The Entertainment Software Association released the stats for spending in the U.S., on video games throughout 2018. The industry totaled $43 billion, with majority of the spend coming from mobile gaming.
According to Reuters 65% of U.S., adults – or more than 164 million people – played games. 60% of those people play on mobile devices, while nearly half play on PC. They recount that 46% of gamers are female, but they don’t play the same kind of games as males. Males prefer playing console games like Call of Duty, Madden NFL and Fortnite, while majority of females aged 17 – 34 preferred Candy Crush, Assassin’s Creed and Tomb Raider, while preferring to game mostly on mobile devices than consoles.
No surprise there.
What is kind of interesting is that those aged 40 through 54 years of age played classic titles like Teris, Pac-Man and racing games like Forza Motorsport or sports games like NBA 2K. Boomers aged 55 through 64 preferred old-people games like Solitaire, Scrabble, Mahjong and Monopoly.
None of these stats are surprising. We’ve been seeing consistency in these numbers for some time now, with female gamers mostly preferring puzzle and casual games, along with RPGs, while males mostly preferred shooter games and sports games. Both genders like endless runners and RPGs equally, though. Surprisingly, as revealed by Fort Mason Games, more than half of female mobile players prefer casino style titles.
It’s good that the ESA is finally starting to create separation between demographic interests. Lumping in casuals with core gamers and using widespread blanket percentages was doing nothing but harming the industry. In the past the ESA was known for obfuscating the data by muddying the numbers, so by not doing that in their latest annual report makes the figures more legitimate.
So now that they’ve begun to break down the demographics and separate interests accordingly, maybe big publishers will stop trying to force-feed core gamers to people who have no interest in those games. Too many titles have been subverted with ridiculous propaganda to chase after what eventually becomes a phantom audience. We usually say that these games get woke and then go broke, effectively enabling them to nab a spot on the ever-growing Get Woke; Go Broke – Master List.
Now just because the ESA is finally starting to get honest with its numbers doesn’t mean that AAA publishers will stop trying to subvert demographics with propaganda. We can hope that they stop, but there’s really no guarantees. That’s not to mention that this data wouldn’t affect anything already complete or nearing completion, and would only really make changes for games just heading into the pipeline in preparation for release two or three years from now.