Growing up as a child, I always felt that video game advertisements for the most part, were directed at kids in an attempt to get our parents to buy us every new game we set our eyes on. As I grew older however, I realised that the marketing structure of games had changed, so much so that children only make on one small fraction of the pie.
Well the ESA — Entertainment Software Association — has released a handy list of “essential facts” about the US games industry, including some startling demographic revelations.
The most interesting piece of information was that the average gamer is 30, but there’s a pretty even split across age groups, with 32% under 18, 31% between 18 and 35, and 37% over 36. The average age of the most frequent gamer who buys games is 35; 52% of these are male and 48% female, a pretty even split and much higher then I had thought.
Furthermore, the ESA notes that 47% of gamers are female and 53% male, and said that women aged 18 and over represent 30% of game consumers – quite a lot higher than gaming’s traditional demographic, the under-18 male, at 18%.
49% of US households own a console; those that do own an average of two.
In terms of the top 20 best-selling games of 2011, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was number one, followed by Just Dance 3, Madden NFL 13, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Battlefield 3.
PC-only tells a different story; Star Wars: The Old Republic is top, then The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, followed by The Sims 3 and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
There are plenty more interesting statistics in the friendly-looking PDF, which you can download here, including details of what activities were giving up on in order to game; how online games are growing; how parents view video games; and how the industry has performed since 2001.
The ESA’s data was pulled from surveys and the NPD’s sales tracking.