The Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry’s trade association and presenters of the E3 exposition, released the results of a study on demographics in the gaming industry with some interesting results that help shatter long held stereotypes of gamers.
Adult women are now the largest demographic in the gaming industry, making up a total of 36% of the population. Adult men weren't far behind with 35% of the gaming population, and the stereotypical teenage male gamer actually only makes up just 17% of the gaming demographics.
The report also shows how the video game industry is expanding, and the The Daily Dot notes that:
“The picture that emerges from the study is one of expansion across the board. More people are playing more games of various genres across more platforms, with social games on mobile and casual games on PCs emerging as huge leaders.”
The study also shows that stereotypes like "adult female gamers just play Candy Crush" is inaccurate. In fact those gamers mostly play casual computer games. On the whole in the US, gaming is continuing to grow as 59% of Americans play games and 51% of all U.S. households have a gaming console.
Microsoft’s emphasis on gaming across devices with Xbox to PC streaming, and the ability to play with Xbox Live friends in PC games has the potential to be well situated for an industry that is being defined by the changes in this report. A more universal approach to gaming may be a better fit to match the growth in casual computer gaming, growth in consoles, and demographics of gamers shifting to be far from the teenage boy stereotype.
Microsoft’s approach to universal games, like the Windows 10 Edition of Minecraft, might be best suited for these industry changes. As some big segments of the market shift to casual gaming, the ability to provide those casual games conveniently with cloud saves and universal experience across devices, could make gaming on Windows 10 a much more attractive platform for developers and consumers alike.