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Ambar Jimenez
2023-04-11 10:05:17

Gaming culture is a huge part of modern life all over the world. The majority of people are gamers, depending on your definition. For instance, someone who plays word games on their phone could be described as a gamer, just like somebody who spends thousands of dollars a year on the latest FPS games.

Geographically, there are always some variations in terms of what games people like to play and whether or not they spend a lot of time and money on gaming. Geography also plays a big part in whether people in the US and in Europe play games in online casinos or whether they are more likely to be console gamers.

In this post, we’re looking at some of the key differences in gaming culture in Europe and the US.

America is a bigger market

The US is a huge market in the world of gaming. Studies estimate that there are almost double the number of gamers in the US when compared to Europe. This is in spite of the fact that the population of Europe is massively bigger than that of the US.

As well as there being more gamers in the US, they are also more likely to spend on their games and the European market is worth around $23bn annually, whereas the US market is worth over $60bn. These are based on NPD Group/Sensor Tower figures, as these companies regularly post figures and studies relating to the gaming market.

The US is such a huge country, of course, that the figures and statistics can vary hugely from one place to the next. It is possible that one state has far fewer gamers than another for economic reasons as well as just a different culture. States such as Maryland are known for having a higher percentage of gamers than others.

Europeans spend less time gaming

People in the US also tend to spend longer playing games than those in Europe. In the US, the ESA gaming report from 2022 found that people spent an average of 13 hours per week playing games, compared to nine hours per week in Europe.

These figures relate only to gamers – they do not take an average across the board that includes those who never play games, so they give us a good insight into the habits of those who consider themselves to be lovers of gaming.

There are those who think that gaming is taking over, but when you consider the fact that television is watched for around 23 hours per week by Europeans, and they play games for nine hours per week (on average), there is a long way to go before gaming becomes the dominant type of entertainment.

The US has a marginally higher percentage of female players

It should be said that these figures are very similar across those surveyed in both the US and in Europe.

48% of all the American players surveyed identify as female, but in Europe, this figure is 47.8%. They’re incredibly close.

In both the US and Europe, the majority of players are male, but it is not a huge majority and this may challenge a lot of people’s stereotypes. There is a portrayal in the media and society that gamers are all teenage boys, but this is definitely not the case, no matter where you go in the world. As the years have gone on, the gender gap has become smaller.

Games have different age rating systems

The Americans use ESRB ratings while Europeans use PEGI systems. These are similar to the ratings that are used for films, informing us which films are appropriate for different ages.

The studies showed that 84% of parents in the US knew something about the rating system used in their countries, but in Europe, only 67% of parents knew what the age labels mean.

It is impossible to directly compare these age rating systems and how they work as they both have quite different criteria, which means that they also have different boundaries and advice on playing certain games. In the US, there are different definitions of what constitutes a more adult game.

Interestingly, in Europe, around 7.5% of all games rated get the highest restrictions, meaning the games are recommended for players who are 18 or over, but in some years, no games are rated AO (Adults Only) in the US.

Twice as many play PlayStations in Europe

Figures show that around twice as many people in Europe game on PlayStation consoles when compared to Xbox Series X or S. In the US, these figures are closer together. The PS5 has sold around 40% more units than the most recent Xbox generation, meaning that it still has a significantly larger base of players.

Of course, not every gamer is a console gamer, plus there are other consoles out there – Switch is popular all over the world, for instance, while Nintendo always has a global appeal whenever they release a huge game or a big console.

Other anecdotal differences

There are a few differences one may see when visiting the US and visiting Europe. For instance, in Eastern Europe, there are a lot of PC gamers as many people prefer the affordability of some PC games and the flexibility that a PC can offer.

In the UK, gaming culture has quite a lot of parallels with the US and we tend to see the same sorts of games selling very well in both markets. In different parts of Europe, this can vary greatly. Sports games are a great example, as sports are very different and vary in popularity depending on where you visit. Soccer is much bigger in Europe, which means games that simulate soccer and soccer management sell a lot better than in the US, while baseball games sell more in the US. This is one of many differences we see all over the world when it comes to the gaming industry and the culture surrounding it.


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video game, gameplay, price, 60fps, steam

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