This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Gaming Trends market including US Gaming Trends market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Gaming Trends market in the US.

Current market landscape

The gaming industry continued to expand in 2021, even exceeding the explosive growth from 2020. However, supply chain issues continue to impact the gaming industry, and rising inflation in the US could impact consumers’ interest and ability to make expensive entertainment purchases. To combat this, major console manufacturers are already extending console lifespans; they are also shifting more focus toward cloud gaming to offset consumers’ hesitancy to purchase physical goods in stores. Meanwhile, gaming subscription services are evolving to provide consumers a greater value than individual purchases. Through these efforts, game sales and in-game transactions should continue to see growth in 2022.

Future market trends in US Gaming Trends

Of course, the new year brings exciting new games, but with COVID-19 continuing to push many industry events to digital spaces, it will be interesting to see how the industry reacts. E3 has long been a staple gaming event in the US but continues to show signs of decline. New gaming films in 2022 will bring more gamers to the theaters and streaming services will introduce nongamers to some of the gaming industry’s hottest franchises. From classics such as Dragon’s Lair and Super Mario to new gaming IPs like Cuphead and The Last of US, the gaming industry is set for a packed cinematic year.

The metaverse and NFTs became buzzwords in the last months of 2021. While they’ve both certainly excited many business executives and individuals already enthusiastic about crypto, the response from the gaming media and gamers has been largely negative. New tech shouldn’t be dismissed outright, but the discussion needs to move beyond speculative concepts and investment opportunities into something that offers practical value to consumers.

Read on to discover more about the US gaming trends consumer market, read our US Evolution of Technology in Consumers’ Lives Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Gaming market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • Gaming industry marketing during the winter holiday shopping period of 2021.
  • Acquisitions, issues, and trends throughout 2021, along with predictions for 2022.
  • What player characteristics influence device preferences and time commitments.
  • Consumer interest in gaming hardware upgrades and other gaming-related purchases, including food and beverage preferences.
  • Attitudes toward the gaming community, monetization, and viewership.

Covered in this report

Brands include: PlayStation, Xbox, EA, Ubisoft, Take-Two, Square-Enix, AMC, Ticketmaster, Activision, Blizzard, Sony, Amazon, NVidia, GeForce, Ubisoft, Discord, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, YouTube, Meta (Facebook), Instagram, Twitter,, Reddit,, Riot Games, miHoYo, Rockstar Games, Virtual Gaming Worlds, Humble Bundle, DraftKings, Epic Games, Apple, Microsoft, Arkane Studios, Bethesda Games, Pokémon, Netflix.

Games include: Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario, Fallout, Resident Evil, Cuphead, Dragon’s Lair, Assassin’s Creed, Neopets, Club Penguin, Kongregate, League of Legends, Valorant, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, Deathloop, Minecraft, Roblox, Starfield, Doom, Elder Scrolls, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, Quake, God of War: Ragnarok, Horizon: Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Final Fantasy.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Brian Benway, a leading analyst in the Gaming and Entertainment sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The gaming industry continues to grow even as COVID-19 variants shut down major industry events and hardware shortages limit stock in stores. Gamers themselves remain interested as both players and as viewers, motivated by their desire to see gaming crossover with other forms of entertainment.

Brian Benway
Gaming and Entertainment Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Global gaming revenue, by game segment, 2019-21 (est)
    • Impact of COVID-19 on gaming
      • Figure 2: Gaming outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Key consumer insights
    • Console interest is high, but demand for mobile hardware lags
      • Figure 3: Gaming hardware upgrades (NETs), by device type, 2021
    • Gamers branched out and socialization gained momentum in 2021
      • Figure 4: More time spent with different types of games due to COVID-19 and vaccines, 2020-21
    • Gamers feel an enhanced sense of belonging to the gaming community
      • Figure 5: Attitudes toward the gaming community – Any agree, 2020 and 2021
    • Gamers look for supermarket tie-ins that prioritize convenience
      • Figure 6: Interest in gaming food and beverage collaborations, 2021
  3. Global and US Market Size

