Chart: Should Video Games Be Political?

Video games are often perceived as escapism, offering light entertainment instead of confronting real-world issues. The industry has come a long way from its arcade cabinet beginnings, though. Nowadays, especially indie games produced by marginalized creators increasingly feature subtle and not-so-subtle messaging related to political causes. But are people really interested in games being part of political discourse?

Our chart based on our Statista Consumer Insights shows that most of the online population surveyed across six countries doesn’t think of political messaging as part of the video game experience. One exception is India, where three out of ten respondents said that games should play a role in bringing social issues to light by speaking out about them.

With estimates of 400 to 450 million active gamers in 2023, the South Asian country has become one of the biggest markets in terms of player numbers, especially in the mobile segment, rivaling China in annual player growth. In other top video game markets like the United States, Germany or the United Kingdom, only between 12 and 16 percent of gamers feel that video games should comment on social topics.

Even though global revenues in the filmed entertainment and books industry are still considerably higher than those of console and PC game sales combined, adding mobile games into the mix makes for a completely different picture. According to Newzoo estimates, the games industry generated $180 billion worldwide this past year, with mobile games being responsible for about half of the industry’s total revenue.

This can be attributed to a mobile-first approach in several of the fastest-developing economies like China and India, where smartphones provide an affordable alternative to gaming PCs or consoles for the less affluent, and the number of gamers is continuously rising despite regulatory roadblocks for the industry.


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