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A significant 78% of gamers opt for mobile gaming, and a notable 44% regard it as their primary gaming platform.

Analysis firm Tinuiti's recent report explores the diverse motivations of gamers, uncovering a notable disparity between Gen Z and baby boomers in their gaming preferences.

Overall, relaxation and unwinding emerge as the most prevalent primary motivation, with 42% of gamers citing it as their main driver. Interestingly, 51% of baby boomers prioritize relaxation, in contrast to only 31% of Gen Z gamers. In contrast, 34% of gamers place a higher emphasis on the entertainment aspect of gaming. This gap is narrower, with 35% of Gen Z respondents considering it their primary motivation, compared to 32% of baby boomers. This indicates that Gen Z gamers are more inclined to engage in competitive games and those with less relaxing elements.

Significantly, while 11% of Gen Z gamers and 9% of baby boomers (averaging 11% overall) identify winning as their primary motivation, Gen Z users are more likely to select motivations like "It's a good way to keep up with friends" (12% vs. 3% for baby boomers, averaging 7%) or "It's a good way to meet people" (8% vs. 3% for an average of 5%). This suggests that Gen Z gamers lean towards playing games for social or competitive interaction.

Moreover, an average of 44% of gamers across different age groups report feeling more competitive in the realm of gaming, in contrast to just 12% who perceive themselves as less competitive.

Mobile gaming has established itself as the most popular gaming platform, with a substantial 78% of gamers acknowledging that they engage in mobile games. This preference is particularly pronounced among Gen Z and Gen X, with 80% of gamers in both categories embracing mobile gaming. Following closely behind are millennials, at 78%, and baby boomers, at 75%.

Interestingly, only one other category, Gen Z PC gamers, surpasses the 60% mark, reaching 65%. However, it's important to note that Tinuiti categorizes the three most popular consoles separately, with PlayStation emerging as the leading choice.

Despite its widespread popularity, the data suggests that younger generations are less likely to designate mobile as their primary gaming platform. While 44% of all users consider themselves primarily mobile gamers, there is a noticeable decline: 57% of baby boomers and 52% of Gen X'ers prioritize mobile, but this preference decreases to 37% among millennials and 29% among Gen Z gamers.

In contrast, PC gaming is the preferred platform for 21% of gamers, especially among baby boomers (31%) and Gen Z (29%). However, the console category is further divided.

Mobile gaming also seems to attract more casual gamers compared to other platforms. It stands out as the only category where a higher percentage of players report playing for less than an hour (58%) than for over 10 hours (40%). This suggests that those primarily engaged in PC or console gaming tend to be more dedicated players willing to invest significant time in their gaming pursuits. While mobile gaming still boasts more dedicated players than all three console categories combined, the data implies that mobile's popularity is rooted, at least partially, in its accessibility and broad appeal compared to other gaming platforms.

Gaming presents a wide range of monetization opportunities, allowing brands to expand their influence within the gaming community.

An impressive 69% of gamers acknowledge making in-game purchases, which can include various items such as currency, downloadable content (DLC), or cosmetic items. Additionally, 17% of respondents have bought games to enjoy with friends, while 14% have purchased gaming-related merchandise.

Interestingly, although in-game purchases are prevalent in mobile games, such as energy or power-ups, mobile gaming lags behind in terms of the percentage of players making such purchases, with only 58% of respondents doing so. In contrast, a combined 86% of console players have engaged in in-game purchases, with the Nintendo Switch leading the way at 90%. This may be attributed, in part, to the immense popularity of Nintendo franchises like Pokémon and The Legend of Zelda, which entice fans to invest in high-ticket items such as DLC. Tinuiti suggests that mobile's more casual player base may contribute to the lower inclination to make in-game purchases compared to other platforms.

Regarding gaming-related marketing, players display a strong preference for brand-sponsored add-ons that are available for free, with 34% expressing this preference. This is followed by gaming content, such as series and articles produced by brands (24%), and intrinsic in-game advertising such as banners and in-game billboards (16%).

This preference suggests that players are open to game-related marketing but favor methods that do not disrupt the gameplay or, better yet, enhance the gaming experience. Notably, 39% of respondents admit to buying a product they discovered through in-game marketing in the past year.

Tinuiti highlights the potential of rewarded video ads, as they offer a valuable exchange without interrupting the gameplay.

Source: by Lewis Rees, Staff Writer for PocketGamer

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