Video Game Demographics – Who Plays Games in 2021

Video games have become an intrinsic part of our everyday lives. There are so many genres and types, and they’re all so accessible. You can play on almost any device – on your phone, on your tablet, on your TV. You can play alone or with friends, you can play offline or online, you can even watch other people play in real-time.

So, what kind of people are more likely to be gamers? The only way to answer is to examine current video game demographics.

But be warned – the results may surprise you.

Not so long ago, the image of a nerdy-looking teenager playing alone in front of the TV sprung to mind when video games were mentioned. That’s no longer the case. Nowadays, people with completely different social backgrounds contribute to the ever-increasing global gaming community. The following stats best illustrate this diversity.

Before we dive deep into the numbers, here’s a taste of what’s to come:

Astounding Stats About The Demographics of Video Games

  • The gaming industry is expected to reach $180.1 billion in revenue by 2021
  • There are more than 2.5 billion video gamers around the world
  • The average gamer is 34 years old
  • 70% of gamers are age 18 or older
  • 60% of Americans play video games daily
  • 45% of US gamers are women
  • 70% of parents believe video games have a positive influence on their children’s lives

Gaming fever is spreading. Let’s see who’s already caught it!

Fascinating Facts About Gamers

First, we need to find out who the average gamer is.

1. There are more than 2.5 billion gamers around the world.

(Source: WePC)

Video games have taken the world by storm, and this is the number that proves it. That’s a third of the world’s population!

It’s mind-boggling how many people play video games!

2. 38% of US gamers are aged between 18 and 34.

(Source: Statista, GameIndustry.biz)

Under 18s make up 21%, while 26% of the people playing video games in the US are aged between 34 and 54.

And if you’re wondering how regularly people play video games in the US, video game industry statistics show that 64% of US adults and 70% of those under 18 play video games regularly.

3. Three-quarters of US households own a device that they use to play video games.

(Source: Gamesindustry.biz)

Whether it’s a PlayStation, Xbox, or a good old PC – Americans have let video games into their homes.

Of course, everybody has their preferences. Stats from 2021 show that 73% of gamers in the United States reported owning a console, while 43% said they have a handheld system of some kind. 29% said they use a VR system.

4. There are 2 gamers in each game-playing household in the US.

(Source: ESA)

People prefer playing video games with others. It’s just more fun.

And it’s not necessary to play with people your age. There’s a second generation of gamers already coming of age – and it’s not unusual to find that parents and children share the same passion for video games.

After all:

5. The average gamer is 34 years old, owns a house, and has children.

(Source: ESA)

Be honest, would you have guessed that 34 is the average age of gamers?

There is, however, a difference when it comes to men and women. The average female video game player is 36. The most active group among women are those between 18-35 – they make up 13% of the gaming community.

At the same time, the average male video game player is 34. The most active age group is boys under 18, representing 17% of all gamers.

The dissimilarities between the sexes are even more pronounced when talking about purchasing games.

6. Men are 3X more likely to purchase a game than women.

(Source: Earnest)

The reason lies in the way women think about gaming. Admittedly, there is an increase in the number of female players in recent years, but they still consider this to be just another way to spend their free time.

Only 6% of women identify as ‘gamers’, compared to 15% of men.

Guys love playing video games. It’s only natural for them to purchase more games.

7. Smartphones and smartwatches accounted for more than 50% of the gaming market by the end of 2020.

(Source: Statista)

Mobile devices are rapidly becoming more powerful, translating to immense growth in the video game industry.

As mobile penetration rates and smartphone usage continue to grow globally, mobile games revenue is expected to surpass the $100 billion mark by 2023.

8. The PlayStation was the most popular console in 2020.

(Source: Finances Online)

The PlayStation held a massive 57.5% market share in 2020, making the Sony premier gaming console the one to beat.

A close second was the Nintendo Switch, accounting for 42% of the global console market.

9. Games for consoles are now being released in mobile versions.

(Source: Mordor Intelligence)

Large companies that create games for consoles and PCs are now releasing their games in mobile versions, thanks to the rapid growth of the mobile games market. 

One of the most highly anticipated mobile games in early 2019 was Call of Duty: Mobile. According to video game industry statistics, the franchise has received some fantastic results and feedback since it transitioned into mobile gaming.

Who Plays Video Games the Most?

We’ve traced the contours of the average gamer. Now let’s color it in with some details.

10. 72% of gamers are 18 or older.

(Source: Statista)

Furthermore, the group aged 18-35 apparently plays the most, considering 29% of gamers belong there.

It’s amazing to see how many adults over 35 actually play video games. 43% of gamers in 2018 fell in that group. 20% of the overall number were between 36-49 while 23% were 50 or older.

11. 41% of US gamers are women.

(Source: Statista)

2020 research showed that women accounted for nearly 41% of the gaming population in the US, which is slightly lower than the 46% recorded in 2019.

We continue to remain enthusiastic and expect the percentage of female gamers in 2021 to rise.

12. 70% of parents say video games have a positive influence on their child’s life.

(Source: ESA)

How things change, right? I still remember my mom yelling at me: “Stop with the games and get back to your homework!”

Still, parents are careful about the games’ content and how long kids play. In 2020 they can even use antivirus software to control what their kids do on their devices. 72% of parents limit their child’s time playing games. 94% explicitly confirm they pay attention to the video games their children play. On top of that, 90% of parents are present when their son or daughter is getting a new video game.

13. 67% of parents play video games with their children at least once a week.

(Source: ESA)

As I already mentioned, the first generation of video gamers are parents now. That doesn’t mean they’ve given up on games.

