A new study by U.S. consumer research company The NPD Group
has overturned recent assumptions that the majority of hardcore or “serious” gamers are in the eighteen to thirty-four age bracket, with the report suggesting that older stereotypes of younger gamers are still valid.
NPD’s data suggests that 45 percent of the “heavy gamer segment” and nearly one-in-three of the company’s “avid console gamer” segment are between the ages of six and seventeen. The group’s recently released Video Gamer Segmentation report identifies six segments: Heavy Gamers, Avid Console Gamers, Mass Market Gamers, Prefer Portable Gamers, Secondary Gamers and Infrequent Gamers.
The report divides gamers into relevant segments by the number and type of systems owned, whether or not consumers are primary or secondary users, frequency of use and the number of titles purchased/received. The data was collected via an online survey, with a sample of 16,670 respondents aged between six and forty-four, targeting panelists who currently own a video games system.
According to the report the demographics of the Heavy Gamers segment, which includes only three percent of the total games playing population, shows that 21 percent are female. The make up of the Prefer Portable segment is also surprising, with one-in-three being aged eighteen to forty-four years old.
"Heavy gamers can be critical to a title or retailer's success since they are the market leaders, but focusing on this segment entirely is ignoring a much broader consumer base and larger revenue potential," said Anita Frazier, entertainment industry analyst at The NPD Group. "NPD is excited to finally bring a measured approach to gamer segmentation and is looking forward to releasing future updates and shedding more light on this important topic.”