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Game Developers Missing Their Target?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the varying-levels-of-addiction dept.

184

wh0pper writes "Digital Trends is reporting that a recent survey finds that there aren't just 2 gamer markets, but instead a whopping 6. What does this mean? It means that game developers and publishers are ignoring a large portion of the gaming market by focusing on the traditional two segments: casual gamers and hardcore gamers. The 4 other game markets they identified are Social Gamers, Leisure Gamers, Dormant Gamers, Incidental Gamers. If you are wondering what those categories mean, the article gives descriptions of what each segment is. A surprising result from the survey is the importance of social gaming; video games are often considered a solitary activity, but Parks Associates' findings indicate a significant portion of the market views gaming as a social activity."

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184 comments

Splitting hairs (1, Insightful)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011538)

WTF difference is their between a "Casual Gamer" and a "Leisure Gamer"?

Re:Splitting hairs (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011555)

Ughh... my grammar sucks.

Anyways, about 4 or 5 of these "new" categories fall under the "casual" banner.

Re:Splitting hairs (5, Insightful)

complexmath (449417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011720)

WTF difference is their between a "Casual Gamer" and a "Leisure Gamer"?

I assume you meant "Leisure gamer" and "Dormant gamer." It's difficult to be sure, but my guess is that it has to do with the number of hours per month each spends playing games. Leisure gamers seem to spend a lot more time gaming than Dormant gamers, mostly because they have more free time. This distinction is arguably a bit silly, but it may apply to game design with respect to the length of an average gaming session. For example, a Leisure gamer might have the time for a raid in WoW while a Dormant gamer would not, even though both are interested in the same type of game.

I do think the addition of a few more categories is a step forward however. For example, a lot of gamers would be considered power gamers in terms of how they approach gaming, but casual gamers in terms of available time (represented by "Leisure gamer" and "Dormant gamer" in the list). Blizzard seems to have been catering to power gamers with little end game content for casual gamers, beleiving that casual gamers will rarely make it that far. But this obviously ignores a rather large subset of players in the Dormant and Leisure categories. Social gamers are another category for which MMORPGs tend to have a lot of appeal, but they typically approach content with a more "casual" play style. Often, these players experience very little content for the time they spend online because they're more interested in roleplay or simply chatting.

Re:Splitting hairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011573)

Probably a good few page hits, by the sound of it.

Re:Splitting hairs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011604)

WTF difference is their between a "Casual Gamer" and a "Leisure Gamer"?

Not sure, but I started out as a Leisure Suit Gamer. I still get misty-eyed when I see Lefty's.

Re:Splitting hairs (4, Funny)

toolie (22684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011737)

Not sure, but I started out as a Leisure Suit Gamer. I still get misty-eyed when I see Lefty's.

Dude, aim away from your face. Thats how you go blind... all that 'mist'.

Re:Splitting hairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011608)

Casual gamer was split into 3 catagories based on amount of time and types of games played
leisure >58 hours-casual games but likes some complex
dormant likes complex but doesnt have much time anymore but would like to play more around 20 hours
ocasional- mostly boardgames simple games little time

Re:Splitting hairs (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011620)

There is no difference, looks like the editor mistakenly used 'leisure' instead of 'occasional'. In any case, the analysis is somewhat misleading. How do you market specifically to social gamers? By definition they're mostly looking for interaction with other players, not the game environment per se. They'll go play what everyone else plays. Dormant gamers will likely want to play the same things as powergamers, they'll just have less time to do so. In any case, the design and marketing budget will continue to go to those making products for the demographic that spends the most - the powergamers.

Re:Splitting hairs (1)

PMadavi (583271) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012210)

How do you market specifically to social gamers? By definition they're mostly looking for interaction with other players, not the game environment per se.
With games like DDR, Guitar Hero, Mario Party, etc.

Re:Splitting hairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011625)

A casual gamer refers to someone who does it infrequently and not as a passionate hobby. A leisure gamer is different from a hardcore gamer in that they don't devote as much time or thought to gaming, but both archetypes hold gaming as enjoyable pastimes that they like doing.

Re:Splitting hairs (5, Funny)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011674)

WTF difference is their between a "Casual Gamer" and a "Leisure Gamer"?

Lots of polyester in the closet?

Re:Splitting hairs (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16012379)

WTF difference is their between a "Casual Gamer" and a "Leisure Gamer"?

WTF difference is there between their hobbys and they're hobbys?

Careful kids! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011553)

Mental masturbation will make you blind...

The only time I play is social... (1)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011566)

Usually drunk with a bunch of 25-30 year guys playing whatever the latest good multiplayer console game is (or good singleplayer game that works well in 'turns' - Burnout Revenge, for example).

Gaming as a Social Activity (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011586)

I tend to see this more and more nowadays. Yes, there's networked games like MMORPGs and FPS'ers but I think it goes beyond that. We're talking gaming as a spectator sport where a group of friends gather 'round some guy playing GTA solo.

Incidentally, I see a similar trend in web-surfing. Some guy surfing through interesting/funny/lame sites while a group spectate him or her.

