120x600

US Continues to See Growth in Time and Money Spent on Video Games, While Overall Participation Records a Slight Decline Over Last Year Reports The NPD Group


We had a number of lapsed gamers in the 45-64 age group re-enter the market last year, not only for entertainment, but to stay connected with family and friends. And these gamers have continued to play more than other age groups.

According to ‘2021 Evolution of Entertainment’ report from The NPD Group, this year, the amount of money spent in the U.S. on video games has increased 35% over the past six months*; and while overall participation in video gaming remains high, it has decreased to 76%, a three-point decline over the same period last year.

“Although we have seen a slight reduction in the percentage of Americans that play video games, we are still well ahead of the 73% we saw in 2019,” said Mat Piscatella, U.S. video games industry analyst for The NPD Group.

Despite the decline in number of people playing video games, the industry continues to see growth in the number of hours spent gaming. There was a dramatic increase in time spent playing games from 2019 to 2020, with average hours played per week jumping from 12.7 to 14.8, respectively. And the growth continues, increasing to 16.5 hours per week this year.

One segment that has played a major role in driving these gains is among more mature U.S. gamers ages 45-64. In 2019, 65% of consumers in this age group played games for approximately 9 hours per week. This jumped considerably in 2020 to 69% playing for approximately 12 hours per week, and 75% this year playing for approximately 16 hours per week.

“We had a number of lapsed gamers in the 45-64 age group re-enter the market last year, not only for entertainment, but to stay connected with family and friends. And these gamers have continued to play more than other age groups,” said Piscatella. “Despite an overall decline in the percentage of folks that play games in the market, the time 45–64-year-old gamers spent playing continued to increase. Clearly, gaming is not a segment relegated to kids and teens; it is a segment that is appealing to gamers of all ages.”

*Six months ending July 2021

Methodology

An online survey was fielded in August 2021 to members of NPD’s U.S. online panel. The survey was completed by 5,000 individuals ages 2 and older. Participants in this survey were recruited from two representative pools: adults (respondents ages 18+) were recruited for participation directly and completed the survey based on their own habits; and children / teens (respondents ages 2 to 17) were recruited via parent surrogates. Children over age 10 were instructed to complete the survey for themselves (with parental help, if needed). Parents of younger children were asked to complete the survey on their child’s behalf, with the help of their child (if able). For the purposes of this analysis, respondents qualified as participants in an entertainment category if they reported that they had personally participated in a relevant activity in the six months prior to the survey.

About The NPD Group, Inc.

NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2,000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, and B2B. We have services in 19 countries worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, home improvement, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, and video games. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

Share article on social media or email:

About The Author