Nielsen: Game Playing, Used Game Sales Are Peaking
More people are playing games than ever before, and as a direct consequence, more people are buying games (well, used games, but whatever).
According to the latest Nielsen report, entitled "The Value Gamer: Play and Purchase Behavior in a Recession" and summarized by Industry Gamers, we learn that gamers are participating in their favorite hobby more often than ever, and used game sales are spiking. The study was obviously designed to determine if the past recession had a negative impact on the habits of gamers. For our part, we always thought the increase in home entertainment of any kind during a recession would be obvious...when people can't afford to go out, they stay home. Well, now there are numbers to back it up. As stated in the report:
"Over the past several months, the number of hours that gamers claim to be playing is at an all time high, part of a rising trend in gameplay that began in 2007. Additionally, gamers have increased their purchase of used games to record-breaking totals since the Video Game Tracking survey began asking about this in 2006. The same is true for subscriptions to video game rental services by mail. Taken together, these trends point to gamers’ continued engagement with the category even as their budgets have come under pressure. Overall, the recession has not abated the trend of increasing gameplay and may have in fact accelerated it as gamers look to get more value out of the games they own."
Not surprisingly, the report says mainstream gamers are playing "more of the broadly appealing games," and that the "social aspects" of such titles have engaged them. By that same token, they don't believe that hardcore gamers are causing the averages in question to rise. Lastly, they easily attribute the increase in used game purchases to the recession; gamers simply want to stretch their entertainment dollar a little further. But anyway, gaming certainly hasn't abated and in fact, it's bigger than ever (surprise, surprise).
7/7/2009 Ben Dutka