ANIMAL CROSSING TAKES OFF DURING LOCK DOWN, WITH KIDS AND BRANDS FLOCKING TO IT
Animal Crossing makes the top 10 for console games worldwide, 8th favorite in the US for teen girls.
Esports at the center of lock down with an increase of over 100% new kid esports players in the US from 7.5% in May to 15.1% in June 2020.
4 in 5 tween girls now game, an increase of 10% comparing March 2019 76% to March 2020 (86%).
Kids Insights, part of the Insights People, issued its latest On-Track reports – Trend Alert – that focuses on both the global and flash trends occurring in the world of kids, highlighting the implications on the kid’s industry.
The company currently surveys more than 3,000 children every week, across 4 continents and 9 countries, equal to more than 150,000 children a year, making them the most comprehensive and dynamic market intelligence specialist in kids, tweens, and teens.
Kids Insights on-track reports are the results of the insightful study into children’s attitudes, behavior, and consumption across the US over the last twelve weeks (5,000 children surveyed between 1st February and 30th April 2020).
NEW GAMERS AND COMPETITORS
Their latest reports explore how quickly children adapted their lives since the lockdown started. Also exploring how this has impacted their attitudes, behavior, and consumption – all of which are becoming increasingly digital-centric. Whilst kid’s favorite hobby across the US is video games, the restrictions of not being able to go outside have seen a significant increase in the number of kids talking playing video games, with an increase of an estimated 1 million kids now playing video games in the US since lock down.
Whilst conventional sports are reducing, e-sports is booming with kids shifting their attention and focus to watching and playing e-sports games, the US has seen an increase of 46% for all kids as esports players and going from 9% of teenage boys in Q1 to 14% in Q2, which is equivalent to an extra 50,000 kids now playing in Q2. As lockdown starts to ease will be interesting to see how easily traditional sports recover and if esports momentum continues.
Quarantine has even created new gamers – with 88.6% tween girls (10-12) playing video games in May compared to 84% in April. Also, 17.9% of this group are spending up to 2 hours on their console on a typical weekend and up to 9 hours per week. While the majority of e-sports viewers are boys, the number of girls watched increased by 5% over the last quarter.
NEW HORIZON’S FOR A NEW AUDIENCE
Another new trend this quarter was Animal Crossing, a social ‘open-world’ game, like other games such as Minecraft and Roblox. The fifth installment of the Animal Crossing series developed and published by Nintendo, made for children of all ages, and connects with regular updates and cross overs with other brands.
The new title (New Horizons) was released as the lockdown was imposed in March and quickly made the top 10 (8th) favorite games on a console with teen girls in the US from March to April 2020, in comparison the game is also in the top 10 for Europe and 3rd favorite in France among teenage girls. The game’s success is mostly due to its relaxed gameplay, open world, and social nature.
MORE THAN A GAME, A LIFESTYLE
The report comments on how the fully customizable nature of the game’s characters has also made it easy for brands to start utilizing the platform, creating their own branded merchandise in-game. What makes the game so popular is the choices which can be made in terms of creating a fun and exciting experience on top of the strategic buying, selling, and manufacturing aspects of the game.
Every day on the game is different and it moves in real-time allowing the gamer to schedule what things they do and get into a routine with their character and island. The innovation will have a big impact on retail, licensing and merchandise in terms of collaborating with games with our data showing that 50% of kids who named Animal Crossing as their favorite game also purchase clothes relating to video games. This is one of the games key features being able to customize clothes as well as gain branded clothes in the game-enhancing the personalization aspects of the game.
Jonathan Watson, CPO Kids Insights, comments:
“Over the last two years we have spoken about how the next generation of kids don’t expect to passively consume content, they want to co-create, build and develop the content to get much more personalized experiences and this is strongly reflected in our latest Trend Alert Reports. Some of the most popular games to take this approach over the last two years including Roblox, Fortnite, and Minecraft.
With the fifth instalment of Animal Crossing, now currently breaking through due to its unique customization and giving kids a platform to be creative and establish their own personal brand. As a result, agile brands can utilize these new platforms to increase brand awareness and engage with their audiences.”
Kids Insights continues to track this and thousands of other properties daily in their real-time data portal. To get complimentary access to the demo version of the award-winning portal, visit kidsinsights.com/portaldemo
ABOUT KIDS INSIGHTS
Kids Insights, part of The Insights People, is the global leader in kids’ market intelligence. I would add more information on the US – every week we survey 400 Us children or 21,000 a year. The company currently surveys more than 3,000 children every week, across 4 continents and 9 countries, or more than 150,000 children a year, and has gained a reputation as the most comprehensive and dynamic market intelligence specialist in kids, tweens and teens; and whose market intelligence is used by companies such as the Crayola, F1, LEGO, PBS, Pokémon, SEGA, Turner and Warner Bros.