Aldo Agostinelli

Playing games is not a matter of age or gender. And the same can be said for online gaming. After many years of male supremacy in the field, new data tell us that everybody loves gaming: men, women, youngsters and adults. Thus, if in 2006, Americans who would spend their days in front of their PC holding a mouse ( or a joystick ) amounted in 62% of the male population against 38% of the female population, last year we got to 55% for the former and 45% for the latter (Distribution of computer and video gamers in the United States from 2006 to 2018, by gender). Smartphones, being the most loved devices in the whole technological universe, make gaming easier, transversal and prêt-à-porter and  have  boosted this males/females perfectly balanced equality. According to the Global Web Index, 66% of men and 66% of women actually enjoy online gaming. The situation changes when it comes to desktop computer games (54% m and 41% f) and consoles (27% m and 18% f).

Talking about age in both gender groups, the most passionate smartphones users are individuals aged between 16-24 (74%), followed by those aged 25-34 (73%) and 35-44 (67%). Next in the chart come those aged 45-54 (53%) and, last but not least, those aged 55-64 (37%).

However, we need to consider that, regardless the device used, 86% of global Internauts have played an online game at least once in a month.

One player out of five uses paid games. Nevertheless, free videogames ,rule. Even though they are not actually free, since games like Candy Crush, Homescapes or the likes, make money by selling bonuses, clues, extra lives or rewarding video advertising. Eight people in ten, who claim not to be keen on gaming, still play games using their smartphones. Therefore, marketers’ interest in this sector is obvious.

New, profitable opportunities come from consoles

And while the scientific community has partly decriminalized video games, including the so called “shooting games”, by claiming they are not as harmful as they were thought to be, on the contrary, if used for no longer than one hour a day, they apparently may help positive social interactions among young people aged between 10 and 15, data provided by Global Index also tell us more about the identity of adult players around the world (Playing videogames may be good for you, but for less than one hour a day). Wealthier players are also the ones using consoles more. Although console games are to be purchased and are consequently advertising free, once sitting in front of their consoles, users can watch digital TV, surf the net, browse social networks and shop online (Gaming Goes Mainstream).

Data can build a roadmap for marketers

Gaming is the latest craze and advertisers are investing in it. According to eMarketer, in 2019 US marketers are going to spend 3,25 billion Dollars in ads to be broadcast inside mobile video games, desktop games and console games  (+16% against 2018) and in 2020 such amount may reach up to 3,67 billion dollars.

This is clearly a great chance for marketers: being able to analyze players’ categories, including those who don’t see themselves as such, understanding their preferences and tastes, will lead to countless new opportunities, whether we are talking about  in-game advertising or targeted events. However, data collected must be correct, the consequent reaction prompt and the related offer original. Should marketers fail to achieve these three objectives, investing in the field would equal wasting their money.

Which ads attract your attention the most while playing games on your smartphones, and why? Tweet @agostinellialdo.

To find out more about the digital world, you may read my latest book entitled: “People Are Media” 

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Aldo Agostinelli