Are You an Impulse Game Buyer?

Impulse Video Game Sales

What gets you to buy a video game? Reviews? Punditry? A friend's recommendation? Message board prattle? Previews? Developer diaries? Carefully assembled personal research?

Or is it occasionally something more impulsive?

It's the latter for 40 percent of Canadians, according to an NPD Group study that found 26 percent of gamers aged 13 to 27 and 24 percent aged 35 to 44 purchased a game on impulse at least once in the last six months.

The study's not quite as sensational as it sounds: While NPD says the number indicates an increase in impulse buys, it doesn't mean impulse purchases account for 40% of all game sales, but it does indicate Canadian gamers are increasingly inclined to buy games on the spur of the moment despite wavering economic and employment indices.

The study also appears to indicate those impulse purchases leaned toward used games. Of the total 2,429 gamers (including 1,758 adults and 371 teens) sampled, a third said they'd purchased at least one used game in the last six months. The average impulse purchase price was CAD $27, compared to CAD $43 for planned purchases. Used game sales remains predominantly retail store based, which jibes with the study's indication that only 15 percent of impulse purchases occurred online.

"Clearly gamers are becoming much less reluctant to spend on games," said NPD Group's Matthew Tattle. "One would think it is a little unusual to see impulse purchases during a recession but it's clear that hardcore gamers will find a way to satisfy their need for something new, different and enjoyable."

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