What kind of gamer are you?

In our work in gamification we draw from the game industry for inspiration and concepts, we then apply it to business processes and business results. Most of us at some point will have clicked on a personality profiling tool or the simple pop-quizzes on social media to garner a bit of insight or have a laugh, whichever the case may be. Research organisation Newzoo, who have been studying games for years, has come out with a gamer segmentation tool.

Women account for 46% of gamers

Not that we didn’t know this already, but women can be gamers nearly as much as men. How we play may be slightly different, but according to the Newzoo research, it is more about our consumption habits rather than gender or age. Again something that I have been writing about for at least 5 years or more. I took the quiz on their site to access my profile and I came out as a cloud gamer, which quite accurately describes my gamer style these days. I may have been a different profile earlier in life.

The most female-oriented categories of gamers are the time filler, the cloud gamer and the popcorn gamer. In fact, in their research from over 30 countries, the Time Filler is the top persona for female gamers with nearly two-thirds of this population female and only 19% male. The main reason for playing games is to pass the time.

The biggest category overall and the 2nd biggest for females is the cloud gamer. The cloud gamer enjoys a good quality game experience, they will tend towards free to play or discounted games and will rarely invest in expensive tools to play with. One-fifth of all male gamers fit into this category. Newzoo also predicts that it will be a growing trend with software giants such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft working on platforms that will bring games which don’t require a fancy extension to play.

Ultimate gamers, love all things gaming and will spend most on gadgets and game related tools. this is very much a male-dominated persona with 65% of men in this category and the age span being between 21-35 with 19% of them between 26-30. I don’t find this very surprising because you need a bit of disposable income to buy all the technology required so being in a job is nearly essential. The interesting side fact is that most of these live in families with children, so maybe the stay at home longer generation sits here.

You can take a quiz to find out your persona and read up on further details of the research on the Newzoo website.

Here is an overview of the various gamer types according to Newzoo:

Newzoo research into gamer types and their gamer segmentation

E-sports and streaming are driving new habits

One of the findings is that e-sports and streaming channels such as Twitch and YouTube are driving new habits of just watching other people play. Now one could argue that this may not be entirely new, because sports for years have attracted live audiences and fans. I personally don’t think it is a major surprise to see this emerging for video and computer games too. I on occasion watch playthroughs of a game I haven’t mastered or I simply can’t play due to lack of the console equipment or my skills being too poor for it to reach a good level. So as a gamer type this personality is called the popcorn gamer, who would rather watch than play.

The popcorn gamer is the gamer that prefers to watch rather than play. It is here that you find the youngest group of people with slightly more men at 54%. Just under two-thirds of this category falls in the 10-35 age bracket and 17% are between 21-25. Streaming has definitely become more popular in recent years, so I am not surprised that this group is then also likely a growing group. From a strictly business perspective, in-game advertising is wasted on these.

Segmentation research is welcome

I have to say I am delighted to read more research is being done into gamer personas. I have been a big fan of the work of Andrzej Marczewski with his user types and the subsequent academic research from various institutes to validate and tweak the profile. So I am happy to also see consumer research to be added in the mix and I am considering adding it into our work for some of our sales and marketing related gamification work in specific markets.

Consumer research on the scale of Newzoo is something we couldn’t carry out ourselves, but they have the data available and when it can help our clients I feel it could be a worthwhile investment. I just wish consumer research companies had pricing small agencies can afford, in general, they are out of our league.

I think in a world with more and more choices and also more and more data available for all, segmentation will be part of the game of business for all of us. That’s why understanding your customer will become more important than ever. It will determine the channels you use to attract them to your products and services and the methods you use to interact with them. It is an ever-evolving landscape. Segmentation gives us a guide, which we then have to test for our specific audience and it helps to take the guesswork out of the equation a bit.



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