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Gamer Survey Reveals Surprising American Tendencies


TNS,, and SPIL GAMES today announced the launch of the 2009 Today’s Gamers International Survey results for the U.S. market. The survey focuses on demographics, time and money spent, and gaming trends across Europe and the United States involving all game platforms.

According to the survey, American men and women spend significantly more time and money on video games than their European counterparts. Of the U.S. citizens polled, 83% play video games and many rank it as their favorite pastime ahead of popular activities like surfing on the Internet and watching television. By comparison, only 72% of Europeans polled play games, a percentage shared by American respondents ages 50 and above.

Despite popular misconceptions, the gap between genders is minimal in every age group, with 80% of U.S. females and 87% of U.S. males admitting to playing games. Platform popularity, however, varies widely between genders, with 54% of all American females polled playing on game portals, clearly outnumbering the men (44%). Of the female game portal players over 20 years old, 46% work full-time, part-time, or are self-employed, and 59% are married.

Games are particularly popular with the younger age groups, with American boys between the ages of 8-12 years old spending a staggering average of 13 hours of gaming per week. By comparison, they only spend an average of 10.2 hours watching television and an average of 9.1 hours using the Internet. In the European countries polled, television remains the top activity among 8-12 year olds.

Where people spend their money (e.g., in-game, online, retail), what they spend it on (e.g. subscriptions, downloads, micropayments), and how they pay (e.g. credit card, PayPal, transfer) varies widely between the countries polled, with the U.S. leading in money spent per person on console games, mobile content, and online game portals. Of all money spent on games in the U.S., 57% is spent on games for the console platform. 36% of U.S. console game players spend more than $25 USD per month on this platform, versus 14% of U.K. console game players. Conversely, French and British players spend the most money per capita on MMOs, the total adding up to 10% and 11% of the nation-wide gaming budgets respectively. Germans are most likely to spend money on stand-alone PC titles, taking in 36% of the total German gamers’ wallet.

The study also reveals that gaming on social networks and mobile devices is claiming a significant position among traditional game platforms, especially in the US. While only 10% of European game portal users see social networks as their preferred game destination, the number jumps to a stunning 24% in the U.S. — proof that social networks are quickly becoming an essential part of the gaming industry. Additionally, the research report reveals that 17% of Americans play mobile games, and 48% of those surveyed said they have paid for games. According to the study, 18% of U.S. mobile gamers spend more than $10 USD per month on games.