report coauthored by the Able Gamers Foundation and 7-128 Software, the game industry is losing out on up to $3 billion in revenue by failing to cater to older or disabled gamers. The report alleges that the gaming population is getting older, noting that the ESA pegged the average gamer's age at 35 in 2008, up from 33 in 2007 and 30 in 1995. It states further that more and more homes have access to game consoles and internet-connected PCs, opening the industry to a wide potential audience of older players -- players that are more prone to disability than the young. Finally, Baby Boomers -- those born between 1946 and 1964 -- have much more disposable income than younger demographics, adding up to billions in potential revenue.
"If the gaming industry does not realign their priorities to include accessible gaming," notes the report, "then a collision will happen in the next five years," resulting in "lost sales and lost customers." The report proposes that game developers begin implementing accommodations for disabilities in their games, including variable font sizes, color blind modes, variable speed settings and more in order to cater to the disabled market. "By making video games accessible to gamers with disabilities, which includes older gamers," writes co-author Eleanor Robinson, "game manufacturers will unlock a lucrative, paying market of consumers for years to come."
[Via The Escapist. Image: AbleGamers.org]