The Entertainment Software Association says that family-friendly video games, or titles rated Everyone 10+ or lower by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, accounted for over half of all games sales in 2008.
Teen- and Mature-rated games, in comparison, made up only 26.7 percent and 15.9 percent of video games revenues during the year, respectively.
Further emphasizing the success of family-friendly releases, the industry trade group noted that titles categorized as "Family Entertainment" were the most popular in 2008, with the genre taking over 19 percent of all sales.
Previously, the ESA said that E 10+ or lower rated games made up 56.5 of the market in 2007, according to unit sales. During that same year, Teen- and Mature-rated titles accounted for 28 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively.
Family Entertainment sales also grew in 2008, as the category made up 17.2 percent of all games sold in 2007, and only 9.1 percent in the year prior to that.
Analyst firm The NPD Group reported that the computer and video game industry (hardware, software, and peripheral sales) generated $22 billion in 2008. Software sales comprised $11.7 billion of that figure primarily thanks to December revenues, which exceeded $5 billion for the first time in any single month.
The NPD Group also revealed that U.S. video game console software sales reached $8.9 billion (189 million units) in 2008 at retail, while PC game sales were $701.4 million (29.1 million units) and portable game software sales were $2.1 billion (79.5 million units).
"Even in difficult economic times, the video game industry continues to support our country’s local, state and national economies with record-breaking sales figures and rapid technological innovation,” says ESA CEO and president Michael D. Gallagher.
He continues, "Our industry’s exceptional creators, artists, and storytellers, coupled with a commitment to providing unparalleled entertainment, have fueled high-octane growth, turning video games into the most sought-after medium on the market today."