Swedish Millennials: Early Adapters of Online Gaming
Millennials are unique as the first generation to have grown up in the digital age. Loosely classed as those born between 1981 and 1996, millennials were the first children to experience video games as part of their childhood. While the online gaming industry has evolved hugely since the 1980s, this generation accepts gaming as a natural part of life for the first time.
Early Tech Adapters
Sweden has one of the world’s highest rates of internet penetration, due in part to the country’s early adoption of technologies such as mobile and broadband. As such, Sweden’s millennials are perhaps more switched on than anywhere else in the world. Aged between around 25 and 40 years old in 2021, Generation Y in Sweden typically spend several hours each day plugged into their devices for one reason or another.
Digital Entertainment Habits
Social media, online gaming and other forms of entertainment are among the most popular online activities for Swedish millennials. Global statistics for millennial gamers show that 46% are educated to the level of bachelor’s degree or higher, 46% have children and 54% are in full-time employment., showing that gaming is no longer considered an activity designed exclusively for children or those with too much time on their hands
As gaming becomes an accepted part of everyday life for the generation who hold the most power, gaming habits are evolving and the industry alongside them. Software developers and others in the gaming industry with focus on the Swedish market have a wholly different set of parameters to consider when designing and marketing online games.
The Gambling Act Of 2018
The Nordic millennial demographic shows significant differences in online behavior when compared to other global millennial demographics. While this generation is often seen as the first to live out their lives almost entirely online, surveys of the Nordic countries show that, while millennials are certainly digital-first, they are not yet digital-everything.
In Sweden, digital entertainment enjoyed a surge in popularity following the introduction of the Gambling Act in 2018. This set of legislation essentially deregulated the online gaming industry and clarified the requirements for obtaining a license to operate. In 2019, the Swedish gambling authority Spelinspektionen reported strong revenues of €2.3 billion across all online and land-based gambling operators.
Swedish millennials have access to a wide scope of digital entertainment and gambling activity including online casinos and sportsbooks. International operator 888 Casino recently launched its first proprietary sportsbook technology platform, Spectate, after successfully going live in Sweden in 2020. Of the top 20 highest-grossing Android apps in Sweden, 16 are games or gaming platforms. Sweden’s Generation Y are big on gaming in a way that previous generations could never have imagined.
Workplace Gaming Strategies
The unique aspects of the millennial generation, combined with their current ages making them the group with the most buying power, are those that make marketers and entrepreneurs so keen to understand their habits, preferences, and trends. A childhood influenced by online gaming and other digital activity has had a profound effect on this generation.
Employers are adapting the workplace to embrace the millennial mindset, which is often motivated in similar ways to those used by game developers. The millennial generation in the workplace are often among the most passionate members of the team, with strong views on the types of companies they want to work for and people they want to work with. They are motivated by opportunities to “level up” and to find “power-ups” that will benefit their work experience, such as benefits and incentives.
Omnichannel vs. Mobile Only
One unexpected trend among millennials in Sweden and other Nordic countries is that they are not as mobile-driven as their counterparts in other areas of the world. While those in the 25-40 bracket across most of Europe and America tend to be very mobile-centric when it comes to accessing anything online, Generation Y in the Nordic region are very much an omni-channel demographic.
One study found that Nordic millennials were significantly likely to fall into the category of Digital First Omnichannel in terms of online behavior, meaning they used a wide mixture of digital and other channels throughout their days. Almost all respondents, while using mobile for some activities, also used a variety of other channels including laptops and desktop computers and even visits to physical locations to complete a range of daily activities.
Only 4% of respondents to the Nordic millennial survey were classed as Mobile First. When looking at global mobile usage, the average time millennials will spend looking at their smartphones is around 5.7 hours per day. Game developers looking to the Nordic markets therefore need to consider that most of their target market will be looking for games that can be played across a wide range of devices, not just mobile.
The Swedish millennial generation are a huge market for game developers but present unique challenges.
JR Dominguez is the technology, finance and music editor for MiLLENNiAL. When he's not writing, you can find him day-trading stocks, playing video games, or composing commercial scores.