You'd think including titles like Call of Duty and League of Legends would have pulled the average age of eSports players down significantly, but as it turns out it's a lot higher than you'd think.
It's the latest eSports consumer survey from Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR), a market research firm that exclusively analyses the video game industry. Interestingly, the company also advertises services for mock reviews and bias reports so developers and publishers can get a sense of "what types of games individual media outlets enjoy ... and which they don’t" — although that's a topic of discussion for another day.
EEDAR has recently published a report into the demographics of eSports. It hits a wide range of beats, including the gender skew for a variety of games (StarCraft 2, Hearthstone, SMITE, Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, Street Fighter 4, Super Smash Brothers and Heroes of the Storm) as well as the percentage of players within each game that go on to play more seriously.
But one of the most interesting elements from the report — which you can get a free version of from their website — is the average age of players for each of those games.
We already know the eSports arena, whether people are playing in tournaments or not, attracts a younger crowd, but what's interesting is the stickiness — if I can use that phrase in this context — of each game's community. You can see how that plays out below:
Now let's put in a couple of caveats here. Firstly, the figures are for the North American market only, although it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine Australia and New Zealand having several parallels. Secondly, it's worth noting that the latest Digital Australia report found the average age of gamers here is 33.
That second part doesn't disqualify or make irrelevant the findings that follow, but it does highlight how gamers are in general.
With that out of the way, let's break this down into text.
Dota 2 and SMITE had the youngest players on average (just under 25), while Counter-Strike: Global Offensive had the third youngest average players. CS:GO's position is pretty interesting to me, considering the segment of its fanbase that have grown up with (and returned to the game particularly in the last few years) the team-based hardcore shooter.
Call of Duty and Street Fighter 4 had the oldest titles respectively, which is less surprising. Call of Duty is irrevocably tied to the image of the screaming 12 year old on Xbox Live, but the reality is the franchise has been a staple of the shooter genre for over a decade.
Street Fighter's release are far less frequent, but the fighting game community is something that sees a lot less turnover than, say, Counter-Strike or StarCraft would. I'm actually kind of surprised that the average age isn't a little closer to 30, but there you go.
You can check out the rest of the reports findings — at least the ones in the free report, anyway — by going to the EEDAR website. Again, you'll have to give them your email (fair warning for those of you who care about that).