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How kids’ attitudes, behaviour and consumption of video games is changing faster than ever

Kids Insights takes a look at the challenges, opportunities and trends emerging in its inaugural Global Video Games Report 2020.

Children’s attitudes, behaviour and consumption of video games is changing faster than ever across the globe, according to the inaugural Global Video Games Report 2020 from Kids Insights.

The report reveals a comprehensive overview of key challenges, opportunities and trends that Kids Insights is seeing from the results of surveying more than 105,000 children between the age of three and 18 a year across the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and India.

“The report provides a compelling insight into video games industry from the kid’s perspective,” commented Nick Richardson, ceo of Kids Insights. “There is no doubt that there are countless opportunities for entertainment companies with kids in this space, and for those gaming companies not targeting kids this report will in many ways provide a first glimpse of what the next generation of their consumer looks like.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • Video games have a growing importance in kids’ ecosystem today. The report shows that in the UK, 3-12 year olds spend 7hrs 49mins per week gaming which increases to 9hrs 35mins for kids aged 13-18. Whereas in the US, 3-12s spend 5hrs 40mins per week gaming, increasing to 7hrs 8mins for kids aged 13-18…
  • … leading to this generation of kids naming gaming as one of their main hobbies. In the US, gaming is the top hobby for all boys ages 6 to 18, peaking with tweens younger teens at 26%. In the UK and Spain, gaming is the second favourite hobby only to football. Among 16-18 year old British boys, gaming is the number one hobby with 19%. In India, video gaming is the third favourite hobby among boys – behind only cricket and reading.
  • And not just for boys, girl gamers are a growing category. Mobile gaming and shifting gender stereotypes have helped pave a new path for female players that posted a 9% increase in 2019 in the UK. Despite this growth in the number of girl gamers, there are still only a small number of female characters represented in video games. In the US, Nintendo re-entered the top 10 of favourite brands for teen girls (1.5%) at the end of 2019, resulting in gaming becoming the sixth favourite hobby for teen girls and further illustrating the emergence of this subcategory over the past year.
  • Gaming as a future career. Growth in IT-related roles: the report shows an increase in the number of children who are actively looking to develop IT and coding related careers – which has led to ‘game developer’ becoming one of the most popular career aspirations with children both in the UK and the US.
  • Top video games – Younger. In the UK, Minecraft and Roblox dominate favourites: 68% of children under 13 are playing video games, and with gaming as the second favourite hobby in this age group (9%), video games make up an integral part of the kids’ ecosystem. In mobile gaming, Candy Crush retains its popularity across France, Germany, Italy, and Spain among the 3-12s. In the US, Minecraft ranks as the number one video game for both boys and girls.
  • Further growth in esports and opportunities for brands. In Germany, esports viewers are big buyers where 1m tweens and teens (15.5%) watch esports on screen. This avid group of fans are 135% more likely than the rest of the population to buy video game-related clothing.
  • INXP (In Experience) purchasing is soaring. The kid’s app market alone continues to grow at a significant rate; US children (aged 3-18) are spending in total more $5bn on apps and in-app purchases every year
  • The impact of coronavirus. It had almost an immediate impact on the gaming industry and particularly esports. On-screen viewership increased by 13% in the US, by 13% in France and 8% in Germany in March 2020 compared to the 12-month average. The ability of being viewed on-screen or participated with online should suggest esports is in a strong position to attract a growing number of participants during the period of coronavirus lockdown.

“The end of the previous decade witnessed kids’ levels of ownership and access of technology reaching new heights,” said Utku Tansel, head of global industry reports at Kids Insights. “In 2020 and beyond, this is set to escalate and change further while having a big impact on the world of video games, in particular.

“With brands continually evolving and finding new ways to engage fans and children while technology becomes more accessible than ever before, it is certainly a really exciting time to be a gamer.”

For more information on the Kids Insights Global Video Games reports, simply click here.

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