Monthly NPD sales data paints one picture of how the video game industry is faring in this economy. Tracking firm Nielsen has crafted an alternate perspective. In a new study, Nielsen turned the lens on the recession’s impact by measuring how much time is being spent playing and how many used games gamers are buying. Not surprisingly, the survey found both game engagement and used game purchasing have been trending up.
According to Nielsen, metered minutes, the firm’s broad metric for time spent playing games, was up throughout the first quarter. Key demographics including men between 18 and 24 and female gamers between 13 and 17 showed significant gains. The male group saw year over year gains of 16 to 29% for each month of '09. The 13 to 17 year old female demographic was up between twelve and thirty percent. [click images on right to enlarge]
Tracking the used game market, between January and May, the number of respondents that reported an increase in used game buys was up 17% to 43%. Mail based subscription service participation was also on the rise.
The success of used games during the period tracked in Nielsen’s survey may owe to outside factors beyond the economy, including the relative year over year quality of new releases; still, the data adds to a growing pool of information measuring the industry's continued advancement.
A PDF summary providing additional graphics and greater detail can be found on Nielsen’s website here.