I don't understand it completely. When I game, it's me against the computer...or someone on the other side of the network. No audience. Even in LAN parties, people have a chance to PLAY together, not just to watch someone else play.

When I surf slashdot, there isn't a crowd behind me going "oooh man, you're really gonna say that?"

What's going on here? Is it an after-effect of the prevalence of TV?

Re:Gaming as a Social Activity (5, Informative)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011657)

I know a few people (mainly women, oddly) who don't like playing games, but will sit and watch others play. I think this is partially due to the stories in the game, or just wanting to cheer their S.O. on.

I also know others who were in long distance relationships and would schedule to watch something on TV while on the phone (or IM) as a sort of virtual date. If it worked for TV, why not web-surfing, or even gaming? You could go "shopping" with your IM-buddy, for instance, or meet up in WoW or something.

And back in the days when I MUD'ed, I knew a lot of players who were just there for the social aspect. They weren't there to do quests or kill monsters, and would just hang out in the pubs to chat with other characters as they passed through.

I doubt that's what the article was refering to as a "social gamer" though.

Re:Gaming as a Social Activity (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011899)

I know a few people (mainly women, oddly)

Your geek card has been revoked. Have a nice day.

Re:Gaming as a Social Activity (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011926)

Hey, wait a minute, they were female geeks (or at least, geeky females).

Re:Gaming as a Social Activity (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011785)

I tend to see this more and more nowadays. Yes, there's networked games like MMORPGs and FPS'ers but I think it goes beyond that. We're talking gaming as a spectator sport where a group of friends gather 'round some guy playing GTA solo.

This isn't new, I mean since arcades have been around people have gathered around the guy pulling off crazy shit, and back in the early 90's me and my friends used to sit around for a couple hours every once in a while playing a one-player CRPG.

One reason is that some games are very cinematic and story-based, making for decent viewing. Another is that some games are very strategy oriented and require almost no skill, so you don't lose much by not being at the controls. Think puzzle games, adventure games, turn-based strategy, CRPG... you don't lose much by not being at the controls, so it can become like a group effort. Shadow of the Colossus is a recent example like this, once you figure out the strategies they're not hard to pull off. A third is that if a game is skill-based, it's neat to see what other people can pull off.

Re:Gaming as a Social Activity (1)

Angron (127881) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011924)

Incidentally, I see a similar trend in web-surfing. Some guy surfing through interesting/funny/lame sites while a group spectate him or her.

Because it's so much more interesting web-surfing on your own! If people want to see the same lame/funny sites, then doing it in a group seems perfectly logical.

I've also known people who prefer watching others play games, probably because they prefer passive entertainment to active. For some games it even makes sense, when it's the kind of game where you just want to see what happens when you do various things. ("What happens if you set the police car on fire?") It's just like people getting together to do stupid things in real life, but less dangerous. The only time it starts becoming weird is when people are getting together to watch something more repetitive like Tetris or something.

Re:Gaming as a Social Activity (1)

hazah (807503) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012102)

The only time it starts becoming weird is when people are getting together to watch something more repetitive like Tetris or something.
I take it you haven't played one of the newer Mortal Kombat titles then. That's some bloody tetris.

Re:Gaming as a Social Activity (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012586)

I've also known people who prefer watching others play games...
Such as the entire viewing audience of ESPN, 99% of whom haven't touched a ball of any kind since they were in school. Personally, I don't see the appeal (spectator sports bore me to tears), but evidently there are a lot of people who will happily settle for vicarious play rather than participate in an actual activity or game. It shouldn't be too surprising if that holds true for virtual activities as well.

Ooooh man! I can't believe you said that! (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012036)

Ooooh man! I can't believe you said that!

Had to be said. ;)

That said, I am a "hard core" gamer AND a social gamer. There are lots of games that play well as gropu games -- like playing "board" games or other traditional games. :)

In my childhoot we...in the snow... (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012076)

Back in my childhood we had to call friends on a phone (no email, no cell phone) then they would have to walk miles in the snow just to play a few games. Often, we would go without food to keep playing.

We didnt start out on video games, we just had exciting board or card games when attention spans had to last more than 2.5 seconds.

To find how to pass a level or cheat, you would have to talk to other kids to find codes. Our cheat codes did not require some add on device(that came later): up up down down left right left right B A start...

Almost no games could save, so you would have to remember codes or start over each time. Save areas were few if there were any and made that walk in the snow seem much easier...

We didn't have a stupid dance mat. We had a power pad on which we played track and field, getting bumps and bruises-- none of this polite footsy simon says.

1 player games involved sharing (its like kazaa but takes effort.)

Some of us learned to talk smack and exchanged new words at these social gatherings as well.

Re:Gaming as a Social Activity (1)

grappler (14976) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012297)

A friend of mine commented on this. He declared that the computer is the new 'hearth', or gathering place, for conversations and trips down memory lane. Friends crowd around its warm glow, looking at photos, looking up obscure topics that come up in conversation, and watching youtube videos. Or, in this case, games.

