Description

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Teen and Tween Gamers: Incl Impact of COVID-19 – US market, and the behaviors, statistics, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

Nearly every kid aged 10-17 plays video games (98%). The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how important video games are to young players as time spent gaming on gaming platforms increased significantly at the onset nationwide social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions. The younger the player, the more invested they are in gaming. As children age, brands need to continuously engage them through immersive, action-oriented gameplay to maintain dedication (and spending) into their adult years. The current generation of young players has ushered in the era of gaming content as mainstream entertainment, and nongaming brands have an opportunity to support this content to reach an engaged group of future consumers.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Poelking, a leading analyst in the Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

With nearly every teen and tween playing video games on some device, gaming is not only an activity for kids; it’s culture. COVID-19 kept many kids inside, giving them more time to dive into their digital worlds. As gaming continues to grow and become ingrained in mainstream pop culture, teens and tweens will continue to be an essential audience driving conversation and trends in the category. Kids become less invested in gaming as they get older. John Poelking
Senior Analyst, Gaming

Table of Contents

  1. `Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
  2. Executive Summary

    • Gaming market overview
      • Figure 1: Global gaming revenue, 2015-20
    • Teen and tween player overview
      • Figure 2: Gaming devices played, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Top takeaways
    • Impact of COVID-19 on teen and tween gaming
      • Figure 3: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on gaming and teen and tween gaming, June 2020
    • Key trends
    • Quality beats quantity: young gamers are selective
      • Figure 4: Average time in a week spent playing video games, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Social gaming offers a way for young players to connect
      • Figure 5: Reasons to play games, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Kids want a digital sandbox to play in
      • Figure 6: Teens and tweens’ favorite games to play, February 2020
    • Young players have control over the little things
      • Figure 7: Correspondence Analysis – Principal map – Who makes gaming purchases, February 2020
    • A potential future in gaming means young players will continue to engage
      • Figure 8: Attitudes toward spending money and playing games professionally, February 2020
    • What it means
  3. The Impact of COVID-19 on Teen/Tween Gaming

    • What you need to know
      • Figure 9: Short-, medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on gaming and teen and tween gaming, June 2020
    • Opportunities and threats
    • More time at home strengthens kids’ dedication to gaming…
      • Figure 10: Adults playing video games more compared to pre-COVID-19, May 2020
    • …but post-lockdown reopenings could make out-of-home leisure more appealing
    • Open world games can be used to create more playful brand interactions
      • Figure 11: @Lions Animal Crossing Twitter post, May 2020
    • Non-gaming brands can reach players who define themselves by the games they play
    • Cross-category collaborations in gaming content can introduce established young gamers to new brands
      • Figure 12: @gillette Gaming Alliance Instagram post, February 2020
    • Manufacturing disruptions may impact the availability of next generation consoles
    • Multicultural generation will bring new voices to entertainment
      • Figure 13: Population of kids aged 10-17, by race and Hispanic origin, 2014-24
    • Impact of COVID-19 on teen and tween gaming
    • A sense of community will drive young players to financially support the gaming world
    • Young players will create gaming content, growing viewing opportunities
    • Deeper dedication will make esports a generational phenomenon
      • Figure 14: Attitudes toward watching gameplay and professional gameplay (esports), February 2020
    • How the COVID-19 crisis will affect teens and tweens
    • Boys likely invested more time watching and producing gaming content in the short term
    • Leisure spending will be a discretionary priority for teen/tween parents
      • Figure 15: COVID-19 spending priorities – Leisure and entertainment, by parent status and age of children in the household, June 11-24, 2020
    • How a COVID-19 recession will reshape teen and tween gaming
    • Difficult seasonal job market will constrict teen spending in the medium term
      • Figure 16: Seasonal unemployment rate among workers aged 16-19 years, January 2010-May 2020
    • Free content will flourish in a value-driven market in the medium term
    • Declining birth rate will impact market for teen and tween gamers in the longer term
      • Figure 17: US teen and tween population, by age, 2014-24
    • COVID-19: US context
  4. The Market – What You Need to Know

