How Many Video Games Are There? 17 Playful Stats
Updated · May 20, 2022
Most people associate the term “video games” with the traditional console and television setup. Alternatively, they may think of computers.
In reality, today's most popular gaming platform is mobile—our phones. The video games available on mobile storefronts vastly outnumber those available on traditional media.
In this article, we’ll discuss how many video games there are and who plays them.
(Spoiler: a lifetime will be nowhere near enough to play them all.)
Playful Video Game Facts (Editor’s Choice)
- July 8 marks National Video Game Day… and so does September 12.
- There are more than 30 video game genres.
- Steam is home to 67,821+ games.
- 10,696 new games were released on Steam in 2021.
- There are over 288,000 games on the App Store…
- …and 449,000 on the Google Play Store.
- PlayStation had 980 game releases in 2021.
- Only 10.9% of new console game releases have a physical edition.
- There are 2.95 billion gamers worldwide.
- More than 66% of people in the US play video games.
The Most Popular Video Games Today and of All Time
There are lots of games out there, but that doesn’t automatically mean they are all exemplary.
A couple of titles have been dominating the charts for a while, despite thousands upon thousands of new titles coming out every year.
Let’s see why.
1. There are over 831,000 games in total.
It’s hard to say how many games there are in the world.
There are 67,821 games on Steam, 4,333 on GOG, 265 on the Ubisoft Store, 12,062 on Nintendo Switch, 5,366 on PlayStation 4, 974 on PlayStation 5, and 3,059 on Xbox. That’s 93,880 video games on traditional platforms.
However, there are also 288,153 games on the App Store and 449,490 on the Google Play Store, bringing the total up to 831,523.
That said, it’s difficult to calculate how many unique video games exist. Most games are released on multiple platforms, which means that a good chunk of the numbers above represent duplicates—i.e., different versions of the same game.
In other words, the true count is likely much lower.
2. Minecraft has sold 238 million copies.
(Source: HP Tech)
The most popular video game in 2022 is Minecraft—by a very, very long shot.
Not only is it the best-selling video game of all time with a record 238 million copies sold, but it’s also ridiculously popular today with a global monthly player base of over 141 million people. Even the mighty Fortnite has barely half of that.
Grand Theft Auto V’s sales of 150 million copies place it second, whereas EA’s version of Tetris has sold 100 million, making third place.
3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was so bad it led to a video game crash in 1983.
Different folks like different games, and even the most popular titles rarely get 10/10 scores. But there’s one game that was so bad everyone agrees it deserves a 0/10.
Released in 1982, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was based on Steven Spielberg’s eponymous film. Unlike the film, though, the game received universal criticism. It flopped so hard that Atari, the developer, decided to bury unsold copies in New Mexico and cover them with concrete. (We’re not joking.)
After the E.T. disaster, the whole video game industry suffered—revenues dropped from $3.2 billion to $100 million in what became known as the “Atari shock.”
When the market (eventually) recovered, it was Japanese companies such as Nintendo and SEGA that gave birth to modern gaming as we know it.
4. Only 10.9% of new console game releases have a physical edition.
(Source: Ars Technica)
Since PC gamers rarely ever buy physical copies anymore, and mobile games are digital-only anyways, we at Web Tribunal decided to focus on consoles for this stat.
Several years ago, the console market reached a tipping point where more people chose digital downloads over discs. Now, only 10.9% of new games even have a physical edition.
That said, there are a couple of considerations we should take into account. If we’re talking about major video game titles, then 56.4% of them are still released on both mediums.
If, however, we focus on smaller companies and indie publishers, we see a very different picture—barely 8.1% of their games came with a physical edition.
5. In the US, 36.9% of gamers find the download speeds for digital content to be frustratingly slow.
Considering how many games require you to download them, we can definitely sympathize with people who have bad internet connections.
We can also totally relate with that 21.3% who complained about downloads getting interrupted and having to be restarted. That’s just painful.
Funnily, only 16% report not having any problems. Maybe we should keep physical editions around until we improve our internet networks sufficiently…
Video Game Statistics for 2022: What Are the Main Consoles and Platforms?
A Triple-A title for consoles often requires the combined efforts of thousands of developers over years. A single semi-decent programmer can create a mobile game in a day.
Granted, there are plenty of low-quality games on consoles and many gems on mobile. In general terms, though, this explains why the mobile market is home to tens of times the number of games available across all other platforms combined.
Let’s take a look at the numbers.
6. Steam is home to 67,821+ games.
Most PC gamers swear by Steam. It’s by far the largest video game platform on PC, as well as one of the oldest.
So, how many games are on Steam in 2022?
At the time of writing of this article: 67,821.
Keep in mind, however, that this figure is constantly increasing as new games are released. Of course, you can always go on Steam and check the current number yourself—just make sure Steam isn’t filtering titles based on your preferences, though.
7. In 2021, 10,696 new games were released on Steam.
The first game on Steam that players could purchase digitally was Half-Life 2, which came out in 2004. That same year, a total of 37 games saw the light of day on Steam.
During the platform’s first decade, there were around 300 new releases annually. It wasn’t until 2014 that it really picked up, when 1,631 new titles were released, nearly doubling the size of its catalog. Then 2021 set a new record, boasting 10,696 releases in a single year.
In the good old days, hardcore gamers would buy every new title and showcase their complete libraries as a badge of honor. Although, in light of how many games there are on Steam, we’re afraid that’s simply unsustainable nowadays—unless, of course, you have millions of dollars to spare.
Plus, if you want to actually play all the games you buy and not simply showcase them online, you’ll pretty much need to bend time itself.
