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Teens looking for console games, not social titles

Teens looking for console games, not social titles

October 9, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

October 9, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

While the traditional console market has seen some notable declines at retail over the past several months, it remains an extremely prominent market for teen consumers, who are still very keen on purchasing major high-budget releases.

Analyst firm Piper Jaffray recently surveyed some 7,700 high school students across the United States, and found that -- despite its claims from earlier this year -- teens are still very interested in traditional console games. NPD reports might suggest the console market is in decline, but for male teens in particular, the firm says that space is still as exciting as ever.

And these consumers aren't just interested in the retail market; they're also embracing digital formats. According to the report, 53.3 percent of teen players already feel comfortable downloading a big-budget game right to their console rather than purchasing it at retail.

That also bodes well for developers releasing downloadable content for their games, as younger players are already primed to purchase their game content online.

But while teens are embracing digital games as a whole, they've been losing interest in the online social space. This spring, 25.3 percent of teens reported that they played games on social networks, but for Piper Jaffray's most recent fall survey, that figure dropped to 17.4 percent.

In the months ahead, Piper Jaffray expects big-budget games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Madden 13, and Assassin's Creed III to be among the most popular titles for U.S. teens. If you're working for a major console developer, now's a great time to launch games for that younger demographic, but social and casual game developers might want to be a bit more cautious.

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