Younger gamers display strong and diverse spending behavior across video game touchpoints.

Personalization, customization, and the desire for social interaction propel gaming engagement with younger gamers. A potential shift from physical to digital game purchase is being driven by these 13-34 consumers.

The author(s)
  • Christopher Hoffman Vice President, Content Strategy
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October 31, 2023 - Overall, the results of the study illustrate gamers aged P13-34 willingness to invest in gaming content and features to maximize their gaming enjoyment.

These findings are drawn from an Ipsos - Generation Lab survey among 841 Americans aged 13 to 34 who play at least an hour of games a week, conducted August 29, 2023, to September 5, 2023. The survey was conducted via the Generation Lab sample access methodology. Methodology details are provided below.

There is evidence of a large monetization opportunity among Core Gamers – defined as those who play video games for at least 7 hours a week or more, across any device. These gamers present a sizeable opportunity for the industry, as P13-34 Core Gamers represent 66% of the population for this age group.

In the past 6 months, 85% of these P13-34 Core Gamers have spent money in the game sector by purchasing a game, expansion/season/battle pass, microtransactions, or gaming subscription service. Among these gamers, spending tends to be diversified. More than a third of these gamers (39%) have spent on 3 or more of our key monetization touchpoints, rising to 60% who have spent across at least 2 monetization touchpoints.

Gamers Playing Games ≥7 Hours a Week Across Devices

 

Ages 13-34

N=627

Made at least 1 game related purchase

85%

Made at least 2 game related purchases

60%

Made at least 3 game related purchases

39%

These younger games have most commonly purchased a digital copy of a video game (46%), followed by playing a game through a gaming subscription service (44%) or buying in-game microtransactions (35%).

Gaming Monetization Touchpoints Among Gamers Playing ≥7 Hours a Week Across Devices

 

Ages 13-34

N=627

Purchased a digital copy of a video game

46%

Played a game through a subscription service

44%

Purchased microtransactions or made an in game purchase

35%

Purchased a video game expansion/season pass

29%

Purchased a battle pass

26%

Purchased a physical copy of a video game

25%

Paid a subscription to play a live service game

17%

Personalization/customization and social interaction are critical to video gaming engagement with P13-34 Core Gamers. In the past 6 months, more than half of these consumers have used a personalized avatar or character (62%) or chatted with other players while gaming (56%). An important portion of these gamers tend to become emotionally invested while gaming, with more than 1-in-4 (28%) reporting that they have gotten angry with another player within the past 6 months.

Behaviors Among Gamers Playing ≥7 Hours a Week Across Devices

 

 

Ages 13-34

N=627

Used a personalized avatar or character

62%

Chatted with other players within a game

56%

Got angry with another player

28%

Missed at least two meals in a row

16%

Missed class or work to play a game

9%

There is also evidence that these younger gamers are driving a shift from physical to digital game purchases. Among P13-34 Core Gamers, past six-month purchase of a digital copy of a video game (46%) is nearly twice as high as a purchase of a physical copy of a video game (25%).

Half of casual P13-34 Core Gamers have engaged with at least one of the measured monetization touchpoints in the past six months, while nearly 1-in-4 (23%) engaged with a singular touchpoint. These casual gamers are most likely to play games through a subscription service (27%) or have purchased a digital copy of a video game (23%).


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Christopher Hoffman, Senior Vice-President of Ipsos Media and Entertainment noted: “It is positive to see younger gamers, despite less overall discretionary income than older cohorts, spending across a variety of gaming touchpoints. These gamers are willing to dip into their own wallets to amplify and personalize their gaming experience.”

For more insights from this research, join us for our webinar on November 7.


METHODOLOGY

This Ipsos Generation Lab poll was conducted August 29 - September 5, 2023, using Generation Lab’s online youth and teens panel. This poll is based on a nationally representative sample of 954 general population of people 13-34 years old, including 841 who play games for at least an hour or longer each week.

The margin of error reported for this survey was computed using the classical Simple Random Sampling formula with an adjustment for the estimated design effect. The margin of error assumes that the weighted estimates are approximately unbiased. This assumption of approximate unbiasedness is based on our assertion that any differences between the survey sample and the target population on key survey outcomes are corrected by raking on the demographics listed in the weighting description.

The margin of sampling error for this study is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.36 for all respondents. The margin of sampling error for this study is plus or minus 4.6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the sample of respondents who play at least one hour of games each week.

In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

The survey was conducted using Generation Lab’s online teen and youth respondent panel. Generation Lab leverages the internet, social media, and search platforms to create a non-probability panel This panel is built to reflect individuals of all backgrounds ages 13-34 in the United States.

Generation Lab utilize a geographic frame made up of a set of randomized geographic units, selected by applying probability proportional to size (PPS) sampling, to recruit participants.

The data for the total sample were weighted to adjust for gender by age, sex, race, ethnicity, and education. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2021 and 2019 American Community Survey (ACS). The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Age Group (13-17, 18-24, 25-29, 30-34)
  • Sex (Male, Female)
  • Race (White, Black or African American, Asian or Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, All Remaining Groups)
  • Ethnicity (Hispanic or Latino, Not Hispanic or Latino)
  • Education (High School Graduate or Below, Some College or Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree or Above)
The author(s)
  • Christopher Hoffman Vice President, Content Strategy

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