Gamers Still Go to Movies

Jan 22, 2008 12:26 PM


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According to a study released by Integrated Media Measurement Inc., a provider of data to media companies and advertisers that links media exposure to consumer behavior, videogame enthusiasts who received the third installment of Halo 3 still found time to watch television and go to the movies.

Despite concerns among the television and motion picture industries that the new videogame would adversely impact movie attendance and television viewing during the holiday season, the IMMI study shows that people who played the game did so while maintaining their usual movie and television habits. Halo 3 grossed a record-setting $170 million in first-day sales.

The IMMI study compared television and movie viewing patterns of Halo 3 players before the videogame's release to viewing patterns after its release. Prior to the launch, Halo 3 players watched an average of 27.1 hours of television per week; following the launch, the same group watched an average of 26.9 hours of television per week, showing no significant statistical difference. Movie-going habits remained unchanged.

Most of the Halo 3 gameplay took place early in the day on weekends. Twenty-seven percent of the total game starts occurred before 5 p.m.on Saturday or Sunday, with gameplay starting to drop around 5 p.m. During the week, gameplay began its descent at 7 p.m., leaving plenty of room for prime-time television viewing. Only seven percent of Halo 3 game starts occurred on the weekends after 7 p.m..

Graph A shows when people are playing Halo 3 on the weekends and during the week. There are significant drops during prime-time television hours during the week (7 to 11 p.m.), and on the weekend during key movie-going times (5 to 11 p.m.).

The study was implemented through a research panel built by IMMI that mirrors U.S. census results for fundamental demographics in key markets. IMMI provides thousands of panel members in key markets with a mobile phone, asking them to carry it with them wherever they go. The mobile phone is equipped with a technology that creates digital signatures of all the audio media (television, radio and movies) to which it has been exposed. IMMI can determine viewing audiences and certain types of consumer behavior based on a timeline of when the media was viewed or heard.

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