Video games are now the first choice of entertainment for gamers aged 13-17, who spend more time this way than on social media, watching TV or other means of communication and entertainment. This is what emerges from a new analysis by Bain & Company of the world of the metaverse, which has identified the most relevant trends of the new generations and the impacts on the entire entertainment and communication ecosystem on a global scale.
“These young players,” explains Mauro Colopi, partner at Bain & Company, “already tend to be more interested and active in the metaverse than the more mature group, which goes from 18 to 34 years old and shows a higher propensity to increase time. that they will spend immersively in the near future. Time spent in the metaverse not only to play, but also to socialize, create items, and sometimes even participate in events”.
In fact, about half of young gamers said they would rather play online with their friends online than in person. Not only that: 53% of them would rather inherit a vacation home in the metaverse than on an exotic island.
“This is just one example of how gamer preferences are shaping the world of entertainment in a virtual key. The new groups of new youth under 18 not only spend an average of 12 and a half hours a week playing video games, + 15% compared to the older age group of 18-24; but above all, they spend almost twice as much in gaming mataverso. Spending today averages $42 per month, far beyond the price of a monthly subscription to television entertainment or telecommunications platforms, and it is expected to increase significantly in the future.This new profit pool and the changing digital life preferences of the new generations generate important consequences both for the companies directly operating in this gaming experience market and for the entertainment companies and marketing professionals who see the borders of the gaming metaverse as new frontiers to be conquered for organizing events, community buildings and differentiating digital experiences”, Colopi continues.
But why do young people like the metaverse? The favorite features, according to the analysis, are the immersive, social aspect that allows players to be active creators, usability on any device and the offer of in-game purchases. Among these, the first two attributes are the ones most appealing to younger consumers. While most of these features are important to both younger players and adults, there are some differences. In fact, 34% of older players value the ability to make in-game purchases, compared to 44% of younger players. The survey found that 56% of younger players are comfortable paying to unlock and gain performance-enhancing features, while older players are not.
“This evolution of preferences is an important signal of growth for the video game industry. The emergence of new payment models such as monthly subscriptions to game libraries (such as Xbox Game Pass and Apple Arcade), together with the global dominance of free-to-play games, has enhanced the average revenue per user of these realities This trend will accelerate as video games increasingly become the foundation of other paid entertainment experiences”.
Developers and homes that can hear and respond to feedback from younger players will benefit from the interest of Gen Z, who are more likely to play online to compete with friends, family and strangers, for example, than adult players who tend to play. are more likely to play alone.
“Technological advances will continue to play an important role in delivering more realistic and compelling gaming experiences. Our research shows a greater demand for interoperability from young players, such as the ability to carry an avatar or skin from one game to another. Creating fun and engaging experiences will continue to be paramount. This fundamental imperative will not change, but these experiences will need to embrace younger players’ preferences: engaging, social, cross-platform, and customizable with “user-generated” features and content. Casual gaming , mobile games or licensed sports games will continue to represent an important part of the market. But it will not be these alone that will drive the sector’s economics and long-term player engagement over the next decade.”
In essence, the construction and management of multi-experience games in the metaverse will require significant investment, considering that the average cost of building a class AAA game is already over 80 million dollars.
“However,” concludes Colopi, “creating a ladder means much more. Video game companies will need to build and nurture communities where they can thrive with their offerings. Scale also offers strategic advantages, such as a larger data asset, a greater ability to attract and retain talent and a more attractive offer to distribution and marketing partners.And the development at large scale brings with it some imperatives that make the success equation formulated, such as expansive management of merchandising, cooperation with other ecosystem players, the maintenance of a constant promise of immersive, fun and community entertainment. All of this has fueled the frenzy of M&A activity that marked the first half of 2022, which could be just the beginning. Experiences from other media segments suggest that further consolidation is likely.”