. How Many Gamers Subscribe to Sony’s PlayStation Plus?

Unlike Microsoft, Sony only offers a paid option for PlayStation Plus. The platform has been locked behind a paywall since 2013, but between 2014 and 2021 it has gained 39.7 million users despite the lack of a free option. Now, Sony’s PlayStation Plus has around 47.6 million subscribers

The subscription tier offers gamers multiplayer capability, as well as one to two PS5 games and two PS4 games per month, access to PS Plus collection games, discounts, exclusive game content and up to 100GB of storage for all your saved games.15, 21

Nintendo’s most popular console is the Wii, with 101.63 million sales, but the Switch is close on its heels; the Nintendo Switch has sold 92.87 million units. With the recent introduction of the OLED model, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Switch takes the Wii’s place at the top.  

Here are some video gaming and online gaming trends to keep an eye on.

space shooter gamer
These trends are on the rise: e-sports, mobile gaming, social gaming and VR.

E-Sport Gaming

Kicking things off with some interesting trends, we have the rapid rise of e-sports and its revenue. While in 2016 the total revenue was about $493 million, that number is over three times as much in 2021, with e-sport game revenue at $1.65 billion

A full 40% of that revenue comes from sponsorships, while the rest comes from advertising, media rights, game publisher fees and merch and tickets.1

Mobile Games

Mobile gaming is on a continuous rise, with many users choosing to play online games from the comfort of their sofa rather than sitting at a desktop or laptop computer. The estimated gaming revenue for mobile in 2021 is $93.2 billion, which is a 7.3% increase from 2020, and represents a huge leap.2

Social Gaming

Last but not least, in 2020, 65% of all gamers claimed to play games with others, either online or in person. In 2021, that number increased to 77%, which is a strong indicator on how important the social aspect is.3

VR Gaming

Virtual reality gaming is on the rise, with about 2.14% of Steam users having a VR headset, which represents a 0.21% rise from the previous month of January. Steam has 20 to 30 million daily users, which means that even though this percentage isn’t too much, the number is far from insignificant. The Oculus Quest 2 is the most popular VR headset, with more than 47% of gamers using it as their VR headset of choice on Steam.22

Final Thoughts: Online and Mobile Games

When all is said and done, the online video gaming industry isn’t going anywhere. New video games are constantly coming out, mobile gaming is on an unprecedented rise, and we have more multiplayer games to choose from than ever. These online gaming industry statistics should help paint a better picture of where the market is now and where it could go in the future.

If you’re interested in more statistics, we took a closer look at some search engine statistics, as well as some interesting cloud computing statistics that you can check out. 

Which one of these video game industry statistics did you find most interesting? Do you play video games often or do you prefer watching streamers on Twitch? Let us know in the comments, and as usual, thank you for reading.

Sources:

  1. Filmora — Digital Video Game Trends and Stats
  2. IronSource — Mobile Gaming Industry Overview
  3. Entertainment Software Association — Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry
  4. Gaming Scan — 2021 Gaming Industry Statistics, Trends & Data
  5. Newzoo
  6. Entertainment Software Association (2021 report)
  7. ISFE — 2021 Key Facts
  8. Science Direct — Internet Gaming Disorder
  9. The Recovery Village — Video Game Addiction Statistics
  10. Mordor Intelligence — MMORPG Gaming Market
  11. SteamDB Most Played Games
  12. Levvvel WoW Statistics
  13. Slashgear — Microsoft Proves Minecraft Was One of Their Best Buys of All Time
  14. Microsoft FY21 Q2 earnings conference call
  15. Sony Earnings Call
  16. Nintendolife — Nintendo Switch Has Now Sold 92.87 Million Units
  17. NME — From ‘Fortnite’ to ‘Roblox’: The best in-game concerts ever, ranked
  18. Amazon — ‘Lost Ark’ shatters records at launch
  19. Active Player — Minecraft
  20. AskAnyDifference — Difference Between Xbox Live and Xbox Live Gold
  21. VentureBeat — Sony’s premium PlayStation Plus now has 7.9M subscribers
  22. Steam — Steam Hardware & Software Survey: February 2022