The gaming industry is growing in part due to technological advancement, attracting more people even as years pass. Many older players are advancing in their experiences and going as far as spending heavily on in-game purchases, with a third of surveyed millennials willing to spend up to 100 USD on in-game purchases.
Gaming behaviors may differ across generations due to age, experience, preferences, socialization, availability, and other factors. Understanding these differences can help developers design games for specific groups’ needs and preferences and enable gaming companies to market games more effectively. Below are some of the most significant differences in gaming behaviors across different ages.
A significant difference in gaming behavior among different generations is the time spent gaming. ExpressVPN’s research shows the difference in gaming time across generations and possible reasons why Millennials spend more time gaming than Gen Z. The survey conducted on about 1000 gamers in the US and UK, showed that about 68% of gamers between 30 and 50 years old admit to playing games every day, which is higher than the 58% of gamers in their 20s admitting to doing the same.
While this finding may be surprising because older players supposedly have less gaming time due to personal commitments and responsibilities like work and family, the reality and the potential reasons are not far-fetched.
The Gen Z generation grew up in a world where gaming is not the only popular entertainment option; they have access to social media, online video streaming, and other digital content. They are also likely to have responsibilities such as university work, full-time employment, and part-time jobs, as well as socializing more on average than older generations.
Gaming Experience and Learning Curve
Gaming experience differs across demographics. This is down to the years of playing time, which has seen them develop a deeper understanding of game mechanics, better strategies, and greater skill levels, which may be lacking among less experienced players.
As a result, players may require more time to learn controls, and strategies in a game before playing it. On the other hand, older players have increased chances of learning to play new games easily by applying previous knowledge and experiences. In addition, the Gen Z generation tends to be more interested in the latest games and gaming trends, as covered by Little Black Book, while older players may prefer older and established games.
Socialization and Game Preferences
Gamers that have played different games over the years are likely to have chosen a favorite niche, while less experienced gamers may love to explore several game worlds, genres, and experiences.
Gaming may be a means of socializing with friends and family for older gamers who have chosen a particular gaming niche or genre. In contrast, Gen Z gamers are more likely to socialize with people they have never met by playing with people from online communities, which cover a range of games and areas as detailed by The Hive Index.
The differences in gaming behaviors among different generations are vast and may depend on various factors such as financial status, experience, and preferences. The differences do not make gaming less enjoyable for anyone, but understanding them can help developers and marketers to make the gaming industry capture the attention of various demographics.