Description

“Overall, gamers feel that representation and diversity is a positive force. For brands, this also represents an opportunity to give players what they want and gain goodwill, as inclusivity only seems to increase players’ likelihood to purchase games if done in a respectful and authentic manner.”
Brian Benway, Gaming and Entertainment Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • US consumer video game spending trend
  • Gaming companies’ approaches to diversity and strategies for communicating support
  • How rising inflation impacts consumers and what it means for gaming
  • Player inclusivity and representation that gamers look for in the games they play
  • Diversity’s impact on likelihood of purchasing games and gaming brand sentiment
  • Attitudes toward diversity and inclusivity in gaming and the gaming community

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: US video game consumer spending, January 2022 vs January 2021
    • Impact of COVID-19 on video gaming
      • Figure 2: Video gaming outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Key insights: what gamers want …
    • To see greater diversity represented in gaming
      • Figure 3: Desired representation in gaming, 2021
    • Flexibility and choice
      • Figure 4: Reasons against representations of diversity in gaming, 2021
    • Games that feature their own culture and heritage
      • Figure 5: Likeliness to purchase if a game features “my culture” – NET, by race/Hispanic origin and age 25-54, 2021
    • Companies to deal with toxic players
      • Figure 6: Company responsibility for player toxicity, by gaming device segments, 2021
  3. US Video Games Market Overview

    • Inflation may be putting a damper on growth
      • Figure 7: US video game consumer spending, January 2022 vs January 2021
    • Cyclical January decline is expected following the holidays
      • Figure 8: US Video game consumer spending, monthly, 2021 and January 2022
  4. Market Factors Impacting Gaming and Diversity

    • Growing demand for DEI in life is reflected in gaming
    • Rising inflation forces some consumers to make trade-offs
    • COVID-19 continues to affect gaming events
    • Gaming industry shows solidarity with Asian communities
    • Conflict in Ukraine could delay releases, disrupt developers
      • Figure 9: Ukrainian maker of the post-apocalyptic survival horror game S.T.A.L.K.E.R., 2022
  5. US Video Games Player Overview

    • Motivations for Playing and Gamer Segments
    • Core reasons for play results in four distinct segments of gamers
      • Figure 10: Top reasons for playing video games – Grouped by motivations, 2021
    • Mintel gamer segments
      • Figure 11: Gamer segments, 2021
      • Figure 12: Top reasons for playing video games, by gamer segments, 2021
    • Achievers – characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 13: Primary Achievers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Explorers – characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 14: Primary Explorers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Socializers – characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 15: Primary Socializers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Competitors – characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 16: Primary Competitors, by key demographics, 2021
    • Who are the Other gamers?
      • Figure 17: Other gamers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Gaming Devices and Playing Frequency
    • Expect mobile to remain a driver of growth in 2022
      • Figure 18: Video game devices played, by gamer segment, 2021
    • Most play weekly, but designing for segments may improve engagement
      • Figure 19: Active gamers’ play frequency, by gamer segment, 2021
  6. Competitive Strategies & Market Opportunities

    • A new era of accessibility in gaming?
    • Gaming can promote body positivity
      • Figure 20: Gillette Venus celebrates one year of Animal Crossing skinclusivity, 2021
    • Video games could be a new tool for mental health professionals
      • Figure 21: Texas A&M researching mental health and gaming, 2022
    • Dungeons and Dragons brings accessibility to traditional roleplaying
      • Figure 22: Accessibility in D&D with Jen Kretchmer – D&D Beyond, 2021
    • Gaming industry celebrates Black History in February and beyond
    • Xbox sets itself as an industry role model as it celebrated Black History Month in 2022
      • Figure 23: Xbox celebrates Black History Month, 2022
    • Activision Blizzard celebrated Black History Month with its employee network’s value
      • Figure 24: Activision employees discuss the new Call of Duty character, 2022
    • Ubisoft Montreal celebrated Black History Month charitably and educationally
      • Figure 25: Ubisoft initiatives to mark Black History month, 2022
  7. Advertising Trends 2022

