Player Diversity & Demographics

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2020 Stats

UK

  • 86% of people aged 16-69 have played computer or mobile games in the last year. 54% play "on most days". (Savanta, Feb 2020)
    • 50% of people who play games on most days are female and 50% male.
    • 46% of people who play games on most days are aged over 40.
    • Among women who say they play most days, only a third (33%) would identify as a “gaming hobbyist” compared with 58% of men who play the same amount. This may be due to perceptions that only certain types of video games “count” as gaming.
    • Only 11% of those people who play exclusively on smartphones or tablets actually think of themselves as gamers, compared to nearly half of those people who play on consoles or PCs.

GLOBAL

  • 71% of mothers (women aged 25-54, with at least one child) play video games across any device type, however only 48% describe themselves as a "gamer". (Activision Blizzard, Apr 2020)
    • Women account for 46% of all parents who play video games, both globally and of those in the UK.
    • Mobile is the preferred platform, with over 90% of of mothers play mobile games at least weekly and 74% daily.
    • However, both PC and consoles are still very popular with mothers, with 38% playing on daily on PCs and 33% daily on consoles.
    • The strongest drivers for mothers who play are relaxation (59%) and moments of spare time (45%), rather than playing with their children or others (37%).
    • Almost half (49%) of UK mothers have been playing games for more than 10 years.
    • Mothers are more likely to report feeling able to relate to their children (45%), compared to mothers who do not play games (37%).
    • 30% of UK mothers play games for more than 10 hours a week. (Activision Blizzard, Apr 2020)
  • In 2019, 44% of American adults aged 50 and above play video games regularly (at least once a month), up from 38% in 2016. (AARP, Jan 2020)
    • Women were more likely to play games than men, with 49% of women playing regularly compared to 40% of men.
    • On average, those who played games did so for about five hours per week, with 47% playing daily and 80% playing at least once per week.
    • 73% of older adults who played games used phones or other mobile devices, 47% used PCs and 13% consoles.
    • In total, AARP estimates that US that adults aged over 50 had a collective spend of $3.5bn on games in 2019, up from $523m in 2016. On average, AARP estimates this to be $70 per person.

2019 Stats

UK

  • 42% of British people aged 55 to 64, and 27% of those aged 65+, have played video games in the last five years. One in five grandparents plays video games with their grandchildren. (Must Play May / MCV, May 2019)
  • 40% of British players aged 60+-year-old reportedly play strategy games “to keep the brain in tip-top shape”, whilst 20% enjoy multiplayer games “to earn brownie points and keep up with their grandchildren”. (Must Play May / MCV, May 2019)
  • 85% of Brits aged under 35s and 75% of those aged 35-44 frequently play games. 40% that group tended to play with their children and 31% said they played games to relax. (Must Play May / MCV, May 2019)
  • 95% of parents say their child uses any device to play video games, with 60% reporting their children plays at least once a week. (internetmatters.org, Jul 2019)
    • Parents of boys are more likely to report playing of video games (97%) than parents of girls (92%), although both rates are high.
    • Among boys, consoles were the prefered device (88%), although it was less popular with girls (68%. The most popular device for girls was smartphones (79%) with a similar level of preference from boys (76%).
  • Parents report that 81% of children play video games, with more than half reporting to prefer playing online. (internetmatters.org, Jul 2019)
  • Parents report that children generally start playing games on devices between the ages of 7 and 9. Handheld devices saw the youngest average starting age, at 7.6 years old, and smartphones the oldest at 9.2 years. Consoles and PCs sit between these at 8 years old and 8.5 years old respectively. (internetmatters.org, Jul 2019)
  • Parents report that children are more likely to play games in the living room (65%) than in their bedrooms (55%). (internetmatters.org, Jul 2019)
  • Children are far morel likely to prefer playing games with school friends (62%) than with siblings (27%), their parents (24%) or with others online (24%). (internetmatters.org, Jul 2019)

GLOBAL

  • Among 18-20 year-olds, games is the 2nd most popular catagory of app, with 66% of people in this age range opening a game app at least once a week (Newzoo, Oct 2019)
  • 51% of players of mobile games are female and 49% are male. However, there a differences between genres with 74% of players of shooting games male and 66% of players of puzzle games female.(Newzoo, Oct 2019)
  • The average age of someone who plays mobile games is 36 (Newzoo, Oct 2019)
  • Among children aged 10-12 in the US in 2019, the most played games are Roblox (played by 33%), Fortnite (played by 26%) and Minecraft (played by 24%) (SuperData, Nov 2019)
    • The most common way for children in the US to spend money on games is with gift cards, with 35% using store gift cards on games or in-game content.
  • 54% of the population aged between 6 and 64 play video games across the the four major European markets (UK, France, Germany and Spain). (ISFE, May 2019)
    • 48% of those who play games are female, which has remained steady since 2012.
    • The 45-64 age group is the fastest growing segment of players, increasing by 28% in 2017, now accounting for 22% of all players. One third of all people in this age group now play video games.

