The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has published an up-to-date list of Top 10 Industry Facts about the video game industry. The ESA is a United States research agency, so these snippets only apply to the industry in the US, but they are likely to be somewhat similar to other countries.
So, lets burst the bubbles of peoples that think gaming is for young boys….
It turns out the average game player is now 33 years old, and the average game buyer is 38 years old. In fact, 80% of console game purchasers are over 18. Also, 24% of people over the age of 50 play games.
Now to destroy the male gamer stereotype: 38% of game players are women. More women 18 or over play games than boys under 18.
I do have a couple ideas about these figures, and I’m sure you could come up with more ways of spinning them:
Firstly, the ESA is including people that hop on to Yahoo and play a friendly game of checkers in their surveys. That sort of game is likely to skew older, and probably accounts for a sizeable number of the over 50 group. Of course, that doesn’t explain the average game buyer being 38 years old. That interesting point is partially explainable by the fact that a 38 year old person generally has more disposable income and is likely to be buying games for his or her kids as well as themselves.
Secondly, in the United States the must surely be more women over 18 than there are boys 17 or under. So, the fact that more women in that bracket play games than boys in their bracket doesn’t mean that the percentage of women playing is higher.
Thirdly, the fact that women are still significantly less than 50% of game players means there is still a large untapped market