The ESA has released a handy list of “essential facts” about the US games industry, including some startling demographic revelations.
One of the most interesting snippets is that the average age of a gamer is 30, but there’s a pretty even split across age groups, with 32% under 18, 31% between 18 and 35, and 37% over 36. The average age of the most frequent games buyer is 35%; 52% of these are male and 48% female, a pretty even split.
Speaking of gender, the ESA notes that 47% of gamers are female and 53% male, and said that women aged 18 and over represent 30% of game consumers – quite a lot higher than gaming’s traditional demographic, the under-18 male, at 18%.
49% of US households own a console; those that do own an average of two.
In a top 20 of best-selling games of 2011, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is number one, followed by Just Dance 3, Madden NFL 13, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Battlefield 3.
On the PC-only side, things are quite different; Star Wars: The Old Republic is top, then The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The Sims 3 and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
There are plenty more interesting statistics in the friendly-looking PDF, which you can download here, including details of what activities we’re giving up on in order to game; how online games are growing; how parents view video games; and how the industry has performed since 2001.
The ESA’s data was pulled from surveys and the NPD’s sales tracking.