But why are people gaming with their kids? Here are the top reported reasons:

  1. “It’s fun for all of us.“
  2. My child asks me to.“
  3. “It’s a good opportunity to socialize with my child.“
  4. “I enjoy playing video games as much as my child.“
  5. “It helps me monitor what they’re playing.“

What’s your reason? (Assuming you’re a parent, that is.)

14. 56% of the most frequent gamers play multiplayer games.

(Source: ESA)

They play in multiplayer at least once a week. And they spend an average of 7 hours playing with others online – an hour more than playing in person. So who are these “others” to them?

42% of frequent gamers play with friends, 19% play with family, 17% play with parents, and 16% play with their spouse.

As 55% of gamers point out – video games help connect them with their friends.

15. 35% of multiplayer gamers prefer shooter games.

(Source: ESA)

Second are action games with 28%, followed by casual with 27%.

We’ve all had one of those days when we wanted to shoot someone with a big gun. If it’s your friend, that’s even better.

Who is Buying Games?

Now, let’s turn our attention to some interesting video game industry statistics. We’ll see who is buying games and what’s their favorite way to buy a new one.

16. The gaming industry reached a global market size of $173.70 billion in 2020.

(Source: Statista, Mordor Intelligence)

2020 was an incredibly profitable year for the gaming industry, according to video game industry statistics. In the US alone, the industry’s market size was estimated to be worth $60.4 billion.

The good news is that we can expect even more growth in the coming years. Predictions have been made, and the global gaming market is expected to reach a value of $295.63 billion by 2026.

17. 36 years is the average age of a game purchaser.

(Source: Digital Australia)

This is a bit higher than the average gamer’s age, which is 34.

Further examination reveals that men are more willing to buy games – as 64% of the most frequent game purchasers are male.

18. People aged 18-24 are most likely to purchase a game.

(Source: Earnest)

In a survey by Earnest, where they analyzed data provided by thousands of applicants for student loan refinancing, 16.3% of the aged 18-24 stated they had spent money on games. They were followed by those aged 25-27 with 14.0%, and 28-30 years old with 12.2%.

The group spending the least on games was those aged 35-40 with 8.6%. Funnily enough, there was a rise in the percentage for people over 40 – 9.4%. The cause could be parents buying games for their children.

19. People with high school diplomas or higher are more likely to make a video game purchase.

(Source: Earnest)

If divided by education level, the biggest group of game purchasers is that of people with a High School Diploma – 18.5%. Next are people with Associate Degree (16.9%), followed by those with a Bachelor’s one (14.7%).

The general correlation is that people with advanced degrees are less likely to make a game-related purchase.

20. 66% of people say the quality of the graphics is important when choosing a game to purchase.

(Source: ESA)

63% of interviewees say the price is an important factor to them. Finally, 61% find value in a game with a good story.

Other factors influencing the purchase of a game include “being a part of favorite series” (51% say it’s important) or its “online gameplay compatibility” (50%).

Fun fact: 42% of gamers purchase games without trying them, compared to 30% who first download a trial or a demo version.

21. 83% of game purchases are in digital format.

(Source: Statista)

This includes subscriptions, full games, add-on content, mobile apps, and social network games. In contrast, only 17% of video games were purchased in physical form.

To put this in perspective, only 31% of all sales were in digital format in 2010.

Who’s Gonna Be the Next Player?

Let’s take a quick look at what to expect from future developments in the gaming world.

22. Mobile gaming revenue is expected to amount to 57% of the total gaming revenue by 2021.

(Source: Statista)

Convenience drives us to play on our mobile devices. We can do it anywhere. Just take a ride on the subway if you don’t believe me.

Slowly but surely, mobile is taking over other more traditional forms of gaming. All this arguing among gamers over PC vs console statistics has moved the focus away from this trend. Nevertheless, mobile games are here to stay.

23. In 2020, there were 214.1 million mobile phone gamers in the US and Canada.

(Source: NPD)

And this is a pretty impressive number, considering there are 291.8 million mobile users in the two countries.

But how frequently are these people playing video games? Well, 74% of mobile phone owners use their device in an average month to play a mobile game.

24. 78% of the digital games revenue comes from free-to-play games.

(Source: GamesIndustry.Biz)

That’s right! Digital games spending grew 12% in 2020, reaching $127 billion across mobile, PC, and console.

Free-to-play games generated the majority of digital revenue, at $98.4 billion. This shows that users are far more willing to buy additional content than pay for the game upfront (and then wait for the three additional expansion packs).

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about mobile, console, or computer video gaming – free games bring more profit.

Curious Facts About Gamers

We stumbled upon some curious statistics while doing our research. We couldn’t keep them just to ourselves.

25. People with a yearly income, higher than $90,000, are less likely to buy games.

(Source: Earnest)

The numbers are fairly consistent among the other groups. But once the income goes over $90,000, the percentage drops from an average of 12% to just 9%.

26. Dentists are least likely to purchase a video game.

(Source: Earnest)

When it comes to different career paths – dentists are the least likely to spend money on games. Only 5.8% of dentists have gaming expenses.

27. 65% of US women ages 10-65 play mobile games.

(Source: GameAnalytics)

And they make up 49% of all mobile gamers.

Conclusion

Video games are silently becoming part of our everyday lives. And it’s not only teenagers who are playing. People of all ages, sexes, and walks of life are joining in the frenzy.

And with 2.6 billion gamers around the world, it could get a bit confusing. We handpicked the stats we mentioned so we can bring some order into the chaos this industry has become.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the read!

It’s time to conclude our journey into the fascinating world of video game demographics.

See you soon!

ABOUT AUTHOR

He is a fan of football and gaming, Victor occasionally finds an opening in his busy schedule to contribute valuable insight on the latest technological topics.

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