Young players are embracing the metaverse
New research from Bain & Company shows young gamers are spending more time and money in the metaverse, paving the way for the future of entertainment
BOSTON, July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Video games are now the top entertainment choice for 13-17 year olds – ranking above social media, TV, music or any other form of media – according to a new study by Bain & Company. These young players, from the United States to Brazil and China in Japan – are currently spending more time and money in the metaverse than older players, and they expect to increase the amount of time they spend there in the future.
“There’s been a lot of buzz and a lot of confusion among the business community about what the metaverse is and how it’s going to shift commerce and life into the digital realm,” said Andre James, global head of Bain & Company’s media and entertainment practice. “Meanwhile, young gamers have paved the way for the future of the Metaverse. They have embraced Metaverse-style gaming, often preferring to socialize with friends in games rather than in person. They are increasingly comfortable with VR, so even those who don’t currently play in the metaverse are likely to do so in the future.”
Younger games are most drawn to metaverse games that are fully immersive and social, include the ability for players to be active in-game creators, offer in-game purchases, and are available on any device . Additionally, half of young gamers would rather hang out with their friends in games than hang out in person. This is just one example of how gamer preferences are changing as the lines between digital and real-world experiences blur, and video games become the basis for a much larger collection of experiences. Entertainment.
The rise of new payment models, such as monthly subscriptions to toy libraries, and the adoption of “free-to-play” games have led to an improvement in the average revenue per user. This trend is likely to accelerate as video games become the basis for other paid entertainment experiences. However, companies in the metaverse will need to cater to the preferences of different demographics. For example, 56% of younger gamers said they were comfortable paying to unlock features that improve their performance in a game, while many older gamers were not. Bain’s research also revealed that young gamers are more likely to play online games to compete with friends, family and strangers, compared to adult gamers who tend to play for fun and are more likely to play solo.
The growing interest in the Metaverse is consistent with young gamers’ preferences in and out of the game. About half of young gamers said they would prefer to attend school events in the Metaverse, and half said they would rather play with their friends online than in person. Social experiences in gaming spaces lay the groundwork for other online activities, such as concerts, sporting events, and other aspects of life, including work and commerce. We’ll likely see this growing demand for community experiences as a catalyst for a larger metaverse.
Bain’s research indicates that while there are some differences in the motivations and preferences of young players from region to region, the similarities are multiplying, increasing the chances of global success. In order to maximize the potential, developers and publishers will need to continue to listen to the preferences of younger gamers. This will include creating fun and immersive experiences that are social, cross-platform and customizable. Long-term player engagement will be dominated by games that can scale and have a world and community that exists beyond the initial video game.
The frenetic M&A activity that defined the first half of 2022 in the gaming industry may just be the beginning. Experience from other media industries suggests that further consolidation is likely.
Additionally, game developers compete with other tech companies for top coding talent, but Bain’s salary research shows game companies pay less than their competitors. To deliver the premium metaverse content young gamers need, game companies will need to adapt their talent strategies so they can attract and retain the right people. We will see this through traditional above-market compensation and benefits, as well as providing opportunities to work in more virtual, less hierarchical, leaner and more agile companies.
Editor’s note: For more information or interview requests, please contact, Katie Ware at [email protected] or tel. +1 646 562 8102.
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SOURCE Bath & Company