And I've got the proof to back it up. A new industry report released by IBISWorld, reveals women and older adults -- not the proverbial nerdy teenage boys -- are the new driving force behind the success of the video games industry as console manufacturers and software developers race to expand their offerings beyond the traditional action genre which has always appealed to youngsters.
According to the report: 38 percent of U.S. gamers are women and the average player is 35 years old, The average purchaser of video games is 39 years old, *4 percent of game players are aged over 50, around a third of American households have a gaming console.
Phew -- I feel so much better now :)
The percentage of female gamers has increased from 33 to 38 percent in just five years as women flock to purchase not just Nintendo's Wii Fit, but interactive group games such as Singstar, Rock Band, and Lips, as well as The Sims, The Movies, Nintendogs and NeoPets. Games targeting girls, such as Bratz Rock Angels and Dora the Explorer have also succeeded in introducing a new generation of female gamers to the console format.
"Wii Fit is the perfect example of how recent developments in game design and marketing are opening up female gamers as the potential growth market in the industry, and the fact women comprise 38 percent of game players indicates the level of growth available to the industry, as there are still very few titles designed specifically to target that demographic. Wii Fit shows the attention women can expect to receive as manufacturers and developers actively chase the female dollar," predicted Mr. Van Horn.
As the young male demographic is comprehensively served by existing game titles, and the female market is the latest focus, IBISWorld expects one of the remaining markets ripe for the picking is older gamers.
Until recently, the teenage pioneers of video games 25 years ago were under 40 years old. Today, those gamers are approaching their mid-to late- forties. In order to retain those original fans, games are being designed specifically to appeal to older players are most likely the next, and perhaps final frontier for developers and publishers to cross. This has already begun, with Nintendo's DS 'Brain Age' testing games, and IBISWorld anticipates it will continue as the industry faces a diminishing number of potential new customers in the longer-term.
"Parents also fall into the 'older gamer' category, and the sheer number of them playing games with their children is another factor driving industry growth," said Mr. Van Horn. "Some surveys (NPD) suggest that 93 percent of parents playing video games have children who are playing too. In fact, nearly half the games sold in 2006 held an 'E' rating, and with 39 the average age of a game buyer, that would suggest the Mom and Dad market is a major one."