While recent studio closures and layoffs have shown that the video game industry is far from recession-proof, game publishers still managed to post record-breaking sales numbers for 2008.
According to a press release issued by the Entertainment Software Association this morning, video game hardware and software sales exceeded $22 billion last year. That figure represents a 23% increase over 2007.
Nearly $12 billion of total industry revenues came from game software sales. The industry finished the year strong, with December sales topping the $5 billion mark.
ESA boss Mike Gallagher commented on the impressive revenue figures:
Even in difficult economic times, the video game industry continues to support our country’s local, state and national economies with record-breaking sales figures and rapid technological innovation.
Our industry’s exceptional creators, artists, and storytellers, coupled with a commitment to providing unparalleled entertainment, have fueled high-octane growth, turning video games into the most sought-after medium on the market today.
The ESA also broke down sales by ESRB rating:
- E rating - 45.3%
- E10+ rating - 12.1%
- T rating - 26.7%
- M rating - 15.9%
The sales data included in the ESA press release was compiled by the NPD Group.