By Allison Watkinson
The entertainment data company Luminate has released information on the music listening habits and genre preferences of US gamers.
Luminate’s research follows the inclusion of a gaming and interactive media category to the 2023 GRAMMY awards. The new award category is intended to celebrate the crucial role that original scores and sound design plays in the development of video games.
Since the initial creation of video games in the 1970s, the global gaming market has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry that includes a broad range of genres and platforms.
According to Luminate’s research, approximately 50% of the general U.S. population over the age of twelve claim to have played video games in the past year.
The demographic that is largely driving this growth is Gen-Z. Luminate’s 2022 Year-End Report stated that members of Gen-Z are over 42% more likely to play video games than the general U.S. population.
This data is significant for the video game music industry because Gen-Z gamers typically look for more immersive experiences when selecting video games. According to Luminate’s data, 87% of Gen-Z gamers claim to have played on a gaming console in the past 12 months. The demographic is also over 50% more likely than the total U.S. gaming population to have used a VR gaming headset.
Throughout the history of the industry, soundtracks and original scores have played a crucial part in increasing the immersion and atmosphere of their respective games.
This can be seen in the enduring legacy of the theme music from the 1985 Nintendo game, Super Mario Bros. The theme remains a staple of the franchise and was awarded Gold certification as a ringtone in 2010.
The increasing popularity of immersive concert experiences based on video game franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Final Fantasy, and Tetris also shows how important music can be to the gaming experience.
Two of the five inaugural nominees to the GRAMMY Award’s video game category are Call Of Duty: Vanguard and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok.
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According to Luminate’s research, Call of Duty players are most likely to prefer music in the hip hop and rap genre. However, Assassin’s Creed players are equally likely to enjoy rock music as hip hop and rap.
While not the most popular among Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed gamers, the R&B music genre is appreciated by approximately half of the gaming audience for these two franchises.
Luminate’s research also states that players of both franchises are more likely to listen to EDM and K-Pop compared to the total U.S. music listening population.
In addition, Assassin’s Creed fans claim increased listenership of traditional, Latin, and classical music genres.
Luminate’s research also found that approximately 54% of all gamers prefer listening to their own music while playing video games.
The inclusion of a gaming-specific category in the 2023 GRAMMY Award’s will provide increased recognition for the musicians and sound designers that work in the video game industry. It will also likely increase mainstream acceptance of video games as a legitimate art form and, in turn, provide future licensing opportunities in the global video game market.
Luminate Entertainment 365 Tracker
Luminate 2022 Year-End Music Report
Luminate Landscape Report: Web3 + Gaming