    • Global gaming revenue continues to climb post pandemic lockdowns
      • Figure 7: Global gaming revenue, by game segment, 2019-21 (est)
    • Globally and locally, mobile gaming continues to drive growth
      • Figure 8: Global gaming revenue, by device segment, 2021
    • US follows similar growth trajectory but stronger hardware sales
  4. Advertising Trends

    • Social media, YouTube particularly, dominated 2021 gaming advertising
      • Figure 9: Video game industry monthly advertising spend, by channel, 2021
      • Figure 10: Video game industry top sites for advertising by percentage of spend, 2021
    • Publishers went big on game ads, while consoles showcased services
      • Figure 11: Top video game industry companies by advertising spend, 2021
      • Figure 12: Top individual desktop video ads, 2021
  5. Key Developments in 2021

    • Big financial moves – IPOs and acquisitions
    • Legal issues – Apple vs Epic, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Activison Blizzard
    • Award winning games of 2021
      • Figure 13: Condensed list of The Game Awards 2021 winners
  6. Market Factors Impacting Gaming in 2022

    • Metaverse, Roblox and child labor
    • Sour grapes over a gaming success story or whistle-blower?
      • Figure 14: Games media examines Roblox’s business model, 2022
    • Blockchain, Crypto and gaming NFTs
      • Figure 15: Gaming media call out Ubisoft’s NFT requirements, 2021
    • Impact of COVID-19 on gaming
  7. What’s Coming In 2022

    • More big console news in 2022 or just more speculation?
    • Exclusive games, the sellers of systems
    • Xbox will look to capitalize on its recent acquisitions
      • Figure 16: Starfield from Bethesda games, 2021
    • PlayStation feels like it hasn’t fully moved past the PS4 with new sequels
      • Figure 17: God Of War: Ragnarok from Santa Monica Studio, 2021
    • Nintendo’s tent poles Pokémon and Zelda are evergreen
      • Figure 18: Pokémon Legends Arceus from Game Freak and The Pokémon Company, 2022
    • Subscription services will become a battleground
    • VR will continue to grow and metaverse will continue to puzzle
  8. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Connecting with consumers and brands in a world without E3
    • 2022 will be a huge year for video game movies
    • Netflix expands gaming-related shows, other services should take note
    • What Mintel’s 2022 Consumer Trends mean for video games
    • Ethics Check
      • Figure 19: Attitudes toward gaming company behavior, by consumer gaming segment, 2021
      • Figure 20: Attitudes toward bias in gaming, by multicultural young adults aged 18-34, 2021
      • Figure 21: Video game ad prevention measures, by generations, 2021
  9. The Video Game Consumer: Fast Facts

    • 55% of adult gamers play on a smartphone
    • 27% of gamers play to socialize with friends, the top gaming motivator
    • 46% of adult gamers play on a daily basis
    • 54% of Socializers scored new hardware, leading hardware purchasers
    • 49% of console gamers wanted to purchase a hardware upgrade in 2021
    • 33% of gamers tried out a new gaming genre in 2021
    • 30% of gamers want to see their favorite games on snack food bags
    • 53% of gamers agree, games are an important way to connect with others
    • 75% of gamers still prefer to play a game, rather than watch someone else
  10. Gaming Devices and Playing Frequency

    • Mobile drives growth in gaming audience in 2021
      • Figure 22: Video game devices played, 2019-21
    • Device preferences likely influenced by recent console releases for frequent gamers
      • Figure 23: Weekly (“active”) gamers, by device used, 2019-21
  11. Motivations for Playing and Gamer Segments

    • Core reasons for play results in four distinct segments of gamers
      • Figure 24: Top reasons for playing video games – Grouped by motivations, 2021
    • Mintel gamer segments
      • Figure 25: Gamer segments, 2021
      • Figure 26: Top reasons for playing video games, by gamer segments, 2021
    • Who are the Achievers
    • Characteristics
    • Demographics
      • Figure 27: Primary Achievers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Who are the Explorers
    • Characteristics
    • Demographics
      • Figure 28: Primary Explorers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Who are the Socializers
    • Characteristics
    • Demographics
      • Figure 29: Primary Socializers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Who are the Competitors
    • Characteristics
    • Demographics
      • Figure 30: Primary Competitors, by key demographics, 2021
    • Who are the Other gamers?
      • Figure 31: Other gamers, by key demographics, 2021
  12. Engagement with Gaming

