ESA/Video Games in the 21st Century: the 2010 Report
The Entertainment Software Association has released a study showing just how important the  video game industry is to the U.S. economy. Apparently it’s really really  important.
By InGame reporter
NBC News
updated 8/11/2010 3:47:25 PM ET 2010-08-11T19:47:25

The video game industry would like you to know that the video game industry is really, really important to the U.S. economy.

The Entertainment Software Association — the trade association that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers — has just released a report that outlines the impact the business of video gaming has on individual wallets and state economies.

According to the new study — titled "Video Games in the 21st Century: the 2010 Report" — the computer and video game industry added $4.9 billion to the U.S. economy in 2009. The study also found that the entertainment software industry's real annual growth rate from 2005 to 2009 exceeded 10 percent, more than seven times the growth rate of the U.S. economy as a whole.

Some of their other key findings include:

  • The computer and video game industry directly employs more than 32,000 individuals, a number that has increased by nearly nine percent annually since 2005.
  • The industry directly and indirectly employs more than 120,000 people in the United States.
  • Industry employees earned an average annual compensation of $89,781 in 2009.
  • Total compensation for all workers directly employed in the computer and video game industry was nearly $2.9 billion in 2009.
  • California remains the largest employer of game personnel in the nation, providing more than $2.6 billion in direct and indirect compensation to Californians last year.
  • Entertainment software companies in the Golden State added approximately $2.1 billion to the state's economy.
  • The six states with the greatest number of entertainment software industry employees were, in order, California, Texas, Washington, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois.

"Despite a challenging economic environment, the entertainment software industry continues to grow and create new jobs at a rapid pace," Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, said in a statement. "Computer and video game companies have made an important contribution to our nation's economy while stimulating technological innovations and expanding the impact of games on our daily lives."

If you'd like to take a gander at the full report and its many handy charts, look here.

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Video: Video games of August


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