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Over-50s are top mobile players, but feel "overlooked"

Smartphones are now older players preferred means of play
Over-50s are top mobile players, but feel

84% of over-50s who play games pick smartphones as their platform of choice and 30% foresake all other devices to use this platform solely.

That's according to an AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) report via gaming newsletter Axios.

Their study showed that 45% of people in America that are 50+ consider themselves gamers, with the main drivers being the joint pursuit of leisure and relaxation. Around 45% say they play every day, with women making up 52% of that statistic. Finally, puzzle and logic games make up the most popular genre at 73%.

Director of community and gaming at the AARP, Maura White, told Axios “Our research shows, however, that almost 70% do not feel like the games are made with them in mind.

“They would like the video gaming industry to create games and features designed to onboard easily, play consistently, and stay challenged," she added.

Where's the grey hair?

It's fair to say that the mobile gaming industry is not unaware of their older audience members. After all, this affluent demographic with an excess of recreational time is arguably the perfect player for many mobile titles. However, when you look at advertising deployed there is a comment-worthy lack of gray hair, with an underlying trend of ignoring fans of their games and genres for fear of appearing less "cool". Meanwhile the demographic isn't widely spoken about when discussing development practices.

As pointed out in Axios' take, those who were 50 or older spent an estimated $49 per-person on games in the first six months of 2022. A respectable amount, but actually down from 2019 where a larger $64 was being spent. Therefore although gaming amongst older audiences is more popular than ever, it seems as if developers and publishers simply aren't taking the money that's on the table.

While it may not be a major issue (yet) the mobile gaming industry could be taking the support of older players for granted. If this study is any indication, at least in America, more needs to be done to attract these players to your game or a significant market could go untapped.