Recent study shows games are eating into more of our free time

The folks over at Limelight Networks recently put together a study comparing gaming trends over the past year and, in short, it looks like more people are playing games more regularly these days.

Considering how we still occasionally get panicked headlines about how the games industry is dying, it seems like a new study pops up every year offering results that argue the exact opposite. This year’s study from Limelight is called “The Sate of Online Gaming,” and it’s a rather comprehensive look at everything from the number of hours various age group play each week to which regions spend the most time gaming. If you’re into following gaming trends, the lengthy document (complete with visuals!) is worth diving into.

For this study, Limelight had 4,500 participants who were 18 years or older and lived all over the world. The only real stipulation was that participants needed to play games at least once a week. While the study’s findings might seem pretty tame to folks who boot up their favorite titles every night of the week, the average of 7 hours and 7 minutes per week is a bump of about 20 percent from 2018. The lowest growth in game time per week was seen in the 60+ category, where the 4.93 figure from 2018 has bumped up to 5.63 in the most recent results. The 26-35 and 36-45 age ranges saw the most growth, moving from 6.51 to 8.21 hours per week and 6.17 to 7.76 hours per week, respectively.

The group also took a look at trends by region. The lowest average game time per week came from South Korea at 6.69, with the UK only slightly higher at 6.76. Japan is on the lower end of the spectrum at 6.88 hours, with the US in second place at 7.61. The highest number of gaming hours per week was recorded in Germany at 7.98.

The split for gender states that males play about 7.89 hours per week while females play 6.28 hours on average. Mobile phones are the clear leader in time played per week, followed by PC, consoles and then tablets. There isn’t much of a spread by genre, but apparently those taking the survey say they play battle royale games like Fortnite for just 1.05 hours per week and casual single player games for 1.75 hours per week. I know that’s hard to believe when many gamers would probably argue that 2018 was all about battle royale games, but those you have to remember that this survey is taking a much broader look at gaming rather than zeroing in on trends.

No matter how you slice it or what platform you’re talking about, the big takeaway here seems to be that games are only getting more popular as the years pass by.

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Ryan has been playing games for a lifetime and enjoys writing about them. Polar bears are left-handed. Need to get in contact? Feel free to e-mail Ryan.

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