40 per cent of game buyers have purchased a game on impulse in the last six months, according to a new Canadian study conducted by The NPD Group. These impulse purchases, it speculates, are attributable to creative packaging, online accessibility and a rise in the availability of low cost pre-owned games.
The large percentage of shoppers buying on impulse coincides with a rise in used games, which has flourished during the recession to be worth USD 65 million in sales.
"Clearly gamers are becoming much less reluctant to spend on games," said Matthew Tattle, group manager of The NPD Group. "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."
The majority of impulse buyers selected low price as the primary driver behind their purchases with the average spend totalling USD 27.19 compared to USD 42.97 for planned purchases.
Packaging and merchandising were also key factors, with 40 per cent saying game packaging - either images or the game's description - was very or extremely important to them, and 25 per cent indicating in-store demonstrations of the game swayed them into buying.
Additionally, the study, entitled The Canadian Video Game Purchase Process, found that females were more likely to buy on impulse than males, and that 15 per cent of the impulse purchases were made through online transactions.