Word Of Mouth Has The Most Influence On Gamers

    September 14, 2009

Among gamers, 41 percent report that they rely on word of mouth to get information on video games, according to a new report from the NPD Group.

While this varies from one platform to another, all current platforms, including portables, rely on word of mouth above all other information sources. Followed by hands on play at friends or relatives friends homes at 31 percent. Magazines and online ads, along with incentives/coupons and social networking sites have the least influence on gamers at five percent.

"When it comes to developing successful games and targeting marketing and promotions, each gaming platform has its own unique challenges and opportunities to consider," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.

Among Wii owners in the U.S. (who represent 32% of all gamers), 14 percent also own a PlayStation 3, and 26 percent own an Xbox 360. Among PlayStation 3 owners (who account for 10 % of all gamers), 42 percent own a Wii and 34 percent own an Xbox 360. Among Xbox 360 owners (20% of all gamers), 42 percent own a Wii, but only 18 percent own a PlayStation 3.

Broken down by demographics, 56 percent are male and 44 percent are female, with the largest percentage of gamers being in the 2-to-12 year old age group (24%), followed by the 25-to-34 year old group at 20 percent, and the 35-to-44 year old group at 17 percent.

The three current consoles follow the same gaming trend in online play by genre, with 51 percent of Wii users saying card/puzzle/arcade/word games is their most commonly played genre. This genre of game is also popular with Xbox 360 and PS3 online gamers (39% and 42%, respectively), but shooters ranks as the most commonly played for online gameplay among 360 and PS3 users, at 59 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

Game Console Ownership

Offline gaming is different for all three platforms, with family-oriented games topping the list for the Wii, followed by racing and sports games. For Xbox 360, family-oriented and action/adventure tie at number one as the most commonly played genres for offline gameplay. For PlayStation 3 gamers, action/adventure and racing top the of the most commonly played games offline.

"This report helps to debunk the commonly held belief that casual-type genre games are primarily enjoyed by less serious gamers.  This clearly shows that PS3 and 360 users also participate with these genres quite often, even if shooters remain the most commonly played online genre," said Frazier.