A new study conducted by research firm Nielsen found that gamers have recently started spending more time gaming, more money purchasing used games, and less purchasing new games. The study attributes much of this behavior to the current Rough Economic Climate.
In January 2009, gamers spent an average of 19 hours per week basking in the glow of their favorite games, compared to only 16.5 hours in January of 2008. May 2009, the study’s most recent month, saw gamers log 16.5 hours into their favorite hobby, while the corresponding month in 2008 saw less than 16.
Interestingly, Nielsen doesn’t believe hardcore gamers have had any significant impact on the study, attributing most of the upswing to “mainstream gamers.”
“Primarily, we believe mainstream gamers are playing more of the broadly appealing games (i.e Wii Fit, Guitar Hero and Rock Band) pushing their hours of gameplay up,” director of client consulting Michael Flamberg said.
Used game purchasing is also climbing more quickly than expected, reaching an all time high ratio of 0.36 in May 2009. This, of course, means that new game purchases are down, though Nielsen says that could be a result of a lack of “huge hits” at this point in the year. 2008 was already quite bountiful at this point, bringing forth both Mario Kart Wii and GTA IV.