    • Global gaming forecast to approach $160 billion in 2020
    • One in 10 Americans is a teen or tween – and nearly all play video games
    • How kids spend their free time changes as they get older
    • Innovations will change how kids interact with games
  5. Global Gaming Market Size and Breakdown

    • Gaming revenue is rising around the world
      • Figure 18: Global gaming revenue, 2015-20
    • Mobile gaming drives growth in the global market
      • Figure 19: Global gaming revenue, by market segment, 2020
  6. Teens and Tweens by the Numbers

    • Teens and tweens make up 10% of population
      • Figure 20: Population of kids aged 10-17, 2014-24
    • A multicultural youth
      • Figure 21: Population of kids aged 10-17, by race and Hispanic origin, 2014-24
  7. Market Perspective

    • Young teens spend the most time doing leisure activities
      • Figure 22: Average daily time for leisure activities, by age, February 2020
    • Older teens find ways to be social, while tweens stick to TV
      • Figure 23: Activities of teens and tweens, by age, February 2020
    • Young kids get, older kids earn
      • Figure 24: How teens and tweens get money, by age, February 2020
    • Video games are a top priority for spending
      • Figure 25: What teens and tweens spend money on, by age, February 2020
  8. Market Factors

    • Teen employment likely to take a hit during recession
    • In-game spending creates important revenue source
    • Moving to digital distribution
    • Xbox Series X and PS5 on the horizon
      • Figure 26: @playstation and @xbox next generation console Instagram posts, 2020
  9. Key Trends – What You Need to Know

    • A new generation of content creators is here
    • Curbing the dark side of gaming will be an important initiative
    • Fostering gaming investments can keep kids engaged
  10. What’s In

    • Nintendo Switch: a console for all
      • Figure 27: @nintendonyc Animal Crossing Instagram post, March 2020
    • Ready to create content
    • Live streaming for Gen Z
    • Mobile games and microtransactions
  11. What’s Out

    • Concerns about overgaming suggest a potential for regulation
    • The dark side of gaming content
    • Concerns over video game violence linger
    • Loot boxes get the boot
  12. What to Watch

    • Supporting professional gaming aspirations
    • Young kids looking for alternative realities
      • Figure 28: Attitudes toward AR/VR, February 2020
    • Cloud and subscription services for dedicated teens and tweens
  13. The Consumer – What You Need to Know

    • Gaming has always been essential to kids
    • Kids play often, but don’t invest a lot of time
    • Online connection is important to young gamers
    • Immersive games pack a punch
    • Young players say gaming brands are fun for everyone
    • Players spend money for a better experience
    • Kids have control over smaller purchases
    • Trusted sources bring teens and tweens to new games
    • Narrowing focus to maximize fun
    • The next generation of competitive gamers is getting prepared
    • Segmentation highlights unique opportunities among young gamers
  14. Teen and Tween Gaming Overview

    • Nearly every teen and tween plays video games
      • Figure 29: Gaming devices used, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Mobile gaming differs by age
      • Figure 30: Gaming devices used by teens and tweens, by age, February 2020
    • Boys drawn to consoles while girls go mobile
      • Figure 31: Gaming devices used by teens and tweens, by age and gender, February 2020
  15. Time Spent Gaming

    • Kids play more often than adults…
      • Figure 32: Frequency of gaming, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • …but adult players are more likely to be heavy gamers
      • Figure 33: Average time in a week spent playing video games, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Gaming content less of a priority for kids
      • Figure 34: Average time in a week spent watching gaming content, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
  16. Reasons to Play Games

    • Kids gravitate toward dedicated gaming segments
      • Figure 35: Reasons to play games, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Teen boys look to compete and socialize
      • Figure 36: Reasons to play games for teens and tweens, by age and gender, February 2020
  17. Favorite Games to Play