Re:Gaming as a Social Activity (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012448)

There are some recent games which come to mind that really encourage this sort of thing - one person playing while other people watch, with watching being just as interesting a prospect as actually playing it. Two that come to mind are Shadow of the Colossus and Guitar Hero. The former is an incredibly visually impressive game, and I've found that whenever I've played it it's drawn in an audience - even just my family members. The latter is basically designed to be played with a group of friends.

I'd also argue that it's the social aspect that made Halo such a runaway success on the Xbox. A lot of people voiced their dislike of the single player, however the game lasted for ages simply because of the incredibly fun social aspect of being able to haul your box over to a friend's place and play in large groups. I've played a lot of FPSes and been to a lot of LANs, yet somehow playing 8-16 player Halo multiplayer over system link has a very different and far more social feel to it. Oddly, it didn't seem quite so prevalent in the sequel.

Money (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011587)

Dormant gamers make be 26% of the population, but they probably don't make up anywhere near 26% of the money spent on games, which is what really counts.

Re:Money (3, Interesting)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011758)

I don't think money is the only important aspect.

For instance, Yahoo and other sites offer free games (online & otherwise) which are often sponsored by ads. While no money is being spent by the gamer in this case, you can be sure that the longer he plays on such sites, the more money he's generating for the website in question.

Realistically, I think you would have to consider a graph where "money spent" makes up one axis, and "time spent" is the other. This means you could have a heavy spender, who doesn't actually play much ("the collector") and on the other extreme you'd have someone who spends 4-5 hours a day playing a free game. And if you further explored the TYPE of games played by these people (eg. FPS/action/arcade, RPG/adventure, puzzle/card/board) you'd see further patterns.

Re:Money (2, Interesting)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011832)

What you're thinking of (the time v money idea) can be evolved to provide a total image of profit for the parent company in question, especially for MMOs.

Consider the ideal MMO player for Blizzard: You're probably thinking of the hardcore dungeon crawler eager to get their hands on the latest loot and run the latest instances. In all reality, this is the absolute WORST player for blizzard. They're forced to constantly release new content for this player, listen to them whine, and fix bugs that don't affect the casual gamer. They also play much, MUCH more, which is where the real problem for blizzard comes in - if a hardcore WoWer plays 4 hours a day, they're using up the bandwidth of 4 casual players who play ~1 hour a day. Thus, the ideal population for blizzard consists solely of casual gamers who will pay their $whatever a month and buy every expansion, but not actually spend that much time playing.

Note that, while the above example is a clear MMO one, the same concept applies to ALL games; Valve, for example, also has to support bandwidth costs, and all companies have to support development costs for new content, whether in the form of expansions, patches, or periodic/episodic material.

It's hard to argue that hardcore gamers represent health in a particular game, either; look at the Splinter Cell Chaos Theory multiplayer mode - most of the people playing it are totally hardcore, and that game has no more than 200 people playing it any particular night. It's clear that the presence of hardcore gamers indicates that a given game is doing well.

Thus, money really IS the only important aspect in the long run, but in order to calculate that figure, you have to take into account your initial analysis of how much money is spent by each gamer, and then consider the amount of money they effectively block the company from getting based on the amount of the game they play.

Re:Money (2, Insightful)

Tuebit (999000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012351)

Probably quite true that they don't spend 26% of the money on games. But that's EXACTLY the point. As a group, they've probably got the same (potentially more) disposable income than, say, the power gamer group. Perhaps it's a stereotype, but I suspect the power gamer group is somewhat underemployed. The point of the 'Dormant' segment is that they don't spend on games. It raises the question (a question of interest to game developers) ... what does it take to get this group (and their money) back into the game. I'm a 'Dormant' gamer (formerly, heavy into multiple MMORPG's, a few FPS). I'm not any more. Just as the description of 'Dormant' gamer implies ... I'd like to play with family (well, not so much) and friends (definitely), but I don't have the time. I like deep complex games (many MMORPG's fall into this category, I think). I've got the disposable income. I've even got the desire to game ... I'm just waiting for a game that fits my needs. Now that my afflication has been labelled, when is someone going to come up with the treatment (a game for me).

Re:Money (3, Insightful)

johnstein (602156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012590)

Dormant gamers can be viewed as recovering alcoholics. They don't spend money on booze anymore, but the urge is still there (from what I've heard anyways). For dormant gamers, like me, who have tasted the addiction of video games, but for some reason or another have gotten out of the habit, the money is often there, but there hasn't been a good reason to get us back into gaming.

The Wii has very effectively captured my attention, and I really think there are a lot of people out there like me, young professionals with some disposable income and a renewed interest in gaming.

So you are true. We don't contribute nearly as much money, percentagewise, NOW. But the market is there ready to be tapped... Just give us a quality and original product instead of a lot of the same old stuff.

Ahh, I can see it now... (2, Funny)

Rapter09 (866502) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011594)

...We'll have World of WarCraft Liesure Edition, World of WarCraft Hardcore Gold Farmer Edition, and World of WarCraft "Dormant Gamer" Edition.What in the sweet hell is "Dormant Gamer?" Is that like coming out of the closet?

Re:Ahh, I can see it now... (5, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011616)

Dormant Gamers have gone into hibernation waiting for the time the galactic economy is capable of sustaining their exhorbant needs.

