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Social Gaming is Down with Women but Up with Seniors




Social gaming has been a hot spot for developers for awhile now, but a new study by Frank N. Magid Associates shows that their primary demographic is slipping.

While men rule the game controller at home, it’s always been women who led the charge online. And it’s been a heck of a charge, 81 million people play a social game once a day and total social gaming revenue for the year is expected to top 1,323 million.

The new numbers from Magid show a drop in the female demographic:

  • Females age 12-17 down from 54% in 2011
  • Females 25-44 down from 40% in 2011

Those are roller coaster-sized drops and though there’s been an increase in social gaming with seniors, their rise doesn’t make up for the loss.

  • Males age 45-54 up 15% from 2011
  • Males age 55-64 up 9% from 2011
  • Females age 45-54 up 9% from 2011
  • Females age 55-64 up 10% from 2011

Even if the seniors can replace the younger, bored players, it’s the dollars that count and that’s going down, too. The report states that 34% of gamers will be spending less this year with the average per person dropping from $78 to $51.

So what happened? There are more social game choices than ever before and that seems to have had the reverse affect on gaming. Has the novelty worn off? I don’t play much, but even I’ve noticed that every new game is basically a re-themed version of a game I’ve played before. Maybe we’re all waiting for the next big thing or maybe it’s simply time for the pendulum to swing back.

We came to social gaming from the console and now console spending is on the rise. Of course, the distinction between the two isn’t so clear anymore. Magid says that two-thirds of home gamers go online with their consoles several times a week. Downloadable Content for consoles is driving the dollars in this area with 45% of players saying they plan to spend more this year. Add that to the expected 10% growth in console players and that’s where the money is.

Console, mobile or Facebook, gaming is still one of the more popular forms of entertainment and why not. Thanks to gaming you can spend your afternoon racing in the Indy 500, fighting zombies or building your own kingdom without ever breaking a sweat. Why exercise when a machine can do it for you?