    • Immersion and action beat casual games
      • Figure 37: Teens and tweens’ favorite games to play, February 2020
    • Kids want more action, customization than adults
      • Figure 38: Favorite games to play, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Boys need action…
      • Figure 39: Teens and tweens’ favorite games to play – Action games, by age and gender, February 2020
    • …while girls want stories and puzzles
      • Figure 40: Teens and tweens’ favorite games to play – Other games, by age and gender, February 2020
  18. Perceptions of Gaming Brands

    • Nintendo leads for likability
      • Figure 41: Teens and tweens’ perceptions of gaming brands – Liked by me and my parents, February 2020
    • Teens gravitate toward Xbox and PlayStation
      • Figure 42: Teens and tweens’ perceptions of gaming brands – For people my age, February 2020
    • Older teens are less enthralled with gaming brands
      • Figure 43: Teens and tweens’ perceptions of gaming brands – On trend and boring, February 2020
  19. Gaming Purchases

    • Smaller hardware takes priority for kids
      • Figure 44: Teens and tweens’ gaming hardware purchases, February 2020
    • Games make great gifts
      • Figure 45: Teens and tweens’ game and game subscription purchases, February 2020
    • One third of teens and tweens made in-game purchases
      • Figure 46: Teens and tweens’ in-game purchases, February 2020
    • Merchandise matters
      • Figure 47: Teens and tweens’ purchases around gaming culture, February 2020
    • More so than adults, kids look for the little things
      • Figure 48: Gaming purchases, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
  20. Who Pays for Games

    • What kids pay for
    • What parents pay for
    • What other adults pay for
      • Figure 49: Correspondence Analysis – Principal map – Who makes gaming purchases, February 2020
  21. Reasons to Play a New Game

    • Teens and tweens need trusted recommendations
    • Word of mouth goes the furthest
    • Opportunity: Utilize gaming influencers
      • Figure 50: Reasons to play a new game, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Boys look to gaming sources
      • Figure 51: Reasons to play a new game – Reviews, by age and gender, February 2020
  22. Gaming Behaviors and Preferences

    • Teens can have fun with any hardware
      • Figure 52: The home gaming experience, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Young gamers can access many free games, but only need to play a few at a time
      • Figure 53: Amount of games played and price of games, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Boys play to compete and connect
      • Figure 54: Competitive and social gaming, by gender, February 2020
  23. Attitudes toward Gaming

    • Overgaming can be an issue since gaming is important
      • Figure 55: Attitudes toward the importance of gaming, February 2020
    • Some teens and tweens feel the need to invest in a gaming future
      • Figure 56: Attitudes toward spending money and playing games professionally, February 2020
    • Adult perceptions hurt future gaming opportunities
      • Figure 57: Attitudes toward playing with parents and the future, February 2020
    • Watching gaming content is more important for kids than adults
      • Figure 58: Attitudes toward gaming influencers and esports, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
    • Kids want better games to play on their phone
      • Figure 59: Attitudes toward cloud gaming and free games, teens/tweens vs adults, February 2020
  24. Teen and Tween Gamer Segmentation

      • Figure 60: Teen and tween gamer segmentation, February 2020
    • Periodic Players (28%)
    • Demographics
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 61: Profile of Periodic Players, February 2020
    • Family Fans (27%)
    • Demographics
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 62: Profile of Family Fans, February 2020
    • Multiplayer Masters (23%)
    • Demographics
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 63: Profile of Multiplayer Masters, February 2020
    • Gargantuan Gamers (22%)
    • Demographics
    • Characteristics
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 64: Profile of Gargantuan Gamers, February 2020
  25. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  26. Appendix – The Consumer

      • Figure 65: Gaming devices used, October 2018-December 2019
      • Figure 66: New game purchase timeframe, October 2018-December 2019
      • Figure 67: Genres played, October 2018-December 2019
      • Figure 68: Number of games bought in the past 12 months, October 2018-December 2019
      • Figure 69: Attitudes toward video games, October 2018-December 2019
      • Figure 70: eSports viewing in the past 12 months, October 2018-December 2019

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