European children embrace online gaming

22 February 2010

LONDON: Some 80% of children in Europe currently play online games, according to research from Dubit covering eight markets in the region.

The UK-based youth insight agency surveyed 2,332 children aged between seven and 14 years old, and reported that four in five currently use the web for some form of gaming activity. (More detailed findings are available here.)

Within the overall total, Germany displayed the lowest level of participation, on just 65%, compared with a penetration rate of 89% in Denmark.

Dubit also highlighted the varying levels of success that child-orientated games makers are having with monetising their operations.

While most children play for free, 16% of participants had paid some form of subscription fee to access games, while 15% had bought "virtual goods" within a gaming environment.

British children were the most likely to take part in both of these activities, with 25% subscribing and 20% acquiring virtual goods. By contrast, these totals fell to 8% and 11% respectively in the Netherlands.

Elsewhere, 18% of those who do not currently pay said they would consider doing so in the future, a figure that stood at 26% and 27% for France and Denmark in turn.

Across Europe, one-third of children said one reason they did not pay to access games was that their parents would not let them spend money in this way.

Many popular titles, including Club Penguin, Stardoll and Café World, are now using the latest Flash technology, and are played on both PC desktops and laptops, Dubit said.

Further findings from the study, summarised by Dubit research director Claudio Franco, are available here.

Data sourced from Dubit; additional content by Warc staff