The Diversity of Modern Gamers: From Niche to MainstreamThe video game community is vast and diverse, with more than 3.2 billion gamers around the world. In this blog post, we talk about what an increase in diversity in the gaming industry means for players content creators, and brands.
The community of modern gamers is rapidly evolving, with more diversity and inclusive than ever before. More than three billion people around the world play video games, including nearly half (46%) of baby boomers, according to a 2022 Newzoo report. Newzoo’s Study on Diversity and Inclusion also found that among United States-based gamers, 46% were female, 40% were non-white, 16% were LGBTQIA+ and 31% had a disability. In the past, gaming was considered a niche form of entertainment. Now, the gaming industry brings in more revenue than movies and music combined, with $184.4 billion in revenue in 2022.
It’s no surprise we are seeing a real shift in attitude toward what being a ‘gamer’ means. The gaming industry is beginning to recognize that people of all ages, gender and backgrounds enjoy video games.
How gaming experiences are perceived is also evolving. Games have always been a social activity, from the history of board games to the introduction of console and PC games (who didn’t have to share the mouse and keyboard when playing The Sims with their sibling?). Traditionally, gaming had the reputation of being an isolated and reclusive activity — but this is a misconception. Newzoo also finds 74 percent of gamers interviewed meet up with friends in-game without actually playing, but just simply to socialize.
Livestreaming on platforms like Twitch and YouTube is another social aspect of gaming, which has experienced meteoric growth in the last several years. Newzoo says more than 921 million people around the globe watched video game content in 2022, with the number expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2025. The space is no longer dominated by a few select YouTube celebrities. Instead, we increasingly see how influencers who resonate with specific niche audiences will be favored by brands looking to target a specific market, even if the content creator has fewer followers. This allows creators everywhere of all backgrounds and ages to be supported by brand partnerships and sponsorships. Wehype’s CEO, Robin Åström, recently spoke about the growing opportunities for these diverse content creators in Forbes.
Brands, developers and game publishers in the gaming industry are starting to listen to their increasingly diverse audiences; supporting diverse content creators and fulfilling community requests for the in-game experience, like offering more customization options for gamers to play as characters that better represent themselves.
At Wehype, we believe the dismantling of archaic stereotypes about gamers reflects tangible progress in the gaming industry. As more people in the gaming community help push for real change, we welcome these exciting developments and the chance to play a role in making the industry even more diverse, inclusive and accessible for all.