The United States is the world’s biggest market for gaming. It generates almost $55 billion each year, 25% more than second-placed China where $44 billion was spent on gaming-related products and services in 2022. While the US is already out in front, its lead is made even more impressive by the fact that its population less than a quarter of China.
And with many gaming companies either being headquartered in the country or having a sizable regional base there, what happens to the gaming market in the United States usually affects the rest of the world too.
This is especially true for what titles are popular. With just a few exceptions for local sports like baseball, games that sell well in the American market are likely to succeed elsewhere. So let’s see what’s happening in the USA right now.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty has, like clockwork, had a new instalment released every year for almost two decades now. In more recent times, Activision has actually churned out more than one title in a single year.
Call of Duty: Mobile and Call of Duty: Warzone are two free-to-play versions that pack in many of the same features as the paid-for releases but offer only online play and are filled in-game purchases via microtransactions.
The latest games were only released a couple of months ago and Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile is due to drop in the coming months. So in addition to being hugely popular right now, we can expect the CoD franchise to remain a big hit right through the rest of this year.
Casino games have always been popular in the United States, especially in cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. But in recent years, they’ve been given a new lease on life thanks to online casinos that have made it easier than ever to enjoy games like blackjack, roulette, and video slots.
But it’s not just convenience that they offer, either. Online casinos have helped to develop new genres and versions of these classic games with innovative implementations of technology. For example, live dealer games combine many elements common in online casinos with a live video feed of a human dealer and physical game pieces like cards and/or a wheel. This helps to create a much more immersive and engaging experience that’s proven popular.
Boosting the popularity even further, many leading online casinos, like FanDuel, offer bonuses to new players when they first sign up and make a deposit. This added value has made the proposition even more attractive and encouraged more players to rediscover this popular pastime.
Minecraft will turn 12 years old this year, yet it remains one of the most popular video games played today. Its success lies in its open-endedness, allowing players to build just about anything they could imagine inside this blocky world.
The game is available on almost every platform, including all major consoles, computers, and smartphones. A wide range of licensed Minecraft merchandise also helps to popularise it by increasing brand awareness among the public.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Released last year, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the latest video game in the Pokémon franchise. Since its release, its won widespread acclaim from players and critics alike, including 9/10 from Nintendo World Report, and 4.5/5 from Hardcore gamer.
It also sold 6.5 million copies in its first week, and surpassed 14 million by October. Not only that, but Pokémon Legends: Arceus won the Nintendo Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards.
The RPG game was praised for balancing the addition of modern features with the preservation of the feeling of past titles. It also added improved graphics and introduced a new dynamic for players to consider since the player’s own character can also be attacked by wild Pokémon, requiring new approaches.
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West is a sequel to the 2017 title Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic United States following an extinction event that saw most humans get wiped out by robots.
Released for the PlayStation 4 and 5, this Sony exclusive was one of the best selling games of 2022 and it remains popular today. Its success and popularity were driven by the much larger map from the previous game in the series while still retaining many of the original features that made it stand out.
This new Horizon game will continue to be a hit for much of 2023, both in the US and the rest of the world.