US Video Game Industry Achieves $36 Billion in Revenue in 2017

US Video Game Industry Achieves $36 Billion in Revenue in 2017

The US videogame industry produced a record $36 billion in revenue in 2017, according to new data released on Thursday by the Entertainment Software Association and The NPD Group.

“2017 was a special year for the industry, and for everyone who loves
games,” said Mat Piscatella, The NPD Group’s video game industry
analyst in a press release. “Developers created content that delighted gamers across all
gaming platforms. From mobile to PC, and from console to virtual
reality, growth was achieved because the passion of gamers was matched
only by the talent of game makers.”

Hardware revenue grew to $6.9 billion in 2017 from $5.8 billion in 2016, while software revenue grew to $29.1 billion from $24.6 billion. Hardware sales figures include peripherals, while software sales figures include in-game purchases and subscriptions.

In total, US videogame industry revenue grew by 18% in 2017, a difference of $5.6 billion compared to 2016.

“The spectacular growth of our industry in 2017 proves videogame
developers, artists, and storytellers are the brightest lights in the US
economy, finding more ways to delight the world’s 2.6 billion gamers
each year,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, which
represents the US videogame industry. “Congratulations to our
industry’s brilliant creators on delivering another record year of
remarkable entertainment that inspired the passion of gamers everywhere.”


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ESA Issues Response to Gaming Disorder Draft Proposal

ESA Issues Response to Gaming Disorder Draft Proposal

The Entertainment Software Association has given their official response to the release of draft language from the World Health Organization on video games.

In response to cases of video game addiction, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been taking steps to add an official description for “gaming disorder” to their diagnostic manual. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released an official statement in reaction the WHO’s release of draft language.

“Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of engaging entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated with their time. Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than 2 billion people around the world enjoy video games. The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive,” The statement reads, “and, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community. We strongly encourage the WHO to reverse direction on its proposed action.”

The ESA represents the US video game industry, serving many software publishers through conducting business and consumer research. In addition, the ESA provides legal and policy analysis along while also owning and operating E3.

Those interested in following the ESA’s actions can check out the organization’s Twitter pages here and here.


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Fighting Malaria Through Videogames

Fighting Malaria Through Videogames

Videogames are a great tool for learning and raising awareness of social issues in the world. They often times get overlooked because of lack of coverage or people just don’t care. One game that has been getting recognition is Mosquito Hood by Momentum Core.

The game consists of the player swatting mosquitos and gets more difficult with each level. When the player defeats the game, the Kenyan government donates an insecticide treated mosquito net to a family in areas that are high risk for malaria.

A lot of games that make promises like this aren’t always honest, but through Mosquito Hood, more than 1,400 nets have been delivered since the game launched in 2013. Not only that, but the Malaria Control Department of the Kenya Ministry of Health, along with other NGOs will help the families who get the nets to get information on malaria prevention.  Momentum Core is also working on an offline version of the game for schools and youth groups.

All this is a pretty big deal. Over half a million people die from malaria each year, and 90% of those deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to insecticide treated nets, malaria transmission drops by 50% and child deaths by 20% when used properly.

This isn’t the only game that Momentum Core is working on. The Nairobi based company also has a game to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Pamoja Mtaani, which is Swahili for Together in the Hood, is a game where players have to put together a puzzle to reveal images with information on the illness, and it features five East African characters and their experience with HIV/AIDS. The puzzles have to be completed within the time limit or by using a certain number of moves.

CEO Allan Mukhwana told HumanIPO,  “At Momentum Core we wish the game to be an effective way of influencing behavioural changes in young players who play the game from an early age. Education is more than reading, writing and arithmetic. An important component in any educational system should be health education.”

There are roughly 35 million people in the world with HIV/AIDS, and 69% of them are in sub-Saharan Africa. While there are movements to help prevent spreading it, education is an important tool needed to do that.

“Health education deals with influencing or changing attitudes and behavior, with life skills. Such education is promoted by teachers’ unions at national level, but also requires international support and initiatives such as this game by Momentum Core. The educational system is the most important means of reaching young people to stop the spread of AIDS,” Mukhwana said.

Right now, the African gaming industry is still in it’s infancy. In 2012 it generated roughly 2.2 billion in revenue, and is expected to reach 3.3 billion by 2017. The level of access to broadband is fairly low, so console and PC gaming isn’t as popular, but mobile gaming is fairly big.

If games help to fight these social issues and raise awareness, then why not develop them. Certain touchy subjects can become more acceptable and with more education can help reduce numbers.

Frank Gibeau Quits EA Games Mobile

Frank Gibeau Quits EA Games Mobile

After 23 years, Frank Gibeau leaves EA Mobile, according to a report EA filed with the U.S. Secretaries and Exchange Commissions.

The SEC report says that Gibeau has “chosen to transition on from the Company.”  The announcement was made during his last day as an EA Employee, on May 18.

Gibeau was the Executive Vice President of EA Mobile as of 2013. Prior to that, he was the President of EA Games and EA Labels among other positions listed on his LinkedIn page since first working with EA in 1991. Gibeau has helped shape one of the most influential gaming companies in the world. Some of the titles he worked on include Plants vs. Zombies, The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Madden NFL, and Need for Speed.

Gibeau was considered for the position of CEO after John Riccitiello left back in March 2013, but lost it to Andrew Wilson. There have been several losses to the company since then, including CTO Rajat Taneja, and a number of layoffs to the EA Mobile Montreal branch in February of this year.
simpsonstappedinsert1Despite the layoffs, EA announced this May that the mobile revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter rose because of mobile games, specifically in-app purchases. It went up 22% to $150 million.

Gibeau told GamesBeat, “… I’ve accomplished all that I could have imagined and more. I’m very proud of all the great games that I had a chance to work on. I thank EA for the opportunity and wish them the very best.”

According to Polygon, Wilson said, “… Frank’s made many significant contributions to the company, our people and our games. Most recently, he’s worked to strengthen EA Mobile by building a great team. We’d like to thank Frank for his achievements at EA, and we wish him all the best in his next chapter.”

Wilson also stressed that mobile games will continue to be the core focus for EA, saying, “… thanks to our incredibly talented mobile teams, our position has never been stronger. With a foundation of key titles, core strength in live services that provide years of entertainment, and new games that are bringing in more players, engagement across the EA Mobile portfolio continues to grow.”
simpsonstappedinsert2There is no replacement announced to take Gibeau’s position, but for now the EA Mobile team will now report to Wilson, as said in a statement.

While sudden, some analysts had been predicting it for some time now. Analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan’s told VG 24/7 that Gibeau would leave back in 2014. Pachter said, “He was reassigned to a much less influential position and promptly sold all of his stock, so I think he is planning a move soon.”

Gibeau’s one of three executives to recently leave their companies. Don Mattrick of Zynga left a few weeks ago and Phil Harrison left Microsoft in April.