The Entertainment Software Association has just released its 2014 report on the state of the video game industry, and as the title of this post suggests, there have been some significant shifts since the last report. Let's tackle the most interesting one first: Women over the age of 18 currently represent 36% of the game-playing population, whereas boys aged 18 and under claim a mere 17%. Further, females are quickly inching towards becoming the dominant gamer, claiming 48% of the pie.
For many, myself included, statistics like these challenge the definition of "gamer". As someone who grew up with a multitude of consoles and spent a wee bit too much time gaming on the PC, I have a truly hard time calling someone who only plays mobile games a "gamer". Mental hurdle aside, the reality is that anyone who plays games, regardless of the platform, is a gamer. The fact that the ESA doesn't go out of its way to separate mobile or casual games from its overall statistics is proof of that.
Nonetheless, it stands to reason that there's quite a big difference between over-18 women that put most of their focus on mobile games and under-18 males who play on consoles or a computer.
On the topic of mobile, the ESA has found that 44% of gamers play on their smartphone, and 33% play on a "wireless device". Casual and social games dominate the type played on mobile, at 46%, while 31% belongs to puzzle and board games. A mere 15% of mobile gamers play action, sports, RPGs, and MMO games.
Credit: PMS Clan
ESA's report is littered with other interesting statistics, so let's rattle some of them off: The average gamer is 31-years-old, with 39% of the total being over 36-years-old. The number of female gamers aged 50 and over grew 32% from 2012 to 2013, and overall, the average gamer has been playing games for 14 years.
Interested in even more statistics? You can check out ESA's PDF here (right-click, save as; 1MB).