Study: Video Games Generated $18 Billion for U.S. Economy in 2005

The video-game industry, which supported 144,000 full-time jobs and accounted for more than $8 billion in game sales in 2004, had an $18 billion impact on the U.S. economy that year, according to a new study to be released on Wednesday.

Estimates call for video-game sales to grow to $15 billion by 2010. Industry employment is expected to leap nearly 75 percent to 250,000 jobs by 2009.

The study, written by Robert Crandall of the Brookings Institution and J. Gregory Sidak of the Georgetown University Law Center, was funded by the Entertainment Software Association and will be discussed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

The authors found that direct and indirect contributions of entertainment software to the nation's gross national output, a measure of the value of goods and services produced in an economy, exceeded $18 billion in 2004 — a figure they said would steadily increase as the industry grows.

The North America video-game market, including sales of games and players such as consoles and hand-held devices, was valued at $12.6 billion in 2005 and is forecast to expand to $17.2 billion by 2010, according to research firm DFC Intelligence.