Kids 12 years of age and younger account for 24 percent of video game industry unit sales, while households with kids in this age group present comprise 45 percent of total industry dollar sales, according to Kids & Cross-Entertainment Behaviors, the most recent report from leading market research company, The NPD Group. With an average of 68 leisure hours each week, and the largest share of the kids leisure time pie going to entertainment, kids have a major influence on the games industry.

According to the report, which compiles a broad array of recent research on kids including how they spend their leisure time, share of wallet, content acquisition, and top brands and licenses, 57 percent of kids ages 2-12 play video games, and 62 percent of them use a computer. So, while it is a big market for games, this consumer segment is far from penetrated, representing an area for future industry expansion.

“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 53.4 million of them ages 12 and under in the U.S., accounting for 17 percent of the population. Yet for many industries, games included, they account for a much larger portion of total sales,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “For the 12-months ending June 2009, this group of consumers comprised 24 percent of games industry unit sales. Tweens in particular are a highly involved group of consumers as 75 percent of this age group play video games and 81 percent are on the computer for non-homework related activities.”