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Labyrrinth
09-05-2006, 03:08 PM
1584The more I read, the more I learn and the more I learn the more I tend to think that perhaps Brad’s original idea of not targeting Vanguard: Saga of Heroes toward the hardcore nor the casual gamer, but instead, targeting it toward the “core” gamer is one that is probably well thought out and may very well be one of the main contributors to Vanguards success. This vision, according to a recent survey by Parks Associates, is one that many other gaming companies should probably stand up and take notice of.

According to the study most gaming companies are missing a very large gaming populace when designing and marketing the games we play. It’s well known that there are the hardcore and casual gaming demographic and that these 2 populations that gaming companies aim for when designing games. However, according to the recent findings, there are FOUR other types of gamers that making up a whopping 53% of the gaming population and 56% of gaming revenue, which as of right now are largely ignored.

For years, game developers and marketers have focused only on two types of videogame players: hardcore gamers and casual players. Recent analysis from a survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. online gamers by Dallas-based market research firm Parks Associates (Electronic Gaming in the Digital Home) indicates that the gamer community has diversified to include six distinct groups and, most importantly, a new middle market has emerged, all with different motivations, gaming behaviors, and spending patterns.

Perhaps with Brad’s vision, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be one of the first to fill that void.

Click here (http://www.parksassociates.com/press/press_releases/2006/gaming_pr4.html) for the survey results and associated summary of the findings

rabb1t
09-05-2006, 03:53 PM
/sigh

Again I am lumped in with the power gamer. How long will it take these peeps to realize the motivation is different between players who log long hours / high weekly hour counts?

Meeg Dithers
09-05-2006, 05:25 PM
Is it all about Selling the most subscriptions? One of the cover stories in the NYTimes today is about the success of World of Warcraft see this link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/05/technology/05wow.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper&oref=slogin

Do I want to gather in a room with 40 people and launch an attack an Uber Raid Target? :rolleyes:

Would I like a great online computer game that reaches for the higher end of the gaming stratosphere! :D

I believe Vanguard;Saga of Heroes is on target...so hurry up already guys!
:p

usuldaneriak
09-05-2006, 05:43 PM
if i understand this research right, it says, that the majority of potential players, especially for social, challenging and relationship oriented games (also mpporgs) is not reached today. 50% of the market is still sleeping.
and if you sum up the numbers of these 3 yet not adressed playergroups, the millions of wow are nothing.

well, its just another research study, honestly

Navid
09-05-2006, 08:17 PM
amen!

Meeg Dithers
09-05-2006, 11:17 PM
"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."

My mother did tell me that I was a late bloomer:o

Nargroth
09-06-2006, 08:45 AM
The difference between a hardcore gamer and a casual gamer is defined in more ways than simple hours per week playtime.

Myself, I play for several hours a day at times, and not just the 1-3 hours a casual gamer might put in a day.

However, my FOCUS in a game is to socialize, explore and have fun with friends, guildies and people I meet.

The focus of a hardcore gamer, which might even put in less hours than myself each week, is to reach endgame, and get the end-game gear to be uber, or leet, or any which title you prefer.

Core gamers, as they say, would be those that play alot, but with a focus on interaction and socializing. Hence, as we see with tradeskills, there is a large interdependancy between tradeskill classes. Local economy further strengthens a social network, where you have to go from shop to shop to check prices, whereas a hardcore gamer, or powergame if you prefer, prefers a single market, without running around, to quickly get the goods they want fast, or to sell it fast.

Many falsely associate the term hard core gamer with "person who spends tons of hours playing each week".

Being a core gamer myself, I cant wait for Vanguard. I don't like a hectic 2nd job type rush for DKP's to be uber type game, as EQ1 turned into, but I do like to play several hours a day. And that is where Vanguard, hopefully, will find it's niche.

greymain
09-06-2006, 11:41 AM
I would be facinated to see age factored into that study. I get the distinct impression that the older (meaning 20+) players are more interested in games with depth of gameplay and therefor requires a long term commitment reguardless of the hours they can spend per night playing them. In my old guild most players had families and a lot had kids and there was an understanding of players forced to go AFK, limit or stop playing for a period due to family commitments.

There were in our eyes only two types of player, Power players and the rest.

Melios
09-06-2006, 12:19 PM
The report didn't even use the word "casual" or "hardcore" so stop assuming things.

Nishua
09-06-2006, 03:36 PM
I say gaming companies are missing the mark. I'm 23 now and grew up on games since I was 12. In over a decade the quality of games that are coming how have declined so bad its not even funny. The gaming industry use to be about creativity and creating a fun experince nows its all about the dollar. Yes, it was always about making money, but instead of that being proirty #2 its now #1. Example Street Fight 0239840238402480802 EX DEX 2

rabb1t
09-06-2006, 03:37 PM
Grey - age of the player wouldn't matter much in terms of childcare, but the age of the children would. Like back not too long ago my roomies sis was playing WoW with us and she'd have to afk. At the time her kids were like 5 and 3. I don't know if she still plays (I quit like 1.25 years ago) but I'd bet parents of older children wouldn't afk as much. I know last I heard, her kids would watch her play and ask if something could be turned into a pet or not (she was hunter.)

As example, single women 35 and over (with or without children, often with teen children when they have them) are part of that spike in the age group in the mid 30s because they don't have time to socialize in the real world due to commitments, but do have time to do so through MOGs.

I'm sure age is in there, as the report is likely very long. I'm sad we have such a limited sample of the report.

Tezvyra
09-06-2006, 04:50 PM
I have to take any of those survey results with a big dose of salt. I'm willing to bet that age has an impact here. But mostly willing to bet that familial status (not marriage status nor gender)has even more impact. Those with children (in the home) of any age will have less time to game, but more importantly, will probably have less disposable income to game with overall. But these people are also more likely to have well paid employment. A spouse could add to that. That might offset the cost of child-rearing and free more income for gaming. Time ingame isn't as important if you can afford the services of a power-leveler or gold-farmer. I'm not condoning this!!! Please don't flame me!!! I'm just making observations. It's easier to buy most stuff than earn it, RL and VL (virtual life). It's (for some) more fun to schmooze with people online if you have a powerful and attractive avatar. If you don't have the time to put into a toon, buying it is sometimes an option. You have access to more game content. The more fun you have, the more of your limited leisure time you will spend playing. The more time you spend playing, and the more money you have invested, the more likely you are to hang around. I agree that it is probably the more mature players who will want the deeper and more complex games. I know a lot of younger players have much time and money to spend on gaming. I know many younger players crave deep/complex gameplay. Just saying on average, probably is more mature players with good incomes that spend larger sums of money for them. I know a lot of younger players who buy gold and power-leveling services. Many people buy multiple accounts in some games and further can skew results if you don't ask the right questions, or can't make allowances for that. When you factor in multiple account holders, power-leveling and gold-farming, it gets REALLY hard to accurately assess the market, don't you think? How many folks do you think will honestly answer a survey about it?

greymain
09-06-2006, 05:15 PM
"I say gaming companies are missing the mark. I'm 23 now and grew up on games since I was 12. In over a decade the quality of games that are coming how have declined so bad its not even funny. The gaming industry use to be about creativity and creating a fun experince nows its all about the dollar. Yes, it was always about making money, but instead of that being proirty #2 its now #1. Example Street Fight 0239840238402480802 EX DEX 2"



My point exactly. Most 12 year olds are happy with todays gamesas they know no better. Those who know better are looking for something more.

greymain
09-06-2006, 05:40 PM
Tezvyra I agree you make some good points however not many under 20 have kids.

There is in my experience as many types of player as motivations.

Young Players do have a lot of cash and they are victims of the rapid pace of life nowadays. They are under peer pressure which leads to powerplay and buying status. Single people can find it easier to form relationships on line than in the real world. They may be on-line 8 hours a day but for them the social aspect is as important as status. There is in all age groups including old hippies like me with nothing to prove who play just for fun . Then there are those unemployed or handicapped for whom the game is an escape from an unpleasant reality. There are those who have difficult and dangerous jobs who are looking to let off a bit of steam or escape to a more controllable environment. Wives and husbands who play with their partners so they get to communicate with each other. the list of gaming stereotypes really is almost endless.

rabb1t
09-06-2006, 06:40 PM
How many folks do you think will honestly answer a survey about it?

As someone 'officially trained in survey method' I can say that it assumed that those answering will answer honestly. Those who volunteer for surveys are not the type to do things who will outright lie when they know they 'won't be caught'.

armsakimbo
09-07-2006, 12:57 PM
As someone 'officially trained in survey method' I can say that it assumed that those answering will answer honestly. Those who volunteer for surveys are not the type to do things who will outright lie when they know they 'won't be caught'.

Is that assumption held to apply universally, regardless of the age of the respondents? It seems to me that that would be foolish, as adolescents often seem to get a kick out of trying to deliberately skew survey results. (Sorry for digressing, but I am rather curious about that bit.)

Back on topic, I'm sure that over time the game companies will segment the snot out of the gamer market. There's too much money involved for them to not apply common business and marketing practices. In the end, that will probably be WoW's biggest impact on the MMOG gamespace. Nothing to do with the game itself, but rather a change in the way the corporate world addresses a market that is now proven to be far larger than anybody thought it was.

rabb1t
09-07-2006, 04:28 PM
Regardless of the age. If A is true, then B must be true. You have to assume that when doing surveys or your results will mean poop. Sure, there will always be the question of 'well, were the respondents answering truthfully' and that is taken into account if something looks 'wrong' in the results.

You have to realize that real surveys are a pain in the ass (both to administer and take). You have to have a disclaimer sheet on the front, or be read the disclaimer, etc. etc. and often by the time you are actually doing the survey you are getting really bored.

