AAA game sales are good among teens, but social game interest is waning.
In spite of a lot of bellyaching surrounding the rise of social and causal gaming, odds are that if you're a core gamer, you've dabbled in it at one point or another - unless you're a teenager, that is. In spite of cheap, easily accessible casual games, the high cost of AAA titles, and the ability to finally play something with their moms, teens - especially boys - are logging less and less time on the social sphere while their console play remains constant.
Piper Jaffray, an analyst firm that specializes in investment banking, surveyed almost 8,000 high school students to determine their gaming habits. Since earlier in 2012, console gaming among teens has remained relatively consistent. While the console market itself has been losing ground over the last few months, the spending and playing habits of teenage boys (and, to a lesser extent, teenage girls) have not reflected these changes. Meanwhile, online social games used to attract 25.3% of teenage gamers, but now interest only 17.4% of them - roughly an 8% decline in the space of less than a year.
Of course, it's not all doom and gloom. 53.3% of teens have stated that they're ready to embrace digital downloads on their consoles of choice, which means that many younger gamers feel less dependent on the traditional brick-and-mortar retail system. Developers still have a devoted teen audience, but perhaps these players are best served by traditional titles. Suddenly, that Dead Space 2 ad campaign makes a whole lot more sense in retrospect.