2018 Stats

UK

  • In 2018, 37.3m people in the UK play video games. The UK is the 6th largest game market in the world, with consumers spending $4.5bn on software. (Newzoo, Jul 2018)
  • Of the UK’s online population, 49% of men and 48% of women play mobile games, while 38% of men and 26% of women play PC games. (Newzoo, Jul 2018)
  • In a 2018 survey of 5,000 UK children under the age of 18, 84 percent of teen girls surveyed reported spending some of their free time playing videogames, up from 75 percent in 2017. Games as a hobby overall has overtaken shopping and is now ranked the 8th most popular hobby for young girls. (gamesindusrty.biz / Kid Insights, Dec 2018)
  • 15 percent of girls now watch esports, and more 13-15 year-old girls both participate in and watch esports live than boys in the same age group. (gamesindusrty.biz / Kid Insights, Dec 2018)

Global

  • In 2018, 66% of people in the US aged over 13 play games, an increase from 58% in 2013. (Nielsen, May 2018)
    • Of those players, 48% play games on all of the three main device types (consoles, mobile and PC/mac), with an additional 38% playing on two devices.
  • Over the years 2013-2018, people in the US that play games have consistently spent 11% or 12% of their leisure time playing games. In 2018, people spent 11% of their leisure time playing games.(Nielsen, May 2018)
Nielsen US Games 360 Report - US players aged 13+ in 2018, Leisure time by hours
  • The average US gamer is 34 years years old. (ESA, April 2018)
  • 45% of all US gamers are women. (ESA, April 2018)
  • Adult women represent a greater portion of the video game-playing population (33%) than boys under 18 (17%). (ESA, April 2018)
  • Gamers aged 18 or older represent more than 70% of the video game-playing population. (ESA, April 2018)
  • Of the most frequent game purchasers, 61% are male, 39% are female. (ESA, April 2018)
  • The average female video game player is 36, and the average male video game player is 32 (ESA, April 2018)
  • For men who game, 17% are under 18, 16% are 18-35, 12% are 36-49, and 11% are over 50. (ESA, April 2018)
  • For women who game, 11% are under 18, 13% are 18-35, 8% are 36-49, and 12% are over 50. (ESA, April 2018)

2017 Stats

UK

  • In 2017, 32.4 million people play games in the UK. Spending $4.2 billion this year, they make the UK the 5th largest games market in the world. (Newzoo, Jun 2017)
  • The UK mobile market is very evenly represented between the genders, with a 48% female / 52% male split between those who are playing more than once a month. (Newzoo, Jun 2017)
  • 32% of UK players play PC, mobile and console games. (Newzoo, Jun 2017)
  • In 2016 there were 31.6m players in the UK, approximately 50% of the total population. Of those that play games, 59% of them spend money on games, annually spending an average of $206 per player. (Newzoo, Aug 2016)
  • Women are more likely to play games than men – although they play less frequently – and the average age of a player is 43 years old. (Nesta, July 2017)
  • Overall, half the population of gamers are at least in their 40s, while a quarter of all players are ages 56 years or above. (Nesta, July 2017)
  • Of the people who play games in the UK, there are no significant effects of nationality, ethnic or religious background, or sexual orientation on whether people are likely to play. (Nesta, July 2017)
  • People who play games are greater consumers of culture, such as reading, painting, attending performing arts and visiting heritage sites and libraries. Players are also more likely to actively participate in the creation of culture (writing, dancing, or creating forms of digital art) than non-games players. (Nesta, July 2017)
  • People who played games growing up obtain better educational qualifications than those that did not. (Nesta, July 2017)

