Gamers Are Keeping Pandemic Habits

Gaming continues to outgrow its antiquated (and always overstated) stereotypes of gamers, according to the Entertainment Software Association’s 2022 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry report. The industry’s customer base continues to become more diverse, while mobile and console saw greater appeal as the PC space stagnated.
Mobile Wins, PC Stalls
Smartphones were the big winners, with 70% of gamers preferring them, compared to 57% last year. Console’s saw modest growth from 46% to 52%. Spotty supply and outrageous pricing and availability for computers clearly hurt PC gaming , with effectively no growth in those who prefer the platform. VR remains niche (7%), but PS VR 2’s launch could help VR break the 10% barrier.
Gaming’s (Permanent) COVID Boost
Even as the world “goes back to normal” and hardware sales falter, pandemic gaming habits are here to stay. The average time spent gaming each week increased 7% from 2021 to 13 hours a week. Almost a fifth of gamers expect to play more in the coming year, while 61% plan to maintain current habits.

  • 1-3 hours a week: 22%
  • 3+ hours a week: 78%
  • 7+ hours a week: 53%

The Social Aspect
The younger the demographic, the more likely gamers are to play with others (92% for ages 18-34 versus 56% for ages 65+). There are interesting quirks, however; among 18 to 34-year-olds, women spend less time playing with others (52% for men vs 44%), likely a reflection of gaming’s ongoing issues with gender discrimination.
Perfect Strangers
Live-service and multiplayer gaming continue to impact the industry. When asked who they play with, 43% said “online only friends” – almost double from last year’s 23%.