Until that time, they pass the time playing SimEarth...

Re:Ahh, I can see it now... (1)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011635)

Good way to troll for that +5 Funny. You bleeding asshole. ;-)

Re:Ahh, I can see it now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011716)

Where oh where is SimEarth 2007? I'd come out of dormancy for that, dammit.

Re:Ahh, I can see it now... (4, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011731)

I'm a dormant gamer, i just fucking woke up and my friend is expecting me to play an FPS with him.

Fjords (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012063)

Dormant Gamers have gone into hibernation waiting for the time the galactic economy is capable of sustaining their exhorbant needs.

Until that time, they pass the time playing SimEarth...


Pesky little buggers aren't they? My cat caught one this morning and ate it. I suppose Africa won't have any fjords the next time around.

Re:What is a Dormant Gamer? (1)

aweinert (969529) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011688)

Without RTFA, I would say someone like me.... I played N64 then PC games all the time (more or less hardcore gamer, but without the money to spend on an expensive rig). Then my senior year in highschool I stopped playing most games except for a few here and there (b/c of extensive school work and other interests). This has continued through college. I am however considering purchasing spore, but I don't want to have to reboot everytime I want to play it (I use linux, which is now a tertiary reason I don't do much gaming.)

Re:Ahh, I can see it now... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16011735)

Dormant Gamer:
    A hardcore gamer who got married.

Re:Ahh, I can see it now... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011908)

damn right.. (i know this too well)

Re:Ahh, I can see it now... (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012158)

Liesure edition = normal PVE
dormant gamer = RP PVE
Social gamer = normal PVP
Gold Farmer = whereever the money is at the time
Incidental Gamers = RP PVP


Yep, got it covered.

"My definitions mean I know more than you." (5, Insightful)

cmonkey_1973 (844398) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011599)

First of all, the article truncated to save your precious time:
  • 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.
I was going to start hacking this to pieces, but it's so obvious I just can't be bothered any more.


Bring us another transparent attempt for an outsider to seem authorative about the games industry, this one's broken.

Re:"My definitions mean I know more than you." (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011972)

"First of all, the press release truncated to save your precious time:"

There, I corrected it. Press release = 0 byte file.

Dormant Gamers (1)

MadLep (61542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011622)

Dormant Gamers - Finally! A vague meaningless stereotype that actually fits me!

Coming soon... (1)

Mr EdgEy (983285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011628)

Windows Vista Casual Edition Windows Vista Leisure Edition Windows Vista X-TREME ...

There are 7 types actually... (-1, Troll)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011646)

don't forget female gamers.

Re:There are 7 types actually... (2, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011814)

Right, because all female gamers play the same kinds of games for the same reasons.

Re:There are 7 types actually... (1)

dorath (939402) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011844)

don't forget female gamers.

They didn't.

My wife, and a number of other women in my EQ2 guild, are a mix of Power gamer and Social gamer. They raid 3-4 times a week, but they're mostly in it for the social aspect.

If there isn't a raid scheduled, or the people she'd like to chat with aren't around, or she doesn't feel like mucking around in her in-game appartment, then she'll log out and jump into the puzzle games. Or a romance novel.

Used to play ... (4, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011650)

I used to play and buy a lot of games. I'm from the Sierra Games generation though and maybe I just got older, but I find it hard to really get into games anymore. Once a year I'll pull out my Windows ME CD and install Civilization Call to Power -- play it for a week then go back to living. When I was in my teens and 20s, I played Deathtrack or Wing Commander till my joysticks wore out - every Leisure Suit Larry - tons of others I can't even remember. Now however, if I play a shooter on my PS2 for 30 minutes, my wrist and forearm aches for two days. I've tried adventure puzzle games but mostly, they are only modertately good -- something to do if there is nothing else to do and it barely costs anything. It's hard to find really compelling games that a fogey like me can play .... well, I'm only 37 but I can't take the repetitive game pad pounding anymore. And at $30-50 a pop, it's hard to justify the risk of buying something you can't return.

Civilization is cool for me because it takes some thinking, is quite entertaining, but doesn't cause issues with hand overuse. It's a hard formula to match. Recently I tried Pirates of Carribean which seemed cool at first, but somehow just didn't capture my attention and hold it. Anyway, I imagine coming up with a game for people like me would be really hard to do successfully ... and then we'd just buy that one game and play it for many years as I've done with Civ-CTP which makes it hard for game companys to justify the development expense.

Ebay it (2, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011730)

There's no reason to buy games new if you're a casual player. I've got 60+ ps2 games off ebay. Some have sucked, some have been really good. But at less then $10 dollars a head (many less than $6), I can afford to take some risks.

Re:Used to play ... (5, Funny)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011766)

I played Deathtrack or Wing Commander till my joysticks wore out - every Leisure Suit Larry

Yeah, I played Leisure Suit Larry until my joystick wore out, too.

Re:Used to play ... (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011817)

Civilization is cool for me because it takes some thinking, is quite entertaining, but doesn't cause issues with hand overuse. It's a hard formula to match.

Civilization is probably the only game with both graphics and moderately sophisticated AI and having random maps that actually matter.