    • At 11 years old, Minecraft remains untarnished for Xbox
      • Figure 26: Xbox advertising, Jan-Feb 2022
    • Sony sandwiches a new movie’s inspiration between popular favorites
      • Figure 27: Sony advertising, Jan-Feb 2022
    • Nintendo’s Switch Online enhances player favorites
      • Figure 28: Nintendo advertising, Jan-Feb 2022
    • Activision Blizzard put its big three front and center
      • Figure 29: Activision Blizzard advertising, Jan-Feb 2022
    • The venerable Sims series remains strong for EA
      • Figure 30: EA Advertising, Jan-Feb 2022
  8. The Video Game Consumer: Fast Facts

    • 72% of gamers want to see more diversity in games and marketing
    • 23% of gamers don’t want diversity that distracts from game play
    • 56% of gamers are more interested in games that feature their culture
    • 23% of gamers gained interest in other cultures because of gaming
    • 33% of gamers associate Nintendo with positive representation of diversity
    • 71% of gamers feel that all games should have an “easy mode”
    • 72% of PC gamers feel brands should do more to combat toxicity in gaming
  9. Desired Types of Representation in Gaming

    • Gamers are most interested in what they’re already comfortable with
      • Figure 31: Desired representation in gaming, 2021
    • 25-44 year olds are more interested in various types of diversity
      • Figure 32: Gamers’ desire for “any inclusivity,” by age, 2021
    • Gaming is for everyone who wants to game
      • Figure 33: Most desired areas of representation in gaming, by gamer segments, 2021
  10. Reasons Against Diversity in Gaming

    • Gaming’s first priority is fun, and fun should never be forced
      • Figure 34: Reasons against representations of diversity in gaming, 2021
    • Gamers want diversity that isn’t out of place in-game and in advertising
      • Figure 35: Reasons against diversity in gaming, by race/Hispanic origin and age 25-54, 2021
    • Enough trash talk, competitive gamers need to take it down a notch
      • Figure 36: Top reasons against diversity in gaming, by gamer segment, 2021
  11. Diversity’s Impact on Purchase Behavior

    • Diversity inclusions encourage purchases more than it detracts
      • Figure 37: Diversity factors that affect likeliness to purchase, 2021
    • Gamers want to buy games that feature their own culture and heritage
      • Figure 38: Likeliness to purchase if a game features “my culture” – NET, by race/Hispanic origin and age 25-54, 2021
    • Male gamers’ purchases are more positively swayed by diversity inclusions
      • Figure 39: Diversity factors that increase likeliness to purchase, by gender and age 25-54, 2021
  12. Gamer Engagement with Diversity

    • Gaming can positively improve the way gamers view cultures
      • Figure 40: Diversity’s effect on gamers, 2021
    • Diversity and discrimination more impactful on younger gamers
      • Figure 41: Diversity’s effect on gamers, by age, 2021
    • Mobile and casual gamers less impacted by diversity and discrimination
      • Figure 42: Diversity’s effect on gamers, by gaming device segments, 2021
  13. Brand Level Diversity Sentiment

    • Gamers associate Nintendo’s family friendly atmosphere with diversity
      • Figure 43: Brand level positive associations with diversity, 2021
      • Figure 44: Nintendo family day, 2019
    • Socializers are most positive toward console manufacturers’ diversity
      • Figure 45: Console brand positive associations with diversity, by gamer segments, 2021
  14. Attitudes toward Diversity and Inclusivity in Gaming

    • Gamers want games to be enjoyable for all
      • Figure 46: Attitudes toward gaming and diversity, 2021
    • Gaming should be as aspirational as it is entertaining
      • Figure 47: Accessibility in game difficulty and design, by gamer segments, 2021
    • Most gamers want companies to try harder in dealing with toxic players
      • Figure 48: Company responsibility for player toxicity, by gaming device segments, 2021
    • Gamers who feel most represented see least need for further diversity
      • Figure 49: Gaming representation and diversity as a fad, by race/Hispanic origin and age 25-54, 2021
  15. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

About the report

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