ESA Report Finds Active Video Games Growing Rapidly


If you’re the type of gamer who scoffs at fitness and dance titles, here’s an interesting tidbit: the audience for those types of games has been expanding at an impressive rate, and is expected to continue doing so over the next few years.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) recently released a report entitled “Active Games Market Analysis” that showed that active video games (a.k.a. games that force players to get up and move around) made up only five percent of the overall video games market between 2002 and 2007 but spiked to 20 percent by 2011. The report also found that active video games racked up $750 million in sales in 2012 and projected even higher totals through 2015.

Undoubtedly, the late 2006 release of the Wii had a lot to do with that, especially since it shipped with “Wii Sports.” But the subsequent releases of the Kinect and PlayStation Move certainly helped as well, and with a new Kinect an integral part of the Xbox One and a motion-sensing PlayStation Camera available for the PS4, all the technology is in place for active games to thrive going forward.

The PCFSN is using the report as a launchpad for its new message that kids (and adults) can get in their recommended daily amounts of active play with the help of active video games. It’s got a star-studded video to help spread the word, something Los Angeles Clippers point guard and PCFSN member Chris Paul says is extremely important.

“It’s widely known that all kids should be active at least 60 minutes a day, but unfortunately only one-in-three kids are getting that recommended amount and studies show they are now consuming over 7.5 hours of screen time every day,” said Paul in an ESA press release.  “And that’s why I’m excited about the growing number of video games that are helping kids and families get active.”

Yes, that’s right: video games can count as exercise, as long as you play the right ones. Could be time to dust off that WiiRemote and Nunchuk, at least for 30 minutes or so.