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@Bugha

Sixteen-year-old Kyle Giersdorf — screen name “Bugha” — took home $3 million Sunday after winning the inaugural Fortnite World Cup in New York, the largest-ever prize for a singe player in a videogame tournament.

The Pennsylvania teen crushed his competition at a sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium — home of next month’s U.S. Open tennis tournament — to capture the solo division with 59 points, 26 more than his runner-up. About $30 million in prize money was up for grabs at this weekend’s tournament.

Giersdorf’s mother, Darcy Giersdorf, told ESPN that he typically plays “Fortnite” eight to 10 hours a day. “This is life-changing for him,” she told ESPN. “He’s been playing videogames since he was 3, so this is his passion. He told us he could do this, he put his mind to it and he did it.”

“Fortnite” is the most financially successful free videogame of all time, earning $2.4 billion in revenue in 2018, according to Nielsen’s SuperData Research. 

– The U.S. video game industry generated a record $43.4 billion in revenue in 2018, up 18 percent from 2017, according to new data released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and The NPD Group.

“2018 was another record setting year for the U.S. video game industry as consumer spending jumped 18 percent to over $43 billion. Whether it was playing on the go on a mobile device or at home on a PC or console, consumers of all ages and interests found compelling content that delighted in 2018,” said Mat Piscatella, video games industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Console, PC, and mobile platforms all saw significant growth, while developing portions of the market like subscription and streaming services gave us a peek into a future full of possibilities for the industry and gamers.”

Both hardware revenue, which includes peripherals, and software revenue across all platforms (console, PC, portable, and mobile), from physical and digital sales, including in-game purchases and subscriptions, experienced record growth in 2018.

U.S. Video Game Industry Revenue20182017Growth Percentage
Hardware, including peripherals$7.5 billion$6.5 billion15%
Software, including in-game purchases and subscriptions$35.8 billion$30.4 billion18%
Total:$43.4 billion$36.9 billion18%

Source: The NPD Group, Sensor Tower

There are 150 million Americans who play video games, making the U.S. video game industry one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors. The industry provides more than 220,000 jobs in communities across all 50 states, and more than 500 colleges and universities across 46 states offer programs or degrees related to video games.

Mobile spend data, which includes paid downloads and in-game purchases for mobile and tablet devices through Apple’s App Store and Google Play, was collected from Sensor Tower.

Hiroshi Yamauchi, who transformed Nintendo from a maker of playing cards and board games into a global videogame giant, has died at 85.

He was Nintendo’s second-largest shareholder with about 10 percent of the stock, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and was the principal owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball team. The great-grandson of Nintendo’s founder led the company from 1949 to 2002, transforming a maker of Japanese playing cards into the world’s biggest producer of video games on the back of hits including Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong.

The Associated Press reported that Yamauchi passed away of pneumonia on Thursday in a hospital in central Tokyo.

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