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Girls, Low Income Homes Are Underserved Game Markets

1 Apr, 2003 By: Hive News

The age segment widely considered the target market for videogames -- teens 13 to 17 years old -- still contains underexploited and ripe subsegments that have yet to be adequately addressed, according to a new survey from Jupiter Research.

Although teens account for less than 10 percent of the U.S. population, they represent 20 percent of the console videogame audiencem says Jupiter's new report Audience Benchmark: Teen Videogame Adoption, Usage and Preferences. Teen girls represent a highly underserved subsegment, while teens from low income households are voracious game players that also merit special attention.

"Despite the shifting demographic of the average video game consumer toward an older market, teens 13 to 17 years old will remain a driving force for the industry," said Jupiter Research analyst Jay Horwitz. "Companies that can capture both the imagination and wallet of this group will claim an important audience for today and tomorrow."

The report, presented at Jupitermedia's Game Market Watch Conference in Los Angeles today, benchmarks platform ownership and preferences of the teen market.

"From the consumer's standpoint, video games are highly cost effective entertainment," said Horwitz. "Data show that teens from low income households are more intensive video game players than their high-income counterparts." Whereas teens from low income households play an average of 9.7 hours per week, their high-income household counterparts log almost a third less time (6.5 hours). Furthermore, nearly 60 percent of teens from low income households own legacy platforms compared to only 37 percent among high income households.

The report also highlights major gender disparity among teens: on a monthly basis, only 67 percent of female teens play video games, compared to 95 percent of male teens. The report suggests ways game companies can address this disparity through content developed to appeal to different user segments.

"We believe these characteristics of the teen audience present significant opportunities for game companies to better cater to groups within this age segment with tailored content, late stage title bundling and legacy platform releases," Horwitz said.

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