Millennials are all adults now, the youngest of the generation is 22 years old while the oldest is 38. Do you know what we’re still doing? Playing video games, that thing our parents always told us was a waste of time. Well jokes on you Mom! All kidding aside, games and gaming related media are consumed by millennials at an amazing rate and a new report from Superdata dives into the numbers.
Two out of three millennials in the US are gamers and 71% of those gamers are watching gaming video content like livestreams and pre-recorded videos. In comparison, within the same group of gamers, 54% are employed full-time, 46% have children, and 43% have a bachelors degree or higher.
As for gender division between gamers, despite what some may say, it’s very close to being an even split. 48% of all millennial gamers identify as female, 50% as male, and 2% listed other or preferred not to say. Women are the majority when it comes to mobile gaming, 54% of millennial mobile gamers in fact. But, women aren’t far behind on the other platforms, 43% of PC and 41% of console players.
While many gamers complain about mobile games it would seem that we are in fact still playing them. 7 in 10 millennial gamers will play a game on a smartphone at least once a month. Mobile gaming is, in fact, more popular than both PC and console. 60% of millennial gamers are also playing on consoles, though that may not always be their first choice. Meanwhile, PC gamers make up just 30% of the audience.
Millennials who are playing on mobile devices are spending more time each week playing, an average of 9.7 hours a week. Though this playtime is broken up into multiple sessions throughout the week. Millennials spend 9.6 hours a week on average playing console games and just 7 hours a week on PC.
One big trend we’ve seen in millennials is they are playing to hang out with their family and friends online. Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment, we all know it’s more friends than family. 70% of millennials are playing multiplayer games. That number goes up to 72% for Gen Zers. For Gen X it’s just 43%.
Gaming Video Content
Chances are if you’re a millennial gamer you watch gaming related video content online. That’s because 71% of us are doing it. For Gen X and older gamers that number is just 43%. Meanwhile, 77% of Gen Z gamers are watching gaming content. 24% of millennial gamers are watching video content at least once a day. 35% watch once a week or less, and 39% watch 2 to 6 times per week. 53% of millennial gamers watching gaming content watch for less than an hour in each session. 26% watch it for 1 to 2 hours while 22% will watch for 3 or more hours in one sitting. Millennial gamers are sitting at 97 minutes on average each session, compared to Gen X and older who are watching for 73 minutes and Gen Z who are watching for 106 minutes. 38% of Twitch viewers say they’re watching their favorite streamers because they can learn strategies from top players while 36% say that they watch streamers because they enjoy the personalities of the creators.
This brings us finally to spending. It should be noted before we get started that these numbers are averages which means that not every millennial gamer is spending this much. In fact, much of the gaming industry is driven by whales, a small select group of people willing and able to drop large amounts of money on games and game-related content. Because we were last looking at gaming video content, lets continue there. Millennial gamers spend more on donations to their favorite creators than they do subscriptions. On average they give $29 a month in donations and $25 in subscriptions. In doing this, they actually outspend Gen Zers and Gen X and older in donations, though we do spend less than both on subscriptions.
On average millennials spend $112 on games every month. That’s $20 more per month than Gen Z and almost twice as much as Gen X who spend a measly $59 a month. It shouldn’t come as a surprise at all that millennials are spending more online than they are on physical games. $72 a month is spent on digital downloads and game subscriptions compared to $39 a month in stores. They also spend $22 every month on in-game content which includes skins and lootboxes.
So, what can we take away from all of this? Well, to quote the conclusion of the Superdata report, “Gaming isn’t an activity Millennials are about to grow out of anytime soon. They are set to be the first generation of lifelong gamers, and media firms and marketers need to take note.” So the next time someone in the office makes fun of you for playing games because “that’s something only children do,” show them this article. Millennials are driving the gaming industry, even if we can’t afford to buy a house. Thank you whales.
All of these numbers came from a survey that was conducted in February 2019 by Superdata.
Now I’m curious! Are you a millennial? How do you stack up against the average? Let me know down in the comments. For me, as someone who mostly plays MMOs, I spend more on in-game items than I do on new games. I also don’t watch streaming, it just doesn’t connect with me. I do enjoy watching Youtubers talk about gaming but I wouldn’t say I’m a regular in that department. As for how many hours spent gaming a week…. let’s just say that 20 hours would be a slow week for me. Yeah, I play a lot of games, but my husband is right there with me while I do it. Couples who slay together stay together.
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