There’s a clear shift in how people play and think about video games today, with Millennial gamers reporting they watch other people play video games more than they watch traditional sports on television. That’s according to the latest State of Online Gaming research report from Limelight Networks.
With the rise of websites featuring people playing video games and esports, watching other people play video games online is growing in popularity. In fact, young gamers (ages 18-25) worldwide spend an average of three hours and 25 minutes each week watching other people play video games online. That is nearly an hour more than the two hours and 33 minutes they spend watching traditional sports. Gamers in South Korea spend the most time watching other people play video games online, with nearly half (48%) watching for more than an hour each week.
Worldwide gamers noted fast load times and speedy performance as their top priorities in gameplay, and more than three-quarters (77 percent) reported frustrations with the process of downloading video games. Security is another important consideration, as more than half (57 percent) of gamers say they won’t play online games or make purchases from a gaming site that has previously experienced a security breach. Security concerns are the highest in South Korea and France, where the majority (71 percent and 68 percent, respectively) of gamers note they would not visit a gaming site that has experienced a security issue.
“Video gaming – much like the rest of the media and entertainment industry – has shifted online, leaving content vulnerable to performance and security issues,” said Michael Milligan, Senior Director at Limelight Networks. “With gamers playing on mobile devices, PCs, and more advanced gaming consoles, software developers must not only focus on creating engaging content, but also ensuring content is secure and optimized for the best possible gaming experiences.”
Additional insights from the report show:
- Gamers want to “go pro.” With the rising popularity of esports, gamers view professional video gaming as a viable career. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of all gamers and half of young males age 18-25 would quit their job and become a professional video game player if they could support themselves by doing so. This is highest in the U.K., where 42 percent of gamers want to go pro.
- Gamers skip daily activities to keep playing. Gamers worldwide have prioritized playing video games over basic daily activities. More than half (62 percent) have skipped sleep, 39 percent missed a meal, and 11 percent have missed work to keep playing a game.
- It’s about time. People who play video games play an average of six hours a week, with 17.5 percent of gamers age 18-35 playing more than 12 hours a week
- Casual gaming on smartphones is gaining global popularity. The smartphone is the most used device for gamers worldwide, and casual single-player games such as Candy Crush or Angry Birds are played most often.
The State of Online Gaming report is based on responses from 3,000 consumers in France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States age 18 and older who play video games at least once a week. The full report is available here.