A recent report on the state of the game industry from The Association For UK Interactive Entertainment has brought to light some revealing statistics about the modern gamer.
Although focused on the United Kingdom, UKIE's #VideoGames market research data paints an interesting picture of what it means to be a 'typical gamer' in a developed country nowadays.
Do you consider yourself a typical gamer? Or do you fall outside the norm? We picked out some of the most revealing stats from the report to find out. Ask yourself these questions honestly, and you might just be surprised:
1. First Of All, Do You Even Buy Games?
According to Newzoo, gamers amount to 50% of the total population. That's a lot, but what's surprising is that a decent chunk of the gaming population only play games for free. Only 59% of gamers actually spend money on games, whether that be buying a game outright, or purchasing add-ons for a nominally Free-To-Play title.
There are plenty of indie titles out there that you can play for free, and huge archives of older games that can be played easily in-browser, not to mention a host of mobile games and FTP MMOs that support themselves on the backs of just a handful of high-spending 'whale' users.
So if you do spend money on games, pat yourself on the back for supporting the industry, there's a lot of freeloaders out there!
2. If You Spend Money On Games, How Much?
Those of us who do contribute our hard-earned cash know that gaming can turn into quite an expensive hobby, particularly with how easy it is to purchase games online now.
The average person who buys games spends about $206 per year. How do your spending habits measure up? Are you thriftier than average, or a big spender?
I like to think of myself as pretty sensible with my money, but if a Steam sale catches my eye at the wrong time, I can find myself looking at my Library with hungover eyes the next morning, amazed that I just paid for 6 games I won't actually get around to playing until next year.
What about those who don't like to spend money on games? Well, they're probably going to have to swallow a bunch of ads, but most of them are just fine with that.
3. Would You Sit Through A Bunch Of Ads For A Free Game?
If around 40% of gamers aren't buying those games, the creators have to make some money one way or another. Like a lot of free content online, these games are monetized through advertising.
Now, I really like immersive games and so advertising is a huge personal turn off, but I was surprised to see that the majority of games don't agree with me on this.
How do you feel about advertising in a free game? Is it worth getting something for free, only for it to try and constantly sell you something else?
4. How Much Time Do You Spend Gaming Per Week?
UK gamers have a decent lead over their neighbors when it comes to the amount of time per week they spend actually playing. On average, 11 to 64 year-olds spend 8.2 hours per week playing games. With so many rainy days, who can blame them?
You can finish a lot of games in 8 hrs, if you know how! Check out our 14 fascinating facts about the fastest gamers of them all:
Although the study doesn't give this information, I'm wondering how this actually works out for most people. Just over an hour a day, or a day or two of marathon binges? Yours truly definitely skews towards the latter. But then again, I like really immersive games.
5. Are You Doing Other Stuff While You Play Games?
In today's overstimulated age, it's not uncommon to be multi-tasking, or paying attention to several devices simultaneously. Compared to other kinds of media, gaming is the most engrossing, clearly demanding more of the average user's attention than, say, watching TV or surfing online.
Still, a strong majority are clearly playing games at the same time as doing something else. If you prefer to sink some hours into a game without any ongoing distractions, you can count yourself among the hardcore.
How Close To The Average Gamer Are You?
From the looks of the latest data, the typical gamer spends around 8 hours a week playing games and spends around $200 dollars a year, but is also doing a bunch of stuff during those precious gaming hours.
I feel I could fit comfortably in the tribe of the typical, if it wasn't for this multi-tasking thing. That and playing games with ads in them. Sheesh.
Are you a typical gamer in your habits, or more of an outlier? Let us know in the comments!