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Extensive Nielsen Report Shows Where, How, And Why Gamers Are Playing In 2017

by Jeff Cork on May 10, 2017 at 10:53 AM

Market-research firm Nielsen Games has released its annual Games 360 report, which highlights gaming trends and provides insights on where people are playing, what motivates their purchasing decisions, and much more. And as with most years, the 2017 report has some surprising findings.

The report is based on interviews with more than 2,000 survey respondents, conducted in the first quarter of the year, with an even male/female split. The document (which you can check out here) is full of interesting details. Here are a couple of the highlights:

When asked what factors influenced their decision to buy a game (on console or PC), a few factors rose to the top. First and foremost, a game's genre was important to players, with 80 percent of respondents citing it as a major factor. While gameplay purists may scoff, graphics were the next factor cited, at 74 percent. Rounding out the top three was a game's storyline, at 71 percent. 

Thirty-eight percent of console and PC players reported spending less money on games compared to what they spent over the last year. Why? The top reason is a relatable one: 34 percent of players said that the games they currently had kept them busy. 30 percent said that they played free games or trials – so they weren't necessarily gaming less, but simply spending less. The final reason fits in nicely with the other two: they're waiting for games to be discounted before plunking down their cash.

As we all know, gaming has shifted away from simply being a participatory activity. Seventy percent of those surveyed reported watching gaming-related content on YouTube over the past year, which was the most popular place for respondents to tune in. GameSpot was next (21 percent), followed by IGN (18 percent), Twitch (15 percent), and Steam (14 percent). 

There's a lot of info to parse, and it's worth checking out the full report to see what else is in there.

[Source: Nielsen Games 360 U.S. Report]


Our Take
According to the survey, 64 percent of the U.S. population 13 and older are gamers. We are legion.