Study shows Millennials play video games the most of any generation

BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2018/05/23: In this photo illustration, a box and a cartridge of the Nintendo Switch video game 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'. (Photo Illustration by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2018/05/23: In this photo illustration, a box and a cartridge of the Nintendo Switch video game 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'. (Photo Illustration by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

With video games being one of the most popular forms of entertainment, Millennials are shown to be the demographic that plays them the most.

Video games have evolved from being considered a form of entertainment for children to being an industry that is consumed the most by the Millennial generation. A study titled “Inside Gaming” from Fandom showed that Millennials spend more of their free time playing video games than Generation Z and teenagers.

The Millennial generation is defined as individuals between the ages of 27 and 42, with birth years spanning from 1981 through 1996. Generation Z is defined as individuals born between 1997 and 2012, who in 2023 are between the ages of 26 and 11. This date range includes current teenagers, as well.

Fandom, a “community platform and entertainment company revealed in their study that, “despite teens and Gen Z spending more time gaming than they did last year, older generations of players are spending more hours per week gaming.”

The information came from proprietary user data from Fandom’s website. The global study broke down gamer motivation and behaviors based on generation.

The data report included the statistics that, “52% of Millennials surveyed rank playing video games as their top interest,” and, “40% of Fandom’s Millennial audience spends over 22 hours per week gaming, compared to only 29% of tweens.”

The report also shared that,  “influence to purchase brands that have investments in the gaming space gets stronger with age.”

This supports the idea that once Millennials play a video game or get attached to a brand that they enjoy, they are more likely to continue supporting it over time, thus investing in the various games, brands, characters, and universes related to the world of gaming.

Millennials, out of Fandom’s users, are, “at least 24% more likely to be ‘heavily influenced’ to buy games compared to the average Fandom user.”

However, this does not mean that the younger generations should be ignored. Even though Millennials are the generation that are playing games the most, there has been a 45% increase in the amount of time overall that gamers are playing. While Millennials are playing the most of all of the generations, tweens and teens were the ones who saw the biggest growth in gaming versus last year.

Tweens increased the amount of time they spent gaming by 63% and teenagers increased their amount of time playing by 48%. Even though Millennials are the biggest demographic overall that is playing video games, it is still a pastime that is enjoyed by the younger generation.

This audience tends to focus more on competitive and social games whereas older gamers are more focused on games that help build intellectual stimulation. The most popular genres across all audiences include adventure, fighting, survival, and sandbox, a genre where gamers can experience and roam around a virtual world at their own will, such as what is seen with a game like Minecraft.

Breaking down comparisons of what gamers like by genre and generation, tweens are more interested in battle royal-type games such as Fortnite, with 49% of them choosing the genre as their favorite. Racing and survival games follow in at 2nd and 3rd place, earning 46% and 39% of the generation picking those genres as their favorites, respectively.

This demographic leans towards games that are competitive, “with an emphasis on coordinated teamwork.”

Millennials’ favorite genre includes MMO games, which are Massively Multiplayer Online role-playing games such as the Final Fantasy series, Star Wars Galaxies, and World of Warcraft. 41% of Millennial users selected MMO games as their favorite genre, followed by 27% picking strategy games, such as Crusader Kings, and 26% selecting RPG, or role-playing games, such as Elden Ring.

Gen Z and Millennials’ focus when it comes to games includes “character and storyline, with rich and complex backgrounds.”

This study further solidifies the fact that even though video games are still popular among young audiences, they are far from being solely for the young ones.

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