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Businesses The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Games Industry Growth Outpacing US Economy 54

Gamasutra is reporting that the Entertainment Software Association believes the games industry has outstripped the US economy as a whole. In fact, the group found that the industry grew by an astonishing 17% between 2003-2006, some 13% faster than the general US economy. "The ESA states that the video game industry contributed $3.8 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in 2006. Though 24,000 are directly employed, according to the report in total 80,000 are employed directly and indirectly by the industry in 31 states and U.S.-based game industry employees received a total of $2.2 billion in compensation. Predictably, California is the largest employer in the video game industry, accounting for around 40% of the nation's industry jobs. California industry growth was 12.3% last year, which the ESA claims is "nearly three times faster" than the state's overall growth."
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Games Industry Growth Outpacing US Economy

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  • ...people on the news start talking about bubbles and stuff.
  • by king-manic ( 409855 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @05:55PM (#21510451)
    It's likely eating at other parts of the entertainment industry. $50 and 20h spent on COD 4 is $50 and 20h not spend going to movies or buying CD's. Music and cinema have declined in the last 10 years. This may be why (not piracy).
    • by feepness ( 543479 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @06:48PM (#21511115) Homepage

      Music and cinema have declined in the last 10 years. This may be why (not piracy).
      If music and cinema didn't want their lunches stolen they should have marked there lunches and not left them in the fridge over the weekend.
    • and when they realize that making a video game adaptation of every blockbuster movie doesn't help movie sales when the game sucks complete monkey chow.
      • It doesn't help, but it probably doesn't hurt given the low expectations for all timed release movie-to-game adaptations. They make the game because it will sell at predictable, profitable numbers to kids who like the movie and don't know to play better games. As far as the movie companies are concerned, it's like t-shirts or lunch boxes: they make them because people will buy them. Enough people to turn a profit. And, naturally, they make them as cheaply as they can without it hurting sales or causing comp
        • by dintech ( 998802 )
          I wish I was one of those kids. Imagine the awe and wonder at discovering Half-Life 2 after years of wandering in the desert of movie tie-ins and EA Sports iterations. Unfortunately my first exposures were with games like Monkey Island 2, Frontier: Elite 2 and Civilization so I'll never know what that feels like...
    • by Targon ( 17348 )
      There are many issues why the music and cinema industries have been losing ground, and anyone who frequents Slashdot would know about the issues.

      Between the high costs to buy a CD vs. downloading an individual track for $0.99 online, of course that will cut back on sales of CDs. It used to be that one or two good tracks on a CD would be enough for some to buy the whole CD, and that just doesn't work anymore. And that only accounts for losses from people who do things legally. You do have piracy that a
      • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
        Supposedly the rule of thumb in the movie industry is that the demand for more special effects grows at the same rate as the prices for existing tech go down so the prices remain stable.
  • by davevt5 ( 30696 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @05:55PM (#21510455) Homepage Journal
    I'm not being facetious in asking why the growth RATE of the games industry being higher than the growth rate of the economy is a big deal? Don't all new technology industries have higher growth rates than the economy as a whole?

  • In related news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siufish ( 814496 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @05:58PM (#21510497)
    Children growth outpacing adults. We're doomed!
  • and people in other countries like to buy them. Of course it'll be just an excuse for Wall Street to start speculating, overvaluing game companies, then losing a lot of money.
    • by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @06:34PM (#21510919) Journal
      That is an extremely arrogant point of view to have.

      Britain and Japan both have amazingly good game makers and no single country really excels above the others, they're just better in some areas in general. One could argue that the US's biggest games company is EA, which most Slashdotters at least see as the lowest of the ;low in terms of quality products.
      • by Kohath ( 38547 )
        That is an extremely arrogant point of view to have.

        It's extremely arrogant to think that your team/group/squad/country/self may be the best at something?

        You must be fun at sporting events. "Quick everyone, stop the we're number 1 chant before Alphonse hears you. We don't need another lecture on how arrogant we are and how the other team has good players too. He also disapproves of your giant foam finger, your hat with sports team logo, and your body paint because all the teams' logos aren't represente
      • "Britain and Japan both have amazingly good game makers"

        I'd dispute that as of late, they have had a pretty good record but... certain companies make some good games but God of War and God of War for the PS2 were truly japan shattering games for me. You could tell GoW and GoW 2 were made by *gamers*.

        On the PS2 I almost played *exlcusively* american games, with the exception of Final fantasy and xenosaga and both left a bad taste in my mouth. I loved Xenosaga's story but the gameplay just didn't hang toge
        • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
          Might want to try Mario Galaxy, the rating average for that is 2nd best game ever (or best if you consider that OOT has only 30 reviews listed and back when it had 30 SMG was rated higher than OOT).
      • I thought EA was mostly based in Canada. There's a lot of great game companies in Canada (Bioware, Ubisoft's Montreal studios etc.) and I would never be so audacious as to say we have the best. Especially when there's a Wii sitting in my living room...
  • In fact, the group found that the industry grew by an astonishing 17% between 2003-2006, some 13% faster than the general US economy.

    That's astonishing? 13% faster in 3 years is actually kind of weak, considering the fact that the videogame industry is still maturing, the fact that games used to be just for kids, but now have a much bigger audience than they did even in the 90s.
  • Games Industry Growth Outpacing US Economy
    A trend like this will continue until the economy stops growing at all, and all people do is either write games or play them.
  • by Lendrick ( 314723 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @06:27PM (#21510843) Homepage Journal
    ...seeing as how nowadays you can outpace the US economy just by not tanking.
  • that make me wish the economy was using a bartering system.

    i mean, sure contributing 3.8 billion dollars to the U.S. GDP sounds like a lot.... but it wouldn't even hold a candle to someone saying:

    "The video game industry contributed a whopping 3.8 billion 'chickens' toward the U.S. Gross Domestic Product."

    Now thats a number that will raise some eyebrows!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by snowraver1 ( 1052510 )
      You have to use currency conversion in order to make that work.

      Assuming an exchange rate of $10 to one chicken (the cost in the store, live chickens may be less, chicks SIGNIFICANTLY less.) The game industry would only be contributing a whopping 380 million chickens.

      Now imaging batering in crickets. Crickets cost only $0.10! That would work out to 38 BILLION crickets. Now that is ALOT.

      You could also go crazy and barter with something that has no value at all, like dog shit. Now you get an INFIN
  • and yet... (Score:3, Funny)

    by DragonTHC ( 208439 ) <Dragon@gPERIODam ... .com minus punct> on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @07:24PM (#21511555) Homepage Journal
    most of us still can't break into the industry! go figure.
    • most of us still can't break into the industry!
      I've been told that the first step is to move to greater Seattle or another metropolitan area where multiple video game development studios are located. But some of us, even those with 4-year college degrees, either do not have the first idea about how to plan relocation or don't have enough savings.
      • Re:Move? (Score:4, Funny)

        by Saige ( 53303 ) <evil.angela@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday November 28, 2007 @08:21PM (#21512247) Journal
        You can do it my way.

        Keep trying to find a position at Microsoft until you get one. Once you do, then they'll relocate you to the Seattle area. Spend a couple years on the team doing good work and befriending people on the Xbox team until positions open up. Start applying for them.

        Here I am, working on the Xbox, and I love it. And now that I have experience in the game industry, it'll be a lot easier to continue to stay in it should I want to leave Microsoft.

        Yes, I realize that to most people on /., the thought of working at MS is unpalatable. I'm just saying.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Do yourself a favor and run as far away from the game industry as you can. It may look shiny and pretty but man-oh-man you get exploited worse than you ever could imagine. Here are some of the benefits: Low pay, long hours, guilt-slinging producers who look at you funny when you don't want to work 11+ hours everyday, Plus, you're most likely working on something that is a derivative to the nth degree, and based on a licensed property that you had no say in creating.

      Basically, if you have artistic spirit
      • by Grave ( 8234 )
        You seem to be confusing the general industry with EA. Also, if you want to do any job for the money, you're in the wrong business. You should do a job because you enjoy it. Is video game development easy? No, it's a lot of hard work and long hours, and if you're not willing to do that, why would you get into that kind of job?

        Not everybody ends up working on derivative properties (though many certainly do), and not everybody ends up producing games that will be traded in after a couple months to buy the
        • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
          EA is hardly the only company with horrible work conditions. Was it Sierra that got nailed for foprcing employees to falsify their time sheets so they don't get paid overtime?
    • I've worked in games for several years. Been on both sides of the interview desk.

      To break in, you need a demo. It means more than anything on your resume, including your college degree.

      Code a game. A simple game is fine, but it should be polished.

      If you can't program, then make a demo using mod tools or Adventure Game Studio. Or create a really good 3D model.

      If your demo is good, you'll get a job.
  • ...this means nothing. The game industry is a subset of the US economy. (partially) This means that it balances out with industries that arent doing so well. (housing, for instance) Consider it like this:
    If we take the average of five numbers: 3,4,5,6,7
    average is 5
    if we raise one number (the 4), we have: 3,5,5,6,7
    the average is now 5.2
    one number went up 25%
    the average went up 4%
    if the trend continues, but a different number (the 5) goes down, but half as fast, then we still have a net increase, but the numb
  • More people are spending more time gaming and less time working :-)
  • How is the economy supposed to grow with all those people playing Halo 3 and WoW?
  • The article continues, "But for the 43rd year, European economic growth was exceed by the video game industry, the general consumer electronics industry, the potato industry, the chalkboard industry, and the marischino cherry industry."

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker