Older Adults Spending More Time and Money on Video Games

January 5, 2021

NPDGroup Growth in Time Money Spent Gaming Jan2021It’s been established that the image of the stereotypical video game player differs considerably from what the average gamer really is. Even with some myths dispelled, gaming is still perceived as an activity for younger people. However, data [press release] from The NPD Group indicates that older US adults are upping their investment in – and time spent – gaming.

An August 2020 survey of 5,000 US respondents ages 2 and older reveals that the proportion of consumers playing video games climbed to 79%, up from 73% in 2019. Respondents also spent more time gaming, increasing the time spent by 26% year-over-year, while their total spending on video games grew by 33%.

Indeed, quarterly data from The NPD Group shows double-digit year-over-year increases in spending on video game products in both Q2 (30%) and Q3 (24%) of 2020, reaching $11.6 billion and $11.2 billion, respectively.

When it comes to the age of video game players in the US, the Entertainment Software Association has reported that about half of all players were 35 and older. Moreover, this recent survey reveals above-average increases in time with – and spending on – video games by adults older than 45.

Adults between the ages of 45 and 54 increased their time spent gaming by 59% in 2020 over the previous year, while adults ages 55-64 (48%) and 65+ (45%) also spent significantly more time gaming, likely as a result of the pandemic.

The amount of money spent on gaming also increased for these age groups, with the biggest increases seen among adults ages 45-54 (76%) and 55-64 (73%). Spending by those 65 and older grew by 29%.

This growth in spending and time spent with video games for older adults means that advertisers have a larger market to target. This comes as video game advertising spend in the US is expected to continue to rise in the next few years.

About the Data: Findings are based on an online survey of 5,000 members of NPD’s US online panel (ages 2+) fielded in August 2020.

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