COM0014 – Blog #3: Target Audiences

Playing video games has always been my biggest hobby ever since I was just a young child. Around 2012-2013 the video gaming industry became more profitable than the movie industry and is predicted to be worth $337 billion by 2027 according to TechJury. Today, I take a look at the gaming industry’s target audience in an attempt to understand it better.

Photo credit: Enrique Guzman on Unsplash

Interesting Statistics

According again to TechJury, there would be over 3 billion video gamers in the world in 2023.

  • 70% of gamers being 18 or older
  • 60% playing video games daily
  • 45% of US gamers are women
  • 70% of parents believe video games have a positive influence

When you think about it, this means that around 37% of the global population now plays video games. A very impressive number if you ask me. 18 and older is a bit wide of an overall age range I thought so I made some more research and found that the average gamer falls in the 18-34 years-old age range according to DataProt.

I found especially surprising that 70% of parents believe video games have a positive influence. My parents were always supporters of video games as they taught me many things including English (being a French speaker) and problem solving but, being a kid of the 90s, most parents I knew growing up were against video games. I’m happy to see that times must have changed.

Something that I found very interesting also is the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the gaming world. For instance, there has been a nearly 60% spike in game playing among people 45-54 years-old according to Business Insider.

How to Use Those Statistics

What I found interesting about the demographics of video gamers is that it pretty much matches that of social media users. Video gamers seem to be around 18-34 years old while social media users are on average in the 25-34 age range according to Neal Schaffer. This means that social media might be the best way to get into contact with the core gamer audience. This doesn’t mean that we should ignore TV ads and such, but it’s good to keep in mind when advertising in this industry. I know for one that social media is where I get exposed to new game trailers and information the most.

Screenshot from Playstation’s 2018 Black Friday ad.

The Perfect Video Gaming Ad (in my opinion)

Around the time of 2018’s Black Friday/Holiday season, Playstation put out a video advertisement online which I thought was absolute perfection. The ad features a man who seems to be in his early 30s singing and being overall very excited from the fact that there is a massive snowstorm going on outside stating that “it’s a gorgeous day to play inside”.

I think Playstation understood its target audience so well with this one. The guy seems to fit right in the average demographic, he probably has a job and/or obligations like the typical 18-34 year old would have and might even have a hard time finding time to play video games. But then, the snowstorm arrives and that’s it… the perfect day to stay at home and play video games.

A truly wonderful ad if you ask me and it’s been living in my brain ever since I say it 4 years ago. The musical-like song definitely helped too.

In Conclusion

I think the video game industry in general has been very good at reaching and understanding its audience. Ads are made prominently for social media as that’s where the main target audience is, but it has also been good at branching out to TV and such for people who still watch it. The video game industry is at a very good spot and I don’t think they could change much of what they do for now.

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