A fifth of gamers still prefer purchasing video games offline
August 31st, 2023, Rishad Dsouza

A fifth of gamers still prefer purchasing video games offline

With the proliferation of online gaming storefronts like Steam, the appeal of offline stores has certainly been challenged to say the least. This has been reflected in the number of offline stores shutting shop over the last few years. But does offline video game buying now hold any sway at all? A recent YouGov poll reveals that a fifth of gamers globally still show a preference for purchasing video games at physical stores (18%). 

This percentage can vary widely by market, ranging from 11% in markets like Britain and Indonesia to 33% of gamers in Hong Kong indicating that they prefer buying video games at brick-and-mortar establishments.

Gamers in this analysis refers to those who said they played one or more video games in the past month.

Shares in the US fall slightly behind the global average (16%), like its northern neighbor Canada (15%). Over in Mexico, however, a fourth of gamers prefer buying titles in stores (24%). In Europe, France leads the charts with a quarter of gamers there indicating they prefer offline stores for video game purchases (25%).

With the notable exception of Indonesia, most APAC-region markets sit well above the global average. India (28%) and UAE (27%) show the strongest appetite for offline game purchases after Hong Kong. About a fifth of gamers in Australia (21%) also show a preference for the offline route.

Looking at the distribution by demographics reveals that male gamers are markedly likelier than their female counterparts to prefer the offline purchasing route (20% vs 15%).

Also, younger gamers aged between 18-34 are nearly two times as likely as those aged above 55 to show a preference for sourcing their titles from physical establishments (21% vs 10%). This contrasts with other product categories, where older gamers are likelier to indicate a preference towards offline channels for purchasing other product categories such as groceries.

It is also evident from the chart above that various other product and service categories see garner a stronger appetite for offline purchases. Only travel (16%) and insurance (20%) related purchases hold comparable levels of offline purchase appeal as gaming. Still, at 18% overall, there exists a niche space for physical games stores.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 437 and 2,045 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in June 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.