In most other graphical games either AI is non-existent, or trained on a small set of maps - often both.

Why there is no fantasy-themed game with sophistication of Civ is beyond me..

Re:Used to play ... (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012021)

What about Master of Magic?

Re:Used to play ... (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012312)

What about Master of Magic?
If only they'd make an updated version. To this day it is still part of my Unholy Triumverate of Ancient DOS Games:

Master of Magic, Master of Orion II, and X-Com: UFO

Re:Used to play ... (1)

humble.fool (961528) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011897)

Windows ME? That game must be God-like to command that sort of sacrifice!

Re:Used to play ... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011993)

Sadly, ME is the only windows disc I have and to be fair, when I'm done playing I de-install windows. I usually do this when I put together a new machine. After I'm done with my civ fix, it gets whatever linux distro I'm presently liking.

I thought I was the only one (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012546)

I did that too with Civilization. Currently, Starcraft is the only thing between my Windows ME system and certain doom, er for my Windows ME system.

Re:Used to play ... (1)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012006)

If you're looking for a up-to-date game of cheap cost, and great value, look at finding a $20 copy of Sid's "Pirates" It's only got moderate replay value, but you will be very blissfully addicted, and a $20, it was well worth the money spent.

Re:Used to play ... (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012124)

I tried that one too last winter -- worked great in Cedega BTW ... but after about a month or so, I lost interest. I don't think I'll play it much more in the future. The clever part about Civilization is that it has remained interesting for many many years, although as I mentioned before, I only play it once a year (it becomes too much of a time sink if I don't de-install -- the whole "have to reinstall windows to play it" is sufficiently painful that it keeps me from wasting my life on it completely).

Re:Used to play ... (0)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012089)

if I play a shooter on my PS2 for 30 minutes, my wrist and forearm aches for two days.
In case you haven't noticed, the problem is not you, it's the PS2 controller. That thing SUCKS! Its bizarre shape with the huge handles, the d-pad chopped in four, the position of the analogs that make you twist your wrists -- I just can't stand that shit! And most third-party controllers mimick every one of these problems.

Want a controller that won't cripple your hands? Get a Dreamcast. Dirt cheap, tons of nice games.

Gamefly (1)

briancnorton (586947) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012292)

I found myself in the same spot. There is however a solution that has worked nicely for me. Gamefly is a netflix-esque service for games. I think a 1-at-a-time plan is like $15 month. Beats the heck out of constantly buying new games that will likely suck, or paying blockbuster $9 to rent one of their 15 games. My wife and I are rather particular about our games, and it's great to play them for a bit and be done with them.

Extra dimensions (4, Funny)

w33t (978574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011697)

...there aren't just 2 gamer markets, but instead a whopping 6.

What is this, game-string theory?

Re:Extra dimensions (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012159)

All I need is a good time-travel adventure and I'll have scored the big SG-1 trifecta!

Re:Extra dimensions (1)

nude-fox (981081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012348)

man i laughed so hard at that i dont even know why

"Design" & "Marketing" - Meet Capt. Ovious (2, Insightful)

d'fim (132296) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011698)

"Social Gamers, Leisure Gamers, Dormant Gamers, Incidental Gamers"

In other words, people who don't spend money on games.

So TFA is about how the publishers "just" need to figure out how to create games which are good enough to sell to non-buyers.

If only the publishers had thought of this themselves . . .

Re:"Design" & "Marketing" - Meet Capt. Ovious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16012156)

"Social Gamers, Leisure Gamers, Dormant Gamers, Incidental Gamers"

In other words, people who don't spend money on games.

So TFA is about how the publishers "just" need to figure out how to create games which are good enough to sell to non-buyers.

If only the publishers had thought of this themselves . . .


I wouldn't say that these people (necessarily) don't buy games as much as I would say that these people do not buy the volumes of games that the more traditional gaming population does. Personally, I'm a pretty good gamer but know of several people who would fall into each of these categories; most of them own a current generation console or handheld but do not buy as many games as I do mainly because there are too few games that actually interest them. My Sister in Law loves all of the Mario Sport/Party/Kart games and will buy just about everyone that comes out; she is a more social gamer and typically only plays videogames when her daughter (or someone else) is around and wants to play games. If Nintendo released twice as many of these Mario games (and maintained their quality) she'd probably buy twice as many games.

The fact is that publishers are trying to make as much money off of the hardcore gaming population as they can; this is a double edged sword because the people who are most likely to be looking for expensive next generation graphics are the hard-core gamers who buy most of your games. If you're spending $10 Million to produce a game that sells 1 Million copies you're starting to run into problems.

Thats why I bought a game cube (2, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011707)

Unlike anything else I saw, I bought a game cube after years and years of being a console hater. Why? Because I've a social gamer and nothing caters to my current gameing interests more than having a few friends coming over to play Mario party or Super Smash Bros, etc.

When the survey says that these groups aren't being catered to, they're not exactly being truthful. There are games produced for social gamers and the other groups. The problem is they're recognized less when propped up against multi-million dollar time killers like Grand Theft Auto. Plus, just because there are gamers of six categories, it doesn't mean there's money to be made. Anyone who isn't in the 'hard-core' demographics are typically not heavy spenders in gaming. Maybe, the supply is already meeting demand. Is the article flamebait, or just oversimplifying the supply/demand balance?

Just further proof (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011717)

that the Wii will dominate this Christmas season.

Casual Gamers, Hardcore Gamers, Social Gamers, Leisure Gamers, Dormant Gamers and Incidental Gamers.

The Wii, with it's groundbreaking controllers, is going to *own* at least 2 of those markets. I consider myself a dormant gamer: Mashing buttons isn't fun for me anymore, I grew up with a Colecovision and never got past the SNES. But I'm excited for the Wii, and my three-year old will be getting one for Christmas. No, not me, it's for the kids, honey. Really.

And then there's social gamers. Being able to watch what another person does and learn from and criticize their actions rather than just sit there and mash buttons will be *huge*. Why do you think there's always a crowd around the DDR machines? It's the most social game in any arcade.

The PS/3 looks like they'll be lucky to get the Hardcore Gamer market. And the XBox? Next year's garage sale fodder.

Re:Just further proof (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012360)

Wow! For being out of the console game for so long, your sure pick up the role of "your system sux!" trolling fanboi pretty well!

Sorry, knee jerk reaction for when I see "I haven't played games in 20000 years since I was frozen by the glacier - back when I was young it was Hoop n' Stick or Ball-in-a-Cup - But I plan on buying a Wii --- therefore the Wii will be the #1 selling system on Earth, as I, ancient unfrozen caveman gamer and slashdot reader am the average consumer so I have a say in this. Also I asked my friend Throrac who was also in the glacier (he has a negative /. id) and he's getting it too, so I guess that seals it."

Anyways, back to the actual article - where do online gamers work in that crowd? Social? Casual? The Wii won't be launching with any online, so take them out.

And you glossed over hardcore, even though that's what drives system sales at launch time. Are they not important?

I'm not sure why people equate "nintendo" + "new input device"="casual gamers". A casual game is a SIMPLE game that people KNOW - input doesn't really factor into it. The current term in the industry I've heard batted about is "commodity" - i.e., anyone can make a checkers or Majong clone. It doesn't mean that they aren't fun or lots of people won't play them - I've enjoyed online Risk for hours because getting a real life game together when you're not 12 is a little harder. But I don't see why Wii == casual just because of the pointer. Is it because it costs less? If I have a computer, will I go get a Wii, or play online like I usually do? That's $200 cheaper than buying a Wii. Also, with XBL Arcade and Sony's online service they can import small, simple, cheap casual games just as easily as Nintendo. I really don't see the Wii having an automatic win there.

Re:Just further proof (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012411)

The Wii, with it's groundbreaking controllers, is going to *own* at least 2 of those markets.

But wait, there's more! If we broke it down by gender, ethnicity, nationality, eye color, and left- and right-handedness, the Wii would have cornered a whopping SIX BILLION TEN QUINTILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND AND FIFTY TWO POINT FIVE markets! Score.

Well... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011744)

You can't get any off target than... Duke Nukem Forever! (Shouted in a Duck Dodgers voice, which was a great N64 game.)

2 kinds, 6 kinds, 10 kinds, whatever (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011751)

As long as we get the same games over and over it does not matter in how many niches we split the market. I can be the most hardcore ice hockey gamer, but when I bought the 2005 edition of an ice hockey game, I won't buy the same game again in 2006. When I'm a hardcore shooter fan, I still won't buy two games that run on the same engine and with the same physics. At best, I try to find mappacks for the game I already have.

Who are these people? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011754)

I don't understand how anyone could think in terms something so limited as "two markets" or "six markets." There is an infinite variety of potential customers. This story implies that it is conventional wisdom that there are just two game "markets." I've never heard that before.

Who are these people, and how do they get jobs commenting on such things, when their whole approach to analysis is flawed from the start? What is the benefit to such analysis? Thinking in terms of two markets or six markets can only achive one outcome - limiting innovation and ways of thinking about how to produce games/products.

In reality, customers buy what they want to buy, and try to meet their own needs or desires. Real human beings (you know, the ones who actually buy things) do not think of themselves as "markets."

Gamer Markets. (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011835)

I had a nicely drawn ASCII diagram drawn for this until I remembered the lameness of the /. lameness filter. I want my 37 minutes back, CowboyNeal!

Anyway, those aren't gamer markets in any sense of the word market. They are gamer stereotypes or styles. Gamer markets are already well established: Sports, RTS, RPG, MMORPG, FPS, etc etc.

One cannot wisely design a game completely around a style, such as "people who only play games incidentally are really going to like this game". Why spend countless hours developing a game that only a small segment of the consumer market is going to enjoy when you can make a game that the very same segment enjoys equally but is also enjoyed by the REST OF THE F'N MARKET, thus increasing sales tremedously.

I thought the whole idea behind what makes a GOOD game was that every style of player can enjoy it. Not that if you are a 'dormant' or 'hardcore' gamer you won't like it because you aren't also an 'incidental' or 'social' gamer. Remember, behind all these fancy adjectives, these people are still GAMERS.

I hate to bring it up, because it's almost cliché, but WoW is such a game. You can play it casually and like it (unless you are an immature kid who thinks you deserve the same rewards for less time than someone who literally has spent the last two years of their life raiding). We call those people whiners. I think pretty much all other gamers call those people whiners. They're the ones with excuses to explain why they aren't as good as someone else. They're the ones on the forums more than the game, spouting off at the mouth a stream of useless complaints that really only wind up pointing directly back at themselves.

And back to the point. So you make a game trying to satisfy those immature kids. Everyone gets whatever they want. Essentially, nobody is different than anybody else. Wow, I am sure that game is going to really pull in the money.

Anyway, I guess what I am saying is, congrats to the writer of that article. You sure know how to state the obvious in new and wonderful ways.

TLF

Re:Gamer Markets. (1)

The PS3 Will Fail (998952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011921)

"And back to the point. So you make a game trying to satisfy those immature kids. Everyone gets whatever they want. Essentially, nobody is different than anybody else. Wow, I am sure that game is going to really pull in the money."
Try to take your personal animosity towards WoW players out of the discussion for a moment. (It really has no place here.) I think you're missing the point of what a casual gamer would be considered; it's not just that they play fewer hours than the "hardcore" gamer, it's that their play patterns are significantly different than the hardcore gamer. Fewer hours, maybe but maybe not; the casual gamer is more identified to their commitment to advancing in the game. A hardcore gamer may encounter a section in a game where they have to spend days and days trying to advance. A casual gamer would encounter this same section and leave the game behind entirely.

The best example of a casual gamer does not involve WoW. A great example of a casual gamer is someone who plays Bookworm or Scrabble online. The basic game structure remains the same from play to play. Also...

"Gamer markets are already well established: Sports, RTS, RPG, MMORPG, FPS, etc etc."
Those are genres, not markets.

Re:Gamer Markets. (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011978)

"A casual gamer would encounter this same section and leave the game behind entirely."

I completely disagree. A casual game could casually approach the aforementioned task. That it will take them longer (of IRL time, not necessarily play time) to achieve that goal they fully understand.. but that they COULD achieve that goal and not spend an inordinate percentage of their daily life doing so is what makes them casual IMHO.

Regarding your statement that they are genres... I agree. And they're also markets. Each genre represents a segment of consumer economics. Thus, each genre is a separate market within the industry of games in general. But feel free to argue that a genre cannot correlate to a specific market...I have a feeling that we could sift through some economic data that fully and unambigiously fits the definition of market to the definition of each genre by allowing us to differentiate between them.

TLF

Game On (4, Funny)

shoma-san (739914) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011855)

There are only 10 types of gamers in the world: Those who understand pwning, and those who don't

Re:Game On (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012461)

There are only 10 types of gamers in the world: Those who understand pwning, and those who don't
With the risk of ruining the analogy: There are 1337 types of gamers in the world: those who pwn and those who are pwnt.

Parks Associates: When you want sloppy work (1)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011968)

Given that the "article" is pretty much a summary designed to convince people to pay for their full research, it's embarassing. Learn to use your graphing software. And perhaps more importantly: don't connect discrete data points with lines. What am I supposed to make of the line between "Social Gamer" and "Dormant Gamer"? That there are hybrids who constitute about 18% of the market? That there are not hybrid Power/Dormant gamers?

Only 6? Please. (1)

TheNoxx (412624) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011984)

I'd count the number way higher than that. I'm surprised there still aren't any games more targeted towards particular cultural groups; so far we have tons for Chinese, Japanese, European, and American cultures, and a few with Russian elements and the one Godfather game (Italian...ish), but none for anyone else, and only ONE based out of the poverty faced by so many black families in the US. Where are the games with disctinctly Chicano roots? Or Hindi? Arabic? Central or South American? I'm particularly surprised there aren't games made especially for the Latino people living in the US; they've been a large part of our heritage for a long time and are continuously playing a more and more important role in the ongoing growth of America. I want to see a historical game about the Mexican fight for independence, or a Jade-Empire style RPG about the growth of the Arabic empire during it's height or the legends of Vishnu. It's about time a game developer got serious and started looking really close at the art and drama experienced inside of the ethnic communities here.

I think it'd be a great way for the game developing community to counter-act the recent explosion of xenophobia in America to publish some games aimed at helping the children of immigrants learn about the US and academic subjects and their homeland's traditions in an interesting manner and preserving their cultural heritage in the way the game is presented. It'd take some serious research and alot of money and effort spent on artistic direction, but would be very, very well worth it.

I'm a social gamer. (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 7 years ago | (#16011999)

I wont play 1-player games. At all. Ever. None. Zero Zilch. Nada.

I can't stand watching other people play.

Well, I've played a few 1-player games... Frequency, Amplitude, Grand Theft Auto... Ultima 4... I dunno.

One of my favorite Atari 2600 games is Combat.

I had 3-computer DOOM set up in 1995. I used a BBS that allowed people with modems to play 4-player DOOM for 14 cents an hour.

I prefer 4-player games. I get really pissed off at games that offer me vs. wife via splitscreen, but when we go online, only one of us can go online. Totally ruins the whole point of online if I can't play at the same time as my wife.

