[SURVEY INSIGHTS] Why Don’t Older Players Engage With Live Events?

In-game events are one of the most popular ways to monetize your app and retain players. According to App Annie Intelligence (now data.ai), in 2020, events accounted for more than $50 billion in consumer spending worldwide. And GameRefinery expects the popularity of events and minigames to grow in the coming years.

With that in mind, we wondered which age groups are more likely to participate in events? What motivates them to participate or not? We found some interesting results.


We surveyed 2,002 mobile game users balanced to the US Census and within a couple hours we had our insights.

Young Players Are All In On Events vs Older Players Who Are…Not So Much

Not surprisingly, approximately 55% of those surveyed between the ages of 18-34 are always down to participate in in-game events or as often as possible. 

Perhaps just as predictable is the drop off in participation in events as the age group gets older. In fact, only 10% of those 45-64 y/o said they play every time there’s an event but an astounding 31% of the respondents from the same age group said they NEVER participate - not interested. 

Chart: what age groups participate in mobile game events and which do not

So the questions game teams should ask themselves are:
  1. Why are older gamers less likely to engage in live events?
  2. What can you do to make your events more appealing?

We asked respondents who replied to participating in in-game events with ‘Never - not interested’ what would motivate them to participate. Filtering for only respondents 45-64 y/o, here are a few of their responses.

What Would Motivate Older Players To Participate In Events?

Some answers lightly edited for brevity.

I play mobile games to relax. I’m not seeking competition because then I wouldn’t relax - 45 y/o female

I would lose embarrassingly - 58 y/o male

I’m not a gamer. I wouldn't be good at it - 48 y/o female

I’m not a people person so unless it’s online I don’t take part - 56 y/o female

I don’t want to have to keep buying things to play - 55 y/o female

If the event was something I was interested in - 63 y/o female

Always win regardless of outcome - 51 y/o male

If other friends were participating - 55 y/o female

Friends and family members played - 61 y/o male

Family gathering - 46 y/o male

From previous surveys, it’s clear that 45-64 y/o players are much more likely to enjoy playing casual games. With that in mind, the above responses make perfect sense and help provide some insight as to how best to motivate older players to participate in your events.

How Game Teams Can Make Events More Appealing To Older Players To Increase Participation

  1. Clear Messaging - if you want to get more older players engaged in your events, it’s important to make your messaging crystal clear so there’s no confusion about where the event is, what to expect during the event, skill required to participate, etc. Remember, these folks aren’t digital natives and the idea of participating in an event can cause some anxiety - the exact opposite of why most in this age group play mobile games.
  2. Non-Competitive Events - if the event is a fun, casual event that requires little to no skill to participate, make sure to call that out. Additionally, if all of your events have some level of competition, you may want to think about mixing in non-competitive events that will motivate older players to participate.
  3. Easy Invites - older players enjoy engaging with friends and family so be sure to make it as easy as possible for your users to invite others into your game to participate in the event. In fact, in a recent social connectivity survey about how players like to get social in their games, 45-64 y/o players said they prefer Solo PvP and Leaderboards; something to consider when strategizing your next event.


When it comes to ideating and creating events for your players, the sky’s the limit. But endless possibilities can be a double edged sword, so it helps to ask your players what they want. What will motivate your players to participate? And segmenting your age groups to better understand their wants and desires will help you more effectively tailor events to your players. The more you know about your players, the better opportunity you have to engage them and keep them coming back for more.

Top game studios are leaning into player experience insights. The more they listen, the better decision they can make. We help AAA mobile game teams unlock feedback from all players – not just the loud ones – while monetizing with brand surveys.

If you’re interested in learning more about what motivates your players to inform your decision making, we have some exciting solutions to share with you. Learn more about our Player Insights tool here. 

Contact our player experience team here  or create your free account here  to get started right away.

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