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. 65% of American adults play video games daily.

(Source: ESA)

This is one of many astonishing stats gathered in the Entertainment Software Association’s Annual Report 2019.

The fact that 3 out of 5 people admit to playing on a daily basis, serves as a testament to the widespread video game culture within American society.

3. 64% of US households own a device that they use to play video games.

(Source: ESA, ESA)

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

Of course, people have their preferences. In 2019, 60% of gamers chose to play on a smartphone – the most common device. It’s followed by personal computer – 52% and dedicated game consoles with 49%.

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 are 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 are expected to own 34% of the gaming market by the end of 2019.

(Source: WePC)

As mobile devices get more powerful, they’re expected to turn the industry on its head. Recent statistics about mobile games already show this to be true – also judging by how video game demographics have changed as well.

Who Plays Video Games the Most?

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

8. 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.

9. 45% of US gamers are women.

(Source: Statista)

The percentage of female gamers in 2018 shows a marked increase from the previous year when it was at 42%.

However, the best year for gender-equality in the gaming world was 2014, when 48% of US gamers were women.

Still, the general trend is for this number to rise. Back in 2006, only 38% of gamers were female.

10. 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.

11. 67% of parents play video games with their child 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.)

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. The gaming industry reached a global market size of $135 billion in 2018. It’s expected to increase to $196 billion in 2025.

(Source: GamesIndustry, Forbes)

2018 marked an impressive 10.9% increase from the previous year.

In the US alone, the total consumer spending in the video game industry was at $36 billion in 2017. Its biggest share – $29.1 billion – was spent on content. In addition, $4.7 billion went for hardware and another $2.2 billion – for gaming accessories, including VR. Watching a show or a movie on a streaming platform is not enough – gamers want to be in the action.

15. 36 years is the average age of a game purchaser.

(Source: ESA)

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.

16. 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 of 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.

17. 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.

18. 66% of people say the quality of the graphics is important when choosing a game to purchase.

(Source: ESA)

63% of interviewees say 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.

19. 79% of game purchases are in digital format.

(Source: ESA)

This includes subscriptions, full games, add-on content, mobile apps, and social network games. The number refers to all content purchases in US for 2017.

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

Who’s Gonna Be the Next Player?

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

20. 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 device. 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.

21. There are 209.5 million mobile phone gamers in the US in 2019.

(Source: Statista)

And the prediction is they will increase to 213 million in 2020. 82% of people say they play mobile games in their leisure time, while the other 18% admitted they do it at work too.

But how much time do they spend? 29% of US mobile gamers apparently play three to five hours a day! And bear in mind, the survey was carried out way back in 2016.

22. 82% of the digital games revenue comes from free-to-play games.

(Source: WePC)

That’s right, free games generate more revenue. League of Legends generated a revenue of $2.1 billion in 2017, topping the list of free-to-play games. People are far more willing to buy additional content than to pay for the game up front (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.

23. 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%.

24. 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.

25. 65% of US women ages 10-65 play mobile games.

(Source: GameAnalytics)

And they make up 49% of all mobile gamers.


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!


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.

Latest from Victor

Video Game Demographics – Who Plays Games in 2021 25+ Twitch Stats You Need to Know in 2020 37+ Live Streaming Statistics Every Marketer Should Keep In Mind in 2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *