Global Game Industry News Blog

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Fascinating Typology of Gamers

This gamer typology is fascinating. It's quite interesting to see a more diverse understanding of what it means to "be a gamer". I'm also interested in what this means to the market. It is especially interesting that the "hard core" market is only about 11 percent of revenue, though this is who most games are marketed at. This is probably why "runaway hits" exist in the first place because they appeal more broadly to these other demographics.

GameDaily BIZ: Study: U.S. Gamer Market is Diversifying
According to Parks Associates, there is a new (and important) middle ground "with different motivations, gaming behaviors, and spending patterns." Three segments of this that Parks says are "traditionally ignored by marketers" are Social Gamers, Leisure Gamers, and Dormant Gamers. These three groups account for 53 percent of the Internet gamer population and 56 percent of the retail revenue.

Overall, Parks breaks down the market into six distinct segments, as follows:

  • Power gamers represent 11 percent of the gamer market but account for 30 cents of every dollar spent on retail and online games.
  • Social gamers enjoy gaming as a way to interact with friends.
  • Leisure gamers spend 58 hours per month playing games but mainly on casual titles. Nevertheless they prefer challenging titles and show high interest in new gaming services.
  • Dormant gamers love gaming but spend little time because of family, work, or school. They like to play with friends and family and prefer complex and challenging games.
  • Incidental gamers lack motivation and play games mainly out of boredom. However, they spend more than 20 hours a month playing online games.
  • Occasional gamers play puzzle, word, and board games almost exclusively.

Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, Director of Broadband and Gaming at Parks Associates, commented, "If game companies insist on chasing the mythical hardcore and casual gamer segments, they will miss out on more than half of the market. The market is not black and white anymore, and game marketers need to understand these finer nuances."

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