On the occasion of Game Week in Milan on Nov. 24, 25 and 26, we thought we would bring you research dedicated to video games and specifically, an in-depth exploration of Italy’s gaming landscape across diverse generations. In this comprehensive study, we’ve thoroughly examined the gaming behaviors prevalent among Italians, uncovering intriguing insights that showcase how gaming preferences vary across age groups, favorite console or genre. 

This study is based on a representative sample of 500 individuals, meticulously selected to mirror the Italian population’s diversity in terms of age, gender, and geographic distribution. To kick things off, consider this statistic: Italians engage with video games 4.1 times a week, accumulating 17.5 times a month on average. Notably, Millennials lead in gaming frequency, closely followed by Gen Z and Zillennials. 

Keep reading and join us on this journey as we unravel the intricacies of Italy’s gaming landscape, offering comprehensive insights into the varied preferences and behaviors that shape the country’s gaming community. 


Favorite Console 

Gamers predominantly using Nintendo and Xbox consoles tend to stick solely to their chosen platforms without much crossover to other gaming systems. Their loyalty to Nintendo or Xbox results in a preference for an almost exclusive gaming experiences on these consoles. 


However, an interesting trend emerges among individuals primarily engaged with PlayStation, Xbox, or PC. Nintendo consistently appears as their secondary favorite. This preference for Nintendo as a secondary choice likely stems from its portability. Unlike the less mobile PlayStation, Xbox, and PC systems, Nintendo’s portable nature enables gaming outside the home, facilitating gameplay during travel or on-the-go situations like train journeys or trips. 

This distinction highlights the unique appeal of Nintendo consoles as an additional option among individuals primarily engaged with other gaming platforms. 


Favorite Genre by Generation 

The generational divide in gaming preferences is evident: Gen Z and Zillennials favor JRPGs, party games, and third-person action-adventure. Millennials lean towards action-adventure, open-world games, platform arcades, and Western role-playing games. Gen X embraces a wide spectrum, from team sports and racing to management, survival, and real-time strategy games. Remarkably, Boomers predominantly favor casual smartphone games. 


Purchase Drivers Based on Favorite Console 

Understanding the key factors driving gamers’ choices based on their favorite consoles provides valuable insights into diverse purchasing priorities. Let’s explore the distinct preferences influencing game selection for different consoles: 

  • Xbox: Prioritizes realistic graphics and open-world aspects as key drivers for game selection. 
  • Nintendo: Emphasizes originality, compelling storylines, and unique settings as pivotal factors guiding game choices. 
  • PlayStation: Focuses on character design, multiplayer options, and gameplay fluidity. Similar to Xbox users, values the fluidity of the game experience. 
  • PC: Values online multiplayer functionality and gameplay mechanics. 
  • Smartphone Games: Seeks games with engaged fanbases and enduring gameplay experiences, often preferring longer games. 


Drivers Influencing Videogame Purchase 

Our study looked into the key factors influencing gamers’ decisions when purchasing video games. Participants were asked to identify features that would prompt them to consider buying a videogame. Subsequently, they were asked to identify features that, if present in a game, would guarantee their purchase. We then calculated a conversion rate based on these responses to determine the most influential factors in driving purchase decisions. 


Top 5 Influential Drivers of Videogame Purchase: 

  • Storyline/Plot (53% Conversion Rate): Identified as the most influential factor, captivating narratives and compelling plotlines were cited by over half of the participants as a crucial determinant in considering a game for purchase. 
  • Originality (41% Conversion Rate): Uniqueness and novelty played a significant role in swaying purchase decisions, resonating strongly with the gaming community. 
  • Online Multiplayer (35% Conversion Rate): The presence of an online multiplayer mode significantly influenced gamers’ decisions, highlighting the importance of social and interactive elements in modern gaming experiences. 
  • Gameplay Mechanics (34% Conversion Rate): The quality of gameplay mechanics, including controls, interactions, and overall playability, emerged as a pivotal factor in purchase decisions. 
  • Realistic Graphics (33% Conversion Rate): While not the primary factor, realistic and visually appealing graphics held considerable sway in influencing gamers’ choices. 


Another compelling topic gaining traction in the global video game world is cloud gaming. Cloud gaming, a technology allowing users to stream games through the internet without the need for high-end hardware, has gained attention in the gaming sphere. Notably, in our survey, respondents showcased divided awareness regarding Cloud Gaming, with 45% acknowledging familiarity while 55% remained unaware of this gaming innovation. 


These insights underscore the pivotal role of narratives and originality in engaging gamers across generations. Despite the industry’s focus on multiplayer integration, the allure of a captivating storyline remains paramount. Understanding these preferences equips marketers to tailor their advertising efforts to distinct age groups, fostering deeper engagement with the brand and its products by tapping into the enduring appeal of immersive storytelling and unique gaming experiences.