Global

  • 65% of women aged 10-65 in the US play mobile games. (Newzoo / Google, Dec 2017)
  • 64% of female mobile players prefer mobile to other games platforms, compared to 38% of men. (Newzoo / Google, Dec 2017)
  • 43% of female mobile players play mobile games 5 times a week or more, compared to 38% of men. (Newzoo / Google, Dec 2017)
  • Of the top 100 grossing games on Google Play, 44% more of the app icons feature male characters than female characters. (Newzoo / Google, Dec 2017)
  • 60% of women who play mobile games think that 30% or fewer of mobile games are made for women. (Newzoo / Google, Dec 2017)
  • 25% of men who play mobile games agree that “I would spend more time playing mobile games if I knew I was playing with or against players of my own gender” vs. only 10% of women. Among men who play mobile games the most (10+ hours/week) the number rises to 47%. For women, this desire remains fairly consistent. (Newzoo / Google, Dec 2017)
  • More men than women pay for mobile games (52% Men; 33% Women) and men talk more frequently about mobile games than women do (44% Men vs. 27% Women). More men than women feel good/excited/satisfied upon payment of a new game (70% Men; 58% Women) while more women than men feel guilt/regret upon payment (23% Women; 16% Men). (Newzoo / Google, Dec 2017)
  • 64% of the US population aged 13+ play games (Nielsen, Oct 2017)
  • 63% of U.S. households are home to at least one person who plays video games regularly (3 hours or more per week) and 48% of U.S. households own a dedicated game console. (ESA, April 2017)
  • The average video game player is 35 years old and has been playing video games for about 13 years. (ESA, April 2017)
  • 41% of all game players are female and 59% male. (ESA, April 2017)
  • Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31%) than boys age 18 or younger (17%). (ESA, April 2017)
  • 54% of the most frequent gamers play with others, including: 40% Friends, 21% Family members, 17% Parent(s), 15% Spouse/partner. (ESA, April 2017)
  • 53% of the most frequent game players feel video games help them connect with friends and 42% feel video games help them spend time with family. (ESA, April 2017)
  • 75% of the most frequent gamers believe playing video games provides mental stimulation or education. (ESA, April 2017)
  • 93% of parents believe that the parental controls available in all new video game consoles are useful. 9 out of 10 require their children to ask permission or are present when their child buys or rents a video game (ESA, April 2017)
  • Of the online audience aged 10–65 across 13 countries, 46% of people that play games are women. (Newzoo, May 2017)
  • Mobile games are almost equally popular among men and women, with 52% and 48% playing mobile games more than once a month, respectively. In contrast, 48% and 37% of men play on PC and console at least once a month, respectively, compared to 35% and 23% of women. (Newzoo, May 2017)
  • For female gamers, social circles are key, with 39% of them discovering a game through friends or family, and 20% through social networks. For men, a comparatively low 27% discover games through friends or family. Instead, 26% of men discover new titles through review or game sites and 24% through online video channels. Choice of platform shapes the route by which a player finds a game, rather than gender alone. (Newzoo, May 2017)
  • Local co-operative gaming is consistently the most appealing form of social gaming across age and gender, easily beating competitive play. (Quantic Foundry, Jul 2017)
    • Co-operative play with friend was roughly equally popular either online or in person, whereas competitive play with friends in person was preferred to online. (Quantic Foundry, Jul 2017)
    • Co-operative play had similar appeal across genders, but more men enjoy competitive play than women. (Quantic Foundry, Jul 2017)
    • Co-operative appeal drops sharply when played with strangers. Competitive appeal is also reduced, especially amongst women. (Quantic Foundry, Jul 2017)
    • The desire for competitive play drop with age, whereas co-operative appeal remains stable. (Quantic Foundry, Feb 2016)

2016 Stats

UK

Global

  • In a survey of Americans aged 50-plus, close to four in ten (38%) are play video games. (AARP, June 2016)
    • 40% of 50-plus women are gamers (vs. 35% of men) and are more likely to play daily than male gamers (45% vs. 35%). (AARP, June 2016)
    • This increase in female gamers trend looks like it will continue, as women (57%) are significantly more likely than men (43%) to say they play more today than they did five years ago. (AARP, June 2016)
    • 75% of 50-plus gamers play video games weekly, with 40% playing every day. A greater proportion of older gamers compared to younger gamers report playing video games weekly or more often (37% of 50-59 year olds compared to 43% of 60-plus say they play every day). (AARP, June 2016)
    • 59% play games on computers/laptops compared to 57% on phones/other mobile devices. 59% play games online. (AARP, June 2016)
    • The most played game types are card/tile games (48%) and puzzle/logic games (47%). (AARP, June 2016)
  • Sexualisation of female protagonists in games has declined significantly in the 8 years, compared to female protagonists from the 1990-2005, an analysis of 571 titles has shown. (Phys.org, July 2016)

2015 Stats

UK

Global

  • Disney Infinity, the toys-to-life game, has achieved a more diverse audience than they initially expected, with roughly 50% male and 50% female players. John Vignocchi states that they had initially expected more male players than female (70% vs 30%), however the games diverse character set of Disney characters has seen a more equal split. He adds that this also extends the age of players, with as many non-parent and parent adults playing as 6-12 year olds and teens. This has led to a shift in marketing spotlighting both male and female characters. (MCV, Sept 2015)
  • Players diversity: while two thirds of surveyed boys identify as gamers and the opposite is true for girls, it can be a pleasant surprise to note the openness of the male demographic to female protagonists and female players. (Polygon, Mar 2015)
  • Looking at high school results specifically, boys are less likely to prefer to play as male characters (39%) compared to girls preferring to play as female characters (60%), they are also less likely to play a game based on the protagonist’s gender than girls (20% versus 28%). (Polygon, Mar 2015)
  • High school boys also want to see more girls playing (87% said they’d like that) and 61% agree or strongly agree that females are too often treated as sex objects (25% remained neutral), while 83% of girls agreed or strongly agreed that this happens too often. (Polygon, Mar 2015)

2014 Stats

UK

  • In 2014, the IAB estimated there were 33.5m video game players aged 8-74 in the UK. (IAB, 2014)

Global