Mediatel survey highlights growing opportunity in gaming

Gaming has become such a popular past time and is no longer the leisure pursuit of certain cliched demographics. According to Mediatel’s most recent Connected Screens survey results from H2 2020, released last week, over 40% now claim they have ever played any kind of video games.

Although a popular past time with the younger age groups, with 53% of 16-24s gaming, there are also 46% of 45-54s gaming.

Access to games is now through so many different avenues, making it no longer just the domain of consoles. Casual smartphone gamers enjoy down time with popular games like Among Us or Candy Crush, whilst hardcore gamers on XBox or gaming laptops enjoy the likes of Fortnite, Minecraft or Call of Duty.

Of those who are playing any kind of games, the smartphone is the most popular device. Smartphone gamers are also more likely to play more frequently, with gameplay happening either every day or most days for over 50% of respondents, according to our exclusive Connected Screens survey.

Games consoles are still incredibly popular. Nintendo saw its profits triple during lockdown, selling more than 12 million Switch consoles during the pandemic. In our household, lockdown 1 was made much more bearable by Nintendo Switch’s Animal Crossing, with some gentle island strolling, fishing and chatting to cute animals, just the tonic to get you through the initial crazy world.

As this data from Connected Screens shows, PlayStation 4 remains the most popular console, with 25% of respondents having one in their household.

The newer devices to market, PlayStation 5 and XBox Series X saw sales in the run up to Christmas, where households were keen to get the latest technology.

Most gaming is assumed to be a solitary experience, however, as technology advances, it’s much easier for gaming to be a sociable digital experience. Data from the latest TouchPoints survey from during lockdown last year showed that 17% of respondent were playing each month with other online users, whether known or unknown to the player.

The popularity of eSports is growing. Prize funds for successful gamers are eye-wateringly large (The International 2019 $34m, Fortnite World Cup 2019 $15m), whilst the numbers of viewers, and the demographic breakdown of those people, is much broader than you would expect. Data from TouchPoints suggests 3.5% are watching eSports matches or gaming competitions at least monthly, with 7% ever watching.

Agencies are increasingly looking to this gaming and eSports market for new opportunities for partnerships for the brands they look after. Havas launched Havas Entertainment earlier this year, which will partner with brands using their expertise across film, TV, gaming, toys and music, while Dentsu launched its specialist gaming division, DGame in November 2020, to help brands engage with gaming audiences. Meanwhile, Publicis launched Publicis Play last month, a new specialist gaming proposition which aims to span partnership, media, production, data, and marketing within games and eSports and WPP has invested in Anzu.io, a gaming tech company. Agencies are adapting to this market opportunity, clearly well aware that the gaming sector outperformed music, video and film last year.

Mediatel Connected’s award-winning Consumer Surveys app contains data covering many aspects of the gaming industry, with plans for more data to be added. Subscribers can log in now to see this latest Connected Screens data, or if you would like further information on the Consumer Surveys app please do get in contact.

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