Kids are gaming differently than we did.
According to a new report by market research firm The NPD Group, 63 percent of kids ages 2 through 17 use mobile devices to play video games. This makes it the gaming platform of choice for children and teens, a spot previously reserved for home computers — and part of the reason why the mobile market is worth an estimated $30 billion this year, according to the researchers at Newzoo.
“This shift has occurred as now only 45 percent of kids ages 2-17 are gaming on a home computer, down 22 percentage points since 2013,” NPD Group notes. “This decline is seen among all of the kids’ age groups, but is most pronounced among those ages 2 through 5.”
The NPD Group said that consoles also saw a drop in the demographic, but not nearly as large as PC did.
It makes sense that younger children are moving from computers to mobile. Gaming on tablets and smartphones is easier and more intuitive. Also, more parents use mobile devices for things that they used to do on computers, like checking email and surfing the Web. This makes their smartphones and tablets more accessible to their children. Developers also release more titles aimed at young demographics on mobile than other platforms.
The NPD Group also says that boys are spending more on gaming than girls. “Across all areas of spending, boys are most likely to be spending the most, $54 on average [in a three-month period] compared to $36 for girl gamers,” the NPD Group noted. “Interestingly, while girls are more likely to game on their mobile device, average spending on gaming apps is the same for boys and girls.” The NPD Group offered no explanation for why boys spend more on gaming than girls.
Two out of 10 gamers also told the NPD Group that they’re spending more money on microtransactions than they were a year ago.