Video Game Engagement Continues To Increase

    July 7, 2009

Fans of video games are spending increasingly more time playing games, according to a new survey from Nielsen.

The survey, "The Value Gamer: Play and Purchase Behavior in a Recession," found since the beginning of the year and through May, gamers are spending an additional one to two hours a week playing games, compared to 2006, when Nielsen started tracking video game data.

Video Games: Average Hours Played Per Week

In addition, gamers have upped their purchases of used games and have also increased their use of subscriptions to video game rental services by mail. Nielsen says these trends suggest the gaming category has been resilient despite the economy.

"Primarily, we believe mainstream gamers are playing more of the broadly appealing games (i.e Wii Fit, Guitar Hero and Rock Band) pushing their hours of gameplay up," said Michael Flamberg, director of client consulting, Nielsen Games.

"The social aspects of these games have engaged them. We don’t believe hardcore gamers are driving up the usage averages we’ve observed. Second, gamers may be looking to stretch their entertainment dollar further through playing games they own more. The importance of value for them is evident in the findings on used game purchase."

Games Purchased Used Ratio 2006-2009

Nielsen says new game sales have slumped because used game purchasing is at an all time high. Other reasons include more gamers using video game rental services by mail and a lack of popular titles released this spring.