The games industry is bigger in 2022 than it has been at any point previously, with gaming now appealing to a much wider demographic than in the past. Even celebrities are getting in on the action – always a sure sign that something has hit the heart of the mainstream.
Stars that have branched out into the games industry, with varying degrees of success, include skater Tony Hawk, singer Britney Spears and golfer Tiger Woods. The fact is that the gamers of today no longer fit the stereotype ‘nerd’ image.
These days the really cutting-edge developers are targeting much more complex and niche demographics with their games.
The Gaming Demographics of 2022
One thing is clear and that is that the days when gamers represented a despised outcast minority are long gone. The number of people playing games has been rising steadily since 2015, hitting 2.95 billion globally by this year.
The annual increase in gaming numbers has been around 5.6% each year in that period and two years ago the games industry was worth a cool $159.3 billion. A big factor in that astonishing growth rate has been the diversification of the games consumer base.
Although the biggest percentage of that base, at 38%, lies within the 18-34 age range we might expect, a further 6% of those playing regularly are now aged over 65. Indeed, in the US at least, 35-44 years old is the median age of a typical gamer.
Innovative developers also have to factor in gender when creating titles now. The clichéd gamer stereotype is a male in his 20s or 30s, but the true picture is more complicated.
When it comes to the United States, 45% of those playing games regularly are now women. What all of this mix of ages and genders means is that there are a lot of demographic markets for the smartest games companies to try to reach.
The Different Types of Games
There are also several different sorts of games that developers can create, the market for each of which is dominated by a different demographic. These are:
- Online Games
This includes both downloaded/boxed and browser games for a PC and the titles range from role-playing ones to things like online casinos. There are numerous places online where you can easily find the best realtime gaming casinos, although they are still seen as comparatively rare within the internet gambling sector.
In total, online games account for roughly 23% of the games market. Accessibility, emerging technology, and new variations are just a few things contributing to the rising popularity of this sector.
- Console Games
These make up around 28% of the market at the moment and include many innovative companies. The PlayStation is the biggest seller, with 57.5% of the market in 2020, followed by Nintendo Switch on 42%. Console games are more popular with men, which influences the sorts of titles top developers are creating.
51% of these young men cite action games as their favorite genre, with 68% preferring to game alongside friends. All of this helps determine console games development.
- Mobile Games
Mobile games are the biggest section of the market, at 49% two years ago. They are also the favored type of game for the majority of women, with 77% of female gamers playing using a smartphone.
46% of them named casual games as their top choice.
Who Are the Most Innovative Developers?
The cutting-edge developers are the ones paying attention to all of this information when creating their new titles. As of 2022, the best companies ranked according to creativity and innovation are:
They have the top selling console and one of the big reasons for that is that they are constantly improving both its hardware and software. For example, PlayStation 5 features Haptic Technology to enhance the controls for the action games beloved by young men and a state-of-the-art graphics processor.
This company has created its own games universe with a loyal gaming audience made up of over 47 million people. Both male and female gamers indicated that they prefer playing games with other people to playing alone and Roblox is leading the field in the building of a genuine community.
Where Apple stands out from the crowd is in its subscription offer. At a time when mobile gaming is the single most popular type, its $5 a month deal allows the millions of mobile gamers to download over 100 top Apple Arcade titles.
If any games company is tapping into the emerging non-fungible token (NFT) market it is Dapper Labs. Two years ago, they released NBA Top Shot, a sports NFT game that brought them revenues of over $800 million within 12 months.
This market will only grow, with NFTs moving further into the mainstream since then. So, expect other developers to follow their lead.
Graphics are an essential part of the gaming experience, and no developer is providing better images than NVIDIA right now. The chips powering their RTX 30 series are able to accurately recreate everything from the shimmering ripples of water to the reflection of beams of light.
More people than ever before are playing games, on mobiles, computers or consoles. The most innovative developers are the ones that have picked up on a demographic trend and targeted it in their game’s creation.