Yes. Our choices are limited. I'm glad to finally be identified as a group, but I've said "I'm a social gamer" many times in the past. I've also complained that there aren't a lot of options for couples to play.

Re:I'm a social gamer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16012066)

I wont play 1-player games. At all. Ever. None. Zero Zilch. Nada.

[...]

Well, I've played a few 1-player games... Frequency, Amplitude, Grand Theft Auto... Ultima 4... I dunno.


Your argument seems somehow self-defeating.

Re:I'm a social gamer. (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012130)

You must be in the debate club. :)

Of course there are exceptions to any rule, so I gave them up front. I generally do not play 1player games. In the past 1,000 hours of gaming, less than 50 hrs have been 1-player games. Happy pappy?

Re:I'm a social gamer. (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012177)

I'm mostly the opposite. Because at 90% of games I suck. I usually prefer playing one-player where I can set things to easy and not get killed.

heheheh (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012195)

But losing is how you learn to play good. If you always win, you have nothing to learn. That's interesting though. Always good to know what motivates "the other side".

But party games are so lite, the point is to have fun, not to win. Fusion Frenzy, Shrek Party, Muppets Party Cruise, Pac Man party, etc, etc. Or DDR. Or racing games where you both have steering wheel controllers at once. Or strategy games (I recommend Culdcept). Must stop. Nyquil getting to me.

4 segments make no money (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012058)

Almost everyone plays games to a certain extent. Not everyone plays a game that can make significant money. The market isn't ignoring them, they just don't make money.

People like Blizzard are focused on the hardcore and casual gamers because they pay for new mega graphic video games at $50 a pop. That's a higher margin business.

Segments they call the "occasional gamer" and "social gamer" are fulfilled by places like pogo.com, yahoo games, and other places. I also feel the occasional games is mislabelled because there used to be times in my life I'd do nothing but crosswords or playing word whomp on Pogo and foregoing my Warcraft CDs. There is almost no money in crosswords, but people continue to do them and they will do so for a long time because they are a great mental challenge. It's better to call these "classic gamers." Games that make little money but have a long venerable tradition, like chess, spades, hearts, and poker (yes you can make money playing poker, but you don't make a lot of money selling poker cards and accessories).

These segments are served, they are just served by different companies. Blizzard isn't going to make any real money by starting a hearts server, and it's not what they are good at so there's no point in trying. The article didn't bother to actually think about what already serves those segments.

Yay for Spore (1)

EvilMoose (176457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012077)

I hope Will Wright doesn't mess up Spore. It hits every single market.

Recovered Gamer (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012083)

I'm a recovered gamer. Having spent hundreds of hours on Doubleback, Kings Quest, Game Boy, Doom, Quake, Carmageddon, and UT since I was 5, I haven't spent more than 20 hours on video games in the last 4 years.

What kind of game do they make to lure me back?

Orpahn SWG (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012090)

I have a observed a huge number of orphan SWG players, myself included, who cannot find the game they are looking for. A diverse demographic that enjoyed the "World" that they had created are now lost without an imaginary world to dwell in.

Definitions (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012120)

NO, the ariticle does not describe what the different catagory of gamers are. Unless your accepted definition of leisure gamer IS "11% of the market" they go into no detail about how this is catorized. For the poster to make the statement that the artilce contains this information iplies to me that the poster knows the information that the aritcle is about, and probably reads the information in without thinking. This also implies to me that the poster has something to do with writing the article.

Re:Definitions (1)

Fearless Freep (94727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012237)

These days even submitters don't RTFA

There's not 6.. There's (2, Insightful)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012235)

Either 2 or 3 million or what ever the population of earth is now. Any time you have groups you'll always have room for more. that's why for a while we had libertarian Democrats and Conservative democrats and such.

The simple fact is there really is two. Casual gamers and "serious" gamers. The casual gamer is a gamer who spends 10 bucks on a game some one who doesn't actually game as a hobby, but more as a "oh that's fun" idea. Then there's the "serious gamer" They are the ones who will buy video game systems, and upgrade computers for games.

Sure there's people who are both or neither but honestly all the subdivisions are dealt with in other areas.

In reality there's 4 type of gamer also. The Explorer, the Socializer, the Competitor, and the achiever. There pretty obvious (explore the whole map, Chat while playing, Beat others, beat goals). But the fact is when you build a game you try to target them all. The base fact though is these 4 have nothing to do with the casual or serious. It's just another way to categorize people.

The 6 idea works but in the end people will realize there's only two main catagories and these are just subdivisions of them.

No there's 2 types (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16012402)

There are the types of gamers who play games, but don't do so to the point of obsession.

Then, there are the gamers who would rather (and do) game so much they never actually learn proper english, and who-knows-what-else, type of gamers.

Way to lower the bar, bro!

5mQod down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16012281)

NIGGER ASSOCIATIoN Anybody's guess

every gamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16012393)

I think every gamer is unique and special and cannot be categorized, yay.

I recommed (1)

Frightening (976489) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012418)

that the market analysts try to stay as dormant as possible, so that incidental reports