Trends & Research


7 Jul - 2020

Tags from the story: Animal Crossing, Kids Insights.

Gaming as a popular hobby, growing into new age groups and countries with 8.8 million kids gaming in the UK alone


Kids Insights, part of the Insights People, issued its latest Trend Alert On-Track reports which focus on the global and flash trends occurring in the world of kids, highlighting the latest trends, opportunities and the possible implications on the kid’s industry. The company currently surveys more than 3,000 children every week, across 4 continents and 9 countries, equal to more than 150,000 children a year, making them the most comprehensive and dynamic market intelligence specialist in kids, tweens, and teens.

Kids Insights’ On-Track reports are based predominantly on the results of surveying more than 15,000 children across the UK and Europe over the last twelve weeks (between 1st February and 30th April 2020), though also utilise data which has been collected dating back to May 2017.


Their latest reports explore how quickly children adapted their lives since lockdown started, and how this has impacted their attitudes, behaviour and consumption – all of which are becoming increasingly digital centric, Whilst kids favourite hobby across Europe remains football, the restrictions of not being able to play and watch football has seen a significant decrease in the number of kids talking about it, with a decrease of nearly 90% in Italy.

However, whilst conventional sports are reducing, esports are booming with kids shifting their attention and focus to watching and playing esports games, For example In the UK, teenagers watching esports increased by 28% from 16.7% in March up to 22.5%, equivalent to 883k viewers in April. As lockdown starts to ease it will be interesting to see how easily traditional sports recover and if esports momentum continues.

Boys continue to be more likely to be avid gamers with it being the second favourite hobby (15%) in 2020, second only to football (22.3%). Quarantine has driven more children to take up gaming – with younger girl teens (13-15) increasing their video game playtime by 28% in the UK (38% in Spain) from March to April alone, averaging 1hr 02m in April and now up to 7 hours per week. While the majority of esports viewers are boys, the number of girls watching increased by a third over the quarter, estimating around 40,000 more girls who are watching esports now.


Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, a social ‘open-world’ game, is the fifth instalment of the Animal Crossing series developed and published by Nintendo and was launched on 20th March 2020. It has performed impressively in the data and has quickly become the 3rd favourite game on a console with teen girls in France, 4th in Germany, 6th in the UK and 8th in Spain.

Jonathan Watson, CPO Kids Insights, comments:

“Over the last two years we have spoken about how the next generation of kids don’t expect to passively consume content, they want to co-create, build and develop the content to get much more personalised experiences and reflects in our latest Trend Alert Reports. Some of the most popular games to take this approach over the last two years include Roblox, Fortnite and Minecraft. Based on our data it looks like Animal Crossing could be about to join that coveted list

The fifth instalment of Animal Crossing is currently breaking through due to its unique customisation, giving kids a platform to be creative and play in an open world environment which appeals to gamers looking for relaxed and social gameplay.

As a result, agile brands can utilise these new platforms to increase brand awareness and engage with their audiences.”


This innovation will have a big impact on retail, licencing, and merchandise in terms of collaborating with games with our data showing that 17.2% of kids who named Animal Crossing as their favourite game also purchase clothes relating to their favourite video games, meaning  that Nintendo’s decision to sell their Animal Products via the My Nintendo shop could prove to be a successful one . This is one of the games key features being able to customise clothes as well as acquire branded clothes in the game.

This has been replicated through Nintendo stores in Tokyo, Japan with the production of merchandise, and replicating the creativity of the game with furniture for your own house inspired by the game as well as clothing and decorative items.

Kids Insights continues to track this and thousands of other properties daily in their real-time data portal. To get complimentary access to the demo version of the award-winning portal,  visit: kidsinsights.com/portaldemo

Subscribe to our newsletter

Read our last issue

Our Youtube Channel!