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Research

Growing Up Gaming: Meet the Millennial Gamers

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April 05, 2021

Introduction

Millennial gamers are the most powerful gamer audience today. They are the first generation to grow up with gaming in its proliferation, creating a lasting emotional connection that has seen them dedicate more time and money to gaming today than any other generation. While both Generation Z and Millennials lead the pack when it comes to their engagement, enjoyment, and consumption of gaming, Millennials find themselves being pulled back to the games they grew up with, investing more into the games that speak to their deeper motivations. It is this unique combination of passion, dedication, and investment in gaming that sets Millennials apart from not only Gen Z but all other gaming generations.

Takeaways

1. Millennials are the first generation to grow up gaming, driving a strong emotional connection to gaming to become some of the most engaged gamers today

2. Millennial gamers have high disposable income, allowing them to meaningfully invest in their love of gaming

3. Millennials are influenced by the games they grew up with and they connect with long-standing franchises that have been reimagined

 

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Methodology

To better understand the gaming audience, Activision Blizzard Media conducted a quantitative study among adults over the age of 18 who played, watched, or engaged with video games at least once in the past month. The online-based study surveyed 21,168 gamers across the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany

Generations in this document refer to people born between the following years:

  • Gen Z ( <= 20): 2000 - Present
  • Millennials (21 - 39): 1982-2000
  • Gen X (40 - 54): 1966 - 1981
  • Baby Boomers (55 - 69): 1951-1965
  • Silent Gen ( >=70):  Before 1950

Growing Up Gaming

"Meet the Millennial Gamers

Millennials are the first generation of gamers to grow up with gaming, discovering a new way to connect and discover immersive stories through their gaming console. They grew up playing games that taught them new ways to have fun, to connect with their friends, and to compete.

62.8% of Millennials started gaming at or before the age of 18. This is almost 32% more than the previous generation, Generation X. As a result, Millennial gamers have a connection to gaming unlike any other.

Today, younger generations live and breathe gaming. It is embedded deeply in their day-to-day lives, reflected both in how much they play and also in their attachment to gaming as part of their identity.

Across all generations, the reported percentage of individuals gaming at least occasionally or more has risen every decade. However, over the past two decades Millennials, in particular, have consistently had one of the highest rates of play, with more than 60% of Millennials gaming occasionally or more every year. This high level of engagement can be traced back to the age that Millennials first began playing.

Simply put, the earlier you start gaming, the more you game today. Gamers who began playing at or before the age of 18, are likely to game 30% more a week than someone who started gaming after the age of 18. "

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