Gamer Motivation Framework: Not all games are created equal (part 2)

Saturday, May 25, 2019

We all know that the use of mobile devices isn’t just becoming a common practice among people of all ages but rather a strongly incorporated tool in all facets of our day-to-day lives and that gaming statistics have only increased alongside mobile usage. With over 87% of Australian’s playing video games approximately three times a week (average age of an Australian gamer being 35 with 52% being male and 48% female).

Following on from Part 1 of this article, we will look at the “Gamer Motivation Framework” and how it gives a greater understanding of the “Game Genre Statistics” discussed earlier.

Game Demographic Preferences

Some quick facts for you. Currently, the Asia-Pacific region is home to nearly 1 billion gamers, that’s almost half of the entire gaming population in the world. Although gaming is often associated with younger generations, an approximate 15% of gamers worldwide are aged between 51 and 65. In addition, 63% of all gamers in 2018, are from 21 to 50 years of age. These numbers clearly show that video games are played much more frequently by adults than by teenagers or children.

Men spend more time playing video games than women, but these numbers vary in different gaming genres. For example, women prefer video games that don't involve violence or athletic competitions, while men often like playing shooter or sports games. Arcade, simulation, and puzzle games are more popular among women, while male gamers enjoy playing strategies, action games or adventures. Below listed are the top 3 genres per platform for both Males and Females.To put these findings under the microscope and go further into why these genres have been so popular with a particular sex, there are 12 identified motivations that have been recorded to often cluster together when identifying specific gamers. These motivations are often measured within the Gamer Motivation Framework model to identify a player’s game preferences.

Gamer Motivation Framework

Immersion: Gamers with high Immersion scores want games with interesting narratives, settings, and customisation options so they can be deeply immersed in the alternate worlds created by games. Gamers with low Immersion scores are more grounded in the gameplay mechanics and care less about the narrative experiences that games offer.

Creativity: Gamers with high Creativity scores are constantly experimenting with their game worlds and tailoring them with their own designs and customisations. Gamers with low Creativity scores are more practical in their gaming style and accept their game worlds as they are.

Action: Gamers with high Action scores are aggressive and like to jump in the fray and be surrounded by dramatic visuals and effects. Gamers with low Action scores prefer slower-paced games with calmer settings.

Social: Gamers with high Social scores enjoy interacting with other players, often regardless of whether they are collaborating or competing with them. Gamers with low Social scores prefer solo gaming experiences where they can be independent.

Mastery: Gamers with high Mastery scores like challenging gaming experiences with strategic depth and complexity. Gamers with low Mastery scores enjoy being spontaneous when gaming and prefer games that are accessible and forgiving when mistakes are made.

Achievement: Gamers with high Achievement scores are driven to accrue power, rare items, and collectibles, even if this means grinding for a while. Gamers with low Achievement scores have a relaxed attitude towards in-game achievements and don’t worry too much about their scores or progress in the game.

With the above framework considered, the results are as follows (note that the data varies according to the game genre);The Gaming Motivation Framework with its clustered results not only enumerates gamer motivations, but also shows how the motivations are related to each other. One key challenge in studying gaming motivations is that it’s relatively easy to brainstorm and list potential motivations, but understanding the structure underlying those motivations, how they relate to each other, and how to reliably measure them require large amounts of data.

Most Popular Mobile game Genres

According to Forbes, 80% of smartphone users play mobile games on their device, and nearly 50% play games every day. Additionally, mobile game apps are used equally by both men and women. While more teens play mobile games than adults, 62% of adults do use these apps. It’s no surprise then that advertisers picked up on the marketing potential of mobile games.

The following Mobile game genres are the most popular;

  • Casual/Social 46%

  • Persistent Multi-player Universe 4%

  • Other 9%

  • Action Strategy, Sports, & RPGs 11%

  • Puzzle, Board Games, Game Show Etc 31%

Final Thoughts

Video games are big business. It’s difficult to know exactly how big the industry is, those games you play that aren’t on a traditional device such as a Playstation, Xbox or PC, are still very much games. In fact, Mobile Gaming is the biggest contributor to the ever-expanding game market. With both Smartphones and Tablets combined, they made up just over half of the entire game market in 2018, pulling in over $70.3Bn.

If gaming is no longer being viewed as just a pastime but a lifestyle aspect for many, then we as heads of companies, marketing agencies and education boards surely have an opportunity to take an engaging format and use it as a funnel to educate, market and encourage productivity towards users.

Statistic References:

  • Nielsen

  • Entertainment Software Association

  • Quanticfoundry

  • Forbes

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Pewresearch

  • Statista


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