The video game industry continues to outperform Hollywood

2 min read


Those of us who love video games and the industry that they’re wrapped up in regularly love to cite how it earns more money than other entertainment media. We’ve known for years that the video game industry makes more cash than Hollywood does, and that Big, blockbuster games often rake in more cash than big, blockbuster movies.

And it’s happened again. According to Venture beat, Metal Gear Solid V earned more than double the first-day earnings of the likes of The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Says Venture Beat:

“Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain made $179 million globally on its opening day, according to Adobe Digital Index’s new report on gaming trends. Compare that to the blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, which made $84 million globally on its opening day.”

There’s no doubt that videogames are a huge industry, and it’s one that’s seeing substantial growth every year. According to Adobe Analytics, gaming is a bigger industry than most realise.

“The gaming industry is a lot bigger than most marketers realize,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director at Adobe in the report. “These games get more social buzz on opening day than most movies do, and the revenue for one of the top games this year outdid the highest-grossing movie start [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with $91 million] by nearly double.”

Naturally, the first point of contention is that while yes, games can make more money, they’re reaching fewer people. The average ticket price for a movie in the US is just over $8, where the average game price for a new release is $60 – so far more people are watching movies than are playing games. That’s a given, but it’s actually a positive one for gaming, as that shows there’s room for the market to grow even more.

It’s interesting, however, that they chose Avengers instead of this year’s biggest film by far, Jurassic World, which went on to earn over $500 million in its opening weekend once it had been released globally. There are few games that sell through enough to make that money. Games, especially big blockbuster AAA ones tend to be front-loaded, thanks to pre-orders and the like, doing most of their sales in the first week. Of course there are outliers; games like GTA V, Call of Duty and FIFA sell through in substantial numbers all year round, and they’re the sorts of games that earn billions but they’re the exception.

I think they chose Age of Ultron as comparison because like with Metal Gear Solid V, it ultimately ended up being a disappointment.

Last Updated: October 15, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • (Umar) Must be Cipher

    “I think they chose Age of Ultron as comparison because like with Metal Gear Solid V, it ultimately ended up being a disappointment.”


    • 😀

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

      • (Umar) Must be Cipher

        Freaking felt that one lol

      • oVg

        Ill give YOU a third chapter!!! 😛

    • Dutch Matrix

      We all know Geoff is a disappointment. He knows it too. He’s just projecting today. Also, I am picking up vibes today is going to be a pick on Geoff kind of day for me. I don’t know why though. He is such an amazing guy I have never met.
      Sorry Geoff. Nothing personal ol’ ugly buddy ol’ pal!

      • No probs, man. Project your hate unto me. I can take it. 😛

      • Rodney Dangerfield

        Hey, you know who faces great disappointment daily, your parents, I bet your bath toys as a child were a toaster and a radio.

        • Dutch Matrix

          Yeah. And as a way to encourage abstinence, they told me every girl I shag will end up looking like Rodney Dangerfield. In other words a sweaty, googly eyed ugly bastard.

          • Rodney Dangerfield

            I know I’m ugly, I was so ugly my mother used to feed me with a sling shot. but if it wasn’t for pick pockets you’d have no sex at all. I bet when you where little your parents moved a lot but you still found them, now that’s determination.

    • Hammersteyn


    • CypherGate

      Over expectations result in 100% disappointments. Thats what i’ve noticed. That always happens. Thats why I try never to get expect loads better than the previous movie or game. Helps me enjoy and appreciate what was made. Although with Age of Ultron I fell in the trap of expecting 100% better than the first and ended up kinda disappointed. It felt rushed and felt like Ultron wasnt really that powerful.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Wow, how much pocket money do kids get from their parents in order to spend so much on TV games?

    • CypherGate

      I remember many many years ago when I was kiddy I was given R1 to go play games at the arcade. I could play any game 5 times!! was amazing.

  • Remember; more people watch films than play games. Many more.

    • Dutch Matrix

      If they included pop corn sales in that figure, Hollywood would beat gaming like a red headed step child.

      • If they did, they’d also have to include sales of Mountain Dew and Doritos.

        • Dutch Matrix

          The gaming industry would look like peasants.

    • oVg

      and they pay 6X less for admission.

    • CypherGate

      and many more watch series than movies and games.

  • Grand Admiral Chief
  • Hammersteyn

    Movies don’t have MT and DLC. Just saying

    • Dutch Matrix

      Also no huge day one patches that have you staring at a screen with drool dribbling down your face.

    • Just you wait until Hollywood figures out a way.

      • Hammersteyn

        Special goggles. Like 3D glasses. But you see extra content on the screen. More characters, explosions and boobs.

        • Grand Admiral Chief



    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      They have preorder DLMunchies.

      • Hammersteyn

        True, but the cinemas get that profit.

    • Derrich Schleich

      Now with alternate ending,special features including directors comments dlc. only $9.99

    • Rodney Dangerfield

      What you call the popcorn and snacks?

      • Hammersteyn

        Cinema revenue

  • Nikola

    Hahah nice Geoff I liked the end of the article like I liked the end of MSGV;) (just kidding haven’t played it yet)

  • that side down

    $179 million divided by $60 is 2.98 million. $84 million divided by $15 (average price) is 5.6 million.

    so Metal Gear sold roughly 3 million units, while Age of Ultron sold 5.6 million tickets. outperformed, my ass.

    • Holy_Ryu

      They did outperform because they made way more money. If Metal Gear was $15 it would have sold way more.

  • Brians

    There’s a persistent myth that “Games are bigger than the movies”
    This is for a couple reasons:
    1) The revenue numbers for “The Movies” only include “box office receipts” (theater ticket sales). But ticket sales are only about half of ‘movie’ revenue. (rest comes from DVD/Blu-Ray, Streaming, Broadcast, etc)
    2) The revenue numbers for “Video Games” include *everything*: Playstations, Xboxes, Gaming Mice, Games AND games of all kinds, from big Blockbusters like HALO to mobile games like candy crush.

    It should also be noted that the largest grossing movie of all time (Avatar, 2.8B worldwide for just box office receipts) has more revenue than the largest grossing game (GTA-V, 2.2B worldwide). And that Avatar 2.8 doesn’t even include DVD/Blu-ray, Streaming or broadcast revenue..!Video-Games-Bigger-than-the-Movies-Dont-be-so-certain/c19u6/3

Check Also

Everything that you need to know about the San Diego Comic Con

It’s a weekend for the San Diego Comic Con, a glorious melting pot of fandoms, capitalism …