    • Weathering change, gaming has a consistent place in player’s schedules
      • Figure 32: Frequency of gaming (NETS), 2019-21
    • Despite lockdown relaxation, anticipated gaming time remains stable
      • Figure 33: Anticipated gaming time in the coming year vs prior year, 2019-21
    • Multiplayer-focused gamers look for something to capture their attention
      • Figure 34: Anticipated gaming time in 2022 vs 2021, by gamer segment, 2021
    • Session length stable at the low end but fluctuates at higher intervals
      • Figure 35: Time spent playing games in an average week, 2019-21
    • Most gamers are watching gaming media but don’t devote much time
      • Figure 36: Time spent engaged with gaming content in an average week, 2019-21
  13. Gaming Purchases

    • Despite limited availability, many gamers bought new hardware
      • Figure 37: Gaming purchases in the past 12 months, 2021
    • Among new gaming hardware purchasers, Socializers led the pack in 2021
      • Figure 38: Gaming purchases in the past 12 months – Gaming hardware, by gamer segment, 2021
    • Gamers still prefer physical games, but Achievers may be flipping
      • Figure 39: Gaming purchases in the past 12 months – Video games, by gamer segment, 2021
    • Competition may lead to a more actively engaged streaming audience
      • Figure 40: Gaming purchases in the past 12 months – Other gaming purchases, by gamer segment, 2021
  14. Hardware Upgrades

    • Continuing interest from 2020, next gen consoles remain in high demand
      • Figure 41: Gaming hardware upgrades (NETs), by device type, 2021
      • Figure 42: Interest in gaming innovations, 2020
    • While price concerns restrain many, some impatient gamers aren’t waiting
      • Figure 43: Gaming hardware upgrades (details), by device type, 2021
      • Figure 44: PS5 scalping a known issue since launch, 2020
  15. Leisure and Gaming Time Pre-COVID vs Post-vaccine

    • Gaming as virtual tourism in a COVID-19 variant environment
      • Figure 45: More time spent with different types of games due to COVID-19 and vaccines, 2020-21
    • While interest in gaming media grew in 2021, traditional video entertainment still reigns
      • Figure 46: More time spent with different media due to COVID-19 and vaccines, 2020-21
  16. Gaming Food and Beverage Collaborations

    • Gamers looking for tie-in supermarket products prioritize convenience
      • Figure 47: Interest in gaming food and beverage collaborations, 2021
      • Figure 48: Trolli candy and Xbox Game Pass collaboration, 2021
    • Convenience may be king, but gamer segments have specific preferences
      • Figure 49: Interest in gaming food and beverage collaborations, by gamer segment indexed to all, 2021
      • Figure 50: Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and MK11 breakfast cereal Easter eggs, 2019
      • Figure 51: Final Fantasy café menu, Osaka, Japan, 2021
  17. Attitudes toward the Gaming Community

    • PlayStation and Discord partnership could be a big step toward bringing gamers closer
      • Figure 52: Attitudes toward the gaming community – Any agree, 2020 and 2021
      • Figure 53: Attitudes toward video games for connection – Any agree, by gamer segment, 2021
    • Women and multicultural gamers still feel left out of the gaming industry
      • Figure 54: Attitudes toward feeling like a part of the gaming community, by key demographics, 2021
  18. Attitudes toward Gaming Monetization and Viewership

    • Gamers still prefer saving money over getting an uncertain mix of games
      • Figure 55: Attitudes toward gameplay – Free games and subscriptions, 2021
    • Gaming media may influence and excite but won’t supplant gaming
      • Figure 56: Attitudes toward watching and following gamers, 2021
  19. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


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