Though video games have been around for a while now, some still associate the medium with children’s entertainment only. However, new data from the NPD group suggests that the number of middle-aged gamers has increased rapidly in recent years.
The wonderful Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration helps showcase a trend – the aging up of the playerbase.
Here are the number of US video game players (in millions) aged 45+ that played games in 2018, 2020 and 2022. Source: The NPD Group’s 2022 Gamer Segmentation Report pic.twitter.com/NspHZaz8qv
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) November 18, 2022
The above data shows the number of US video game players aged 45+ that played games in 2018, 2020, and 2022–the numbers are 64.9 million, 82.9 million, and 87.0 million respectively. That jump from 2018 to 2020 is about a 28% increase, whereas the gap from 2020 to 2022 is roughly a 5% increase.
We already know that the pandemic triggered a large surge of interest in video gaming, especially in the early lockdown months of 2020. It even led to certain games selling far more than expected, like Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, though the easing of pandemic restrictions has brought a slight slowdown in video game spending, it’s nice to see that the number of older gamers is still going up.
In one sense, this increase shouldn’t be that surprising, as gamers who grew up during the NES explosion (generally born between 1975 and 1980) have been approaching 45 for a while now. As the early generations of console gamers continue to age, these numbers will probably continue to increase even further.
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