Those who get a kick out of skewing results have to have an observable result. Yes, putting a fart pillow down on the teacher's chair is funny - if you can see it happen, or hear from a friend what happened. But putting a fart pillow down on a teacher's chair of a school you have never been to, will never visit again, and don't know anyone at, simply isn't worth the effort.

Also, you have to realize that realistically results can't really be applied in general ways. Let's suppose that you did a survey of San Jose State University students. Ok, sure, the results would probably apply to all San Jose State Students if the survey questions were really good. But, would they apply to all west coast students? all students in the U.S.? Maybe, maybe not. Consider any online survey at a gaming site pre-release. This then limits the conditions to gamers who follow that particular game, who follow games pre-release, who visit websites for games pre-release, who went to that particular site on that particular day, and who were willing to answer the questions asked. That is a really small total population and can not realistically be applied to 'all gamers'. Survey and sampling is great for gathering data, but reaistically it can only point to possible trends; it can't point to absolute undenyable facts.

Also, there are things the survey may have totally wrong, or possibly ignored. As I mentioned, the motivation between players who will play a game say 40+ hours a week can be completely different. I do not consider myself a ‘power gamer’ because I am not motivated by loots and levels. I play because I enjoy something, because I like going places and doing/exploring new things. This is an entirely different motivation than someone who plays a game specifically to have the best loots and the highest level. Surveys like the one we are talking about here have completely ignored this factor as far as I can tell. (But they do seem to have accounted for variables that may impact the total hours played which may or may not stem from motivational causes/reasons.) So, under my operational definition of a "power gamer" someone can log on for even 1 or 2 hours and be a power gamer, because they are motivated to compete and gain regardless of how long their play session is for.

While you are dealing with numbers as small as ~35 respondents (basically the minimum when taking a survey), what you have to remember is that it is only a sample, and any number of problems can come up with sampling techniques. Sure, mathematically it is unlikely a few things off target will skew the numbers (this is what all this awful math is for in Statistics classes), but mathematically it will be representative of the total population if the questions are good (see: reliability and validity) and the sampling method is good (see: random sample.)

Anyways, bla bla bla, short answer is, yes, younger or immature peeps, or peeps who are self-conscious for whatever reason about the question, are more likely to lie - long answer is the question should be phrased in a way, and the test given in a way, that the respondent isn't motivated to lie or hide the truth. Also, there are ways you can tell if people are likely lying and that if the sample group is truly representative of the whole it wont matter.

armsakimbo
09-08-2006, 04:39 PM
Thanks for explaining that rabb1t. That little digression having been dealt with (to my satisfaction, at least :p), this bit in your post seems especially relevant to discussing the survey quoted in the OP.

Surveys like the one we are talking about here have completely ignored this factor as far as I can tell. (But they do seem to have accounted for variables that may impact the total hours played which may or may not stem from motivational causes/reasons.) So, under my operational definition of a "power gamer" someone can log on for even 1 or 2 hours and be a power gamer, because they are motivated to compete and gain regardless of how long their play session is for.

That highlights one of the persistent problems that crops up in every hardcore vs. casual discussion I've ever seen. There is very little agreement as to what the terms actually mean. I think this is probably because we are usually trying to analyze and argue about a multi-dimensional topic (playstyle) as if it were one dimensional. There is no easily digestable grayscale that describes the differences in the way people approach and play games.

Different people place different emphasis on competition, collabaration, time investment, social interaction, game complexity, game presentation (graphics/sound quality and depth), and depth of game content. Some of these factors incorporate more than one dimension (for instance, how much ought the game emphasize or reward competition, and how important is it to you that the game meet that particular expectation.) I think the general failure to recognize that complexity is why casual vs. hardcore discussions have such abysmal signal to noise ratios.

The one thing I liked about the survey in question is that it seems to recognize that the question is complex. Like you I think they missed the mark, but at least they seem to be headed down the right path.

Zadek
10-06-2006, 09:02 PM
I'm sure age is in there, as the report is likely very long. I'm sad we have such a limited sample of the report.

I am 53 and have been playing RPG's since 1975. My family played AD&D with me including my wife. We have 6 kids all but 1 has played AD&D. Whenn games came out on computers the 5 played as well no matter the age. Then alomg comes EQ and we have 5 accounts in the house and its been that way since 2000, we have played WOW as well. Bottom line is I only play the Fantasy RPG's as do most of my kids, though some have ventured into console games. I am a Tolkien fantasy purist. As an Elf, Dwarf halfling or human if I see an Ogre, Orc, Iksar, what ever I kill it and will never group with it. But alas the games are throwing too many races into the mix to remain that way so I change, even if reluntantly. As to the quote above by Rabbit I am sad as well that we have a very skimpy detailed report where real definitons are not given and explained. I personally question the number mix and the statistical sampling used.

markcalvert99
09-09-2013, 04:52 AM
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THANKS.