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  • manicdevlin manicdevlin Aug 18, 2008 8:52 PM Flag

    Report: Video Game Industry to Hit $63 Billion by 2013 as Baby Boomers, Women Embrace Games

    IBISWorld, a publisher of business intelligence research, today released a new report on the incredible growth of the video game industry. As evidenced by the growing casual games sector and the influx of new audiences on platforms like the Wii, IBISWorld states that "women and older adults – not the proverbial nerdy teenage boys – are the new driving force behind the success of the video games industry as console manufacturers and software developers race to expand their offerings beyond the traditional action genre which has always appealed to youngsters."

    IBISWorld notes that in the U.S. the average player is 35 years old, the average purchaser is 39 years old, 38 percent of gamers are women (an increase of five percent in five years), 67 percent of household heads play computer or video games, and 24 percent of players are actually over the age of 50.

    "When video game consoles began to appear in the 1980s, they were dismissed as a short-lived craze, or at the very least, the domain for awkward adolescents," said Senior Analyst with IBISWorld, George Van Horn. "How astonishingly wrong we were. Our research has revealed that the teenage boys that played Atari back then are still playing video games now, largely being drawn in to new, advanced electronic gaming that simulates real-life interaction that their kids love as well."

    He continued, "And while we're not suggesting the market for teen and young adult men is not a strong market, men between 18 and 45 still represent 37 percent of the game playing market – it's the other demographics which are posting significant growth."

    And the good news for the industry is that it appears to have good retention; once you've become a gamer you tend to remain a gamer for life. "Until those original gamers cease playing, either due to death or physical incapacity - losing interest appears unlikely – meaning new gamers entering the market will not be replacing those leaving, they'll just be adding to the swelling numbers worldwide," said Van Horn.

    Van Horn notes that one of the markets that is "ripe for the picking" is gaming for moms and dads. "Parents also fall into the 'older gamer' category, and the sheer number of them playing games with their children is another factor driving industry growth," he said. "Some surveys (NPD) suggest that 93 percent of parents playing video games have children who are playing too. In fact, nearly half the games sold in 2006 held an 'E' rating, and with 39 the average age of a game buyer, that would suggest the Mom and Dad market is a major one."

    As has been noted many times on GameDaily BIZ before, the video game industry has appeared to be remarkably "recession proof" in the midst of a sagging U.S. economy. On a global scale, IBISWorld notes that the games sector is expected to grow 9.5 percent this year to generate total industry revenue of around $38.9 billion. Ultimately, IBISWorld sees the nearly $40 billion industry hitting an all time high of $63.2 billion by 2013 (a growth rate of 10.2 percent per year).

    "This is an industry in an enviable position with a loyal client base regularly topped up by a fresh generation of users with older players failing to desert the sector at the age originally expected. Around a third of American households have a gaming console, which means the industry can still achieve considerable growth, spurred on by constantly evolving technology," added Van Horn.

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