Family-themed computer games are the new black

Halo 3

The booming popularity of non-violent and family-themed computer games helped the value of US game sales increase by 28% to $US9.5 billion, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

Almost 20% of all games sold in 2007 were in the family entertainment genre, a 110% increase on the 9.1% sold in 2006. M-rated games made up 15.5% of games sold, 56.5% were rated for all audiences and 28% rated “Teen”.

Console games sales constituted the biggest share of all sales, with $US6.6 billion worth of games sold, ahead of portable game sales on $US2 billion and computer game sales on $US910 million.

The ESA says the growing importance of the games industry is reflected in the fact that the release of the year’s biggest game, Halo 3, took in more revenue in its first day of sales than the biggest opening weekend ever for a movie (Spider-Man 3) and the final Harry Potter book’s first day sales.

“The video game industry set the pace over all others in 2007, with record-breaking sales, off-the-charts consumer demand, and innovation reaching from galactic exploration to guitar simulation,” ESA chief executive Michael Gallagher says. “On average, an astonishing nine games were sold every second of every day of the year.”

 

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