WebRTC Solutions Industry News

[March 28, 2005]

Gamers Are Spending 700 Dollars a Year on Games, Says New IGN Entertainment Study; Editorial Reviews and Word-of-Mouth Major Factors in Purchase Decisions

BRISBANE, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- March 28, 2005 -- Video and computer game enthusiasts are spending 700 dollars a year on games software, according to a recent study conducted by IGN Entertainment, an Internet media company whose properties attract a monthly audience of more than 22 million, with the 18 - 34 year old males demographic at its core. While 90 percent of the consumers studied still purchase titles at brick and mortar stores, nearly one-third report they are now also regularly purchasing products online.

IGN's study, which profiled more than 5,000 consumers frequenting the IGN.com and GameSpy.com properties, found consumers:

-- Spend more than $700 a year: $341 on console titles, $233 on PC games and another $140 for accessories.

-- Play games an average of 20 hours a week; ten percent spend 40 plus hours a week.

-- Influence others. Respondents say they advise 5 - 6 people per month, on average about computer, console or game-related purchases.

-- More than 90 percent of survey respondents were male.

Reviews, Word-of-Mouth Most Influential

When it comes to buying video game titles, consumers make their purchase decisions based on game reviews and media such as trailers, screenshots and demos.

-- Game buyers do a great deal of research online on titles they are thinking about purchasing.

-- Reviews are influential. Twenty-five percent say they are most heavily influenced by what game writers say about titles they are considering.

-- Review scores and word-of-mouth about the game are the next most important, followed by game demos.

-- Few respondents choose their games based on the publisher or developer.

-- Publishers' websites and print advertising were the lowest ranked factors.

Online Buyers Make More Frequent Purchases

Consumers who buy online make more frequent purchases. IGN's survey found that:

-- Consumers who buy from online stores make purchases an average of five times per month.

-- Those who prefer to shop brick and mortar stores make purchases an average of just over three times per month.

They usually play multiple types of games. Almost 80 percent of respondents purchase Action games; 72 percent buy RPG games and 70 percent FPS titles. Large percentages also play Adventure games, Fighting games, RTS, Strategy and War games.

Renting Games Provide Opportunity for Trial, Often Leads to Purchase

Video game rentals are a popular way for gamers to decide if they want to invest the money to own a title.

-- More than 50 percent of the respondents rent video games, on average about 11 games per month.

-- More than 60 percent of those who rent games say they eventually purchase the title they rented.

For PC games, avid gamers rate Best Buy, Electronics Boutique and Wal-Mart as their favorite offline retail outlets. For console games, they prefer Electronics Boutique, GameStop and Best Buy. For accessories gamers prefer Best Buy, Walmart.com and Electronics Boutique.

The top e-tailers for PC games are Walmart.com, Amazon.com and EBGames.com. For console games, they name Amazon.com, EBGames.com and Ebay/Half.com. Gamers like Walmart.com, Ebay/Half.com and Amazon.com for accessories. The top reason for shopping in a specific location store or site was, "The store's price, relative to other stores." -0- *T For a copy of the complete study, contact: Sibel Sunar/Shital Mehta The Bohle Company 310-785-0515, Ext. 271/287 sibel@bohle.com / shital@bohle.com *T

About IGN Entertainment

IGN Entertainment provides many of the Internet's leading destinations for video gaming, entertainment and community targeted at teens and 18-34 year-old males. The company's properties include IGN.com, GameSpy.com, Rotten Tomatoes, FilePlanet.com, GameSpyArcade.com, GameSpyArena.com, Direct2Drive, TeamXbox.com, 3D Gamers.com, more than 70 community sites and a vast array of online forums. Collectively, these properties reached 24.7 million users worldwide(a) in the month of December 2004, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore Media Metrix. IGN Entertainment is also a leading provider of technology for online game play in video games. The company's paid content, download and game play services are among the most popular game-related subscriptions available on the Internet. The privately held company has its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices throughout the U.S.

(a) Worldwide data cited herein represent an aggregate of 32 countries reported by comScore Media Metrix on a monthly basis.

IGN Entertainment, Direct2Drive, IGN.com, GameSpy, Rotten Tomatoes, FilePlanet, GameSpy Arcade, GameSpy Arena and TeamXbox are trademarks of IGN Entertainment. Other trademarks and copyrights mentioned are the properties of their respective holders.

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