Thursday, August 31, 2006

New audience model = NO audience model

From Only a Game, King Lud IC, Next Gen and, finally, Park Associates comes shocking news I was not expecting: a new audience model for the games market. According to research, those are the groups that compose the scenario:

* 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.

Got it? Dormant gamers and Leisure gamers - the ones I would count to enjoy non-games are more interested in complex, challenging titles. But wait:

“Social and leisure gamers may play simple, non-competitive games, but they want to play these games with friends and players they meet online,” Cai said. “For this type of gamer, there simply aren’t that many options.”

Ok, Social and Leisure gamers would play non-games - if they were not single-player. As I'm working on a single player non-game (although I should add a "challenge mode"), this research sounds like bad news.

Now can someone please tell me how Nintendogs and Animal Crossing got so successfull?


Chris said...

Parks Associates did surveys of people who play games online. The implication is that their report is totally biased in this simple but crucial way - they have no means of gaining data no the wider audience with no direct connection to the gaming sphere, such as the players of the DS titles you cite. (Indeed, no-one does - it would take an expensive inter/national phone survey or equivalent to do so).

Their audience model is produced from a simple clustering algorithm, which groups people together according to the dominant clustering criteria. Since most of their data concerns time and money spent playing, this becomes the principle dominating factor in their final model.

In short, their model reveals more about the assumptions that went into gathering the data than anything else. :) (Of course, the same is true about DGD1 - but at least we gave our results out for free!)

I may be being unfair, but I don't think so.

Bottom line: they're selling their data. I'm not convinced that data is worth buying. :)

(However, this opinion will self-destruct if examined too closely!)

Take care!

chico queiroz said...

Ooooops. you're right: "Recent analysis from a survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. online gamers by Dallas-based market research firm Parks Associates".

That's embarrassing - I shouldn't have skipped that word.

Well, good news then!


Copyright, Chico Queiroz