8. There are 5,366 games on PlayStation 4.
Up until not so long ago, the PlayStation 4 was perhaps the most important gaming platform.It was where many AAA titles made most of their profits.
There were also the dozens of incredible exclusives that put people who bought an Xbox One on suicide watch. So, how many PS4 games are there in reality?
Just 5,366. Steam gets that many in half a year!
Now, consider that the PS4 came out nine years ago and the discrepancy gets even starker.
Fun fact: The PS2 (aka the best-selling console of all time) sold 155 million units worldwide although it only had about half of the games the PS4 does. So, we’d say success isn’t really about how many video games there are on a certain console, but about how good those games are—quality over quantity.
9. There are 974 games on PlayStation 5.
PlayStation 4’s younger brother came out a year-and-a-half ago but is still suffering from stock shortages in parts of the world. Nevertheless, it already boasts a library of 974 games. At this rate, it’ll likely surpass the PS4 in no time!
Now, if only we could get our hands on one, that’d be great.
Fun fact: PlayStation saw 980 game releases in 2021, though this figure includes all PlayStation games, and not just PS5 exclusives.
10. Google just removed 220,000 games from the Play Store.
Remember how many games are on the Google Play Store?
Let us remind you—449,490.
Just a few months ago, however, this figure stood at 670,447. So, what happened? Well, Google updated its policy with some new security measures that require developers to target an API level within two years of the latest Android update. Those who failed to update their apps accordingly became “undiscoverable.”
Fun fact: Apple removes outdated apps, too, though at a much lower rate. At the beginning of 2021, 66,000 games (21% of the total) were removed from the App Store. Google’s recent purge affected 33%.
Video Games’ Demographics in 2022
Who said games are for kids?
Two-thirds of people in the US play them, and—last we checked—kids don’t make up two-thirds of the population.
Let’s take a look at who is actually playing the games.
11. There are 2.95 billion gamers worldwide.
That’s 37% of the Earth’s population.
Curiously, gaming has really picked up in recent years (5.6% CAGR). Back in 2015, 1.99 billion people played video games. In just seven years, the market has expanded to accommodate a billion more.
By 2023, the number of gamers is expected to break through the three billion mark.
12. At least 66% of people in the US play video games.
Now that we know what the situation is globally, let’s look into how many Americans play video games.
The latest statistics indicate that over 66% of the general population (people aged 13+) does. That’s over 200 million people. Furthermore, it’s not just young people either—42% of gamers are 35 or older, and 16% are older than 55!
Fun fact: The penetration rate of gaming in the US is among the highest in the world. The UK boasts a similar rate, but it’s 50% for the rest of Europe and even lower elsewhere.
13. 93% of boys aged 8-11 play video games.
We know plenty of adults fancy themselves some video game action every now and then. But do we know how many kids play video games?
Absolutely. In the US, 93% of boys aged 8-11 say they do, making them the most video-game-loving cohort.
Girls aged 12-15 are the least enthusiastic about video games, as only (only!) 79% report playing.
Across both genders and age groups, an average 72% of them game every day. Interestingly, mobile phones are slightly more popular than consoles among older kids—56% play on the former while only 51% use the latter.
14. 60% of gamer kids aged 8-11 play Minecraft.
As we discussed earlier, Minecraft tops the video games list for the most popular title in 2022. Unsurprisingly, 60% of gamers aged 8-11 play it, as do 49% of those in the 12-15 cohort. For comparison, only 37% and 35%, respectively, play Fortnite.
Fun fact: Minecraft can be an amazing education tool. The game can keep youngsters entertained while they learn about coding and history. So, setting up a Minecraft server for your next teaching lesson might be a good idea—you can even get a good discount with various providers.
15. 36.7% of video game players are college graduates.
Popular belief holds that only people with too much free time on their hands play video games. In reality, over a third of gamers in the US have a college degree, while an additional 11.2% have continued with graduate-level education.
The rest are mostly younger people still in high school or college.
16. Most people in the US spend 1-5 hours gaming weekly.
People gaming several hours a week?
That’s arguably normal.
Spending more than 20 hours weekly (or about three hours daily) on games?
That’s a tad concerning—yet true for the 7% of people who choose to take on gaming like it is their part-time job.
Fun fact: Video games aren’t the only ones that can have you hooked for hours on end. Plain old board games can be just as addicting, too. Skeptical? Tell that to the group who played Monopoly upside down for 36 hours.
17. There’s a National Video Game Day—or four.
There’s this thing called Chase’s Calendar of Events. It’s a calendar that—surprise, surprise—details events.
It’s also got over 12,000 entries. Among them is National Video Game Day, celebrated by the country’s gaming population on July 8. Only, it’s not really celebrated—mainly because no one knows of it.
How did it get on the Calendar in the first place, then?
Well, some guy submitted it to the publisher. And that’s it. That’s genuinely all it takes, which probably explains the absurd number of events on it.
Interestingly, the date has been changed multiple times. First to July 12, then to September 10, and finally to September 12.
The good part is that we now (technically) have four video game days… that no one celebrates.
So, how many video games are there?
Honestly, more than we thought there were.
The good thing about this overabundance of titles is that if the industry suffered another crash—we’re looking at you, E.T.—we wouldn’t be bored while it recovers.
Our backlogs are full, and so are our wishlists.
A wayfarer by heart, Jordan fancies journeying into foreign lands with a camera in hand almost as much as he enjoys roving the online world. He spends his time poking at letters and pixels, trying to transmogrify them into something cool.