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ESA: Games industry outpaces US economy

The US computer and videogame industry’s annual growth rate from 2003 to 2006 outpaced the US economy as a whole, according to a study released by the ESA

The US computer and videogame industryâs annual growth rate from 2003 to 2006 outpaced the US economy as a whole, according to a study released by the ESA.

While the US economy grew 4 per cent, the videogame industry's growth exceeded 17 per cent in the same period.

According to the ESA's study, entitled "Video Games in the 21st Century: Economic Contributions of the U.S. Entertainment Software Industry," the industry directly employs more than 24,000 individuals in the US, with an average salary of USD 92,300 in 2006.

"Computer and videogame companies play an ever increasing role in our nation's growing economy," said Michael Gallagher, CEO of the ESA.

"These companies and their colleagues across the nation are making entertainment software one of the fastest growing industries in the United States."

Among other findings, the report concluded that the industry added USD 3.8 billion to the US GDP in 2006.

According to the ESA, the entertainment software industry directly and indirectly employs more than 80,000 people in 31 states, with California accounting for 40 per cent of the total industry employment nationwide. In California, the computer and videogame industry grew by 12.3 per cent last year, nearly three times faster than the state's overall growth, adding USD 1.7 billion to the state economy.

Washington state ranked second nationally in computer and videogame personnel in 2006, with 9,284 direct and indirect employees at more than 59 facilities across the state. New York's entertainment software companies directly and indirectly employ 4,415 individuals at more than 25 facilities across the state.

Growth was also notable in Virginia, where the computer and videogame industry grew by 552 per cent in 2006, more than 172 times as fast as the commonwealth's overall growth.

The ESA is the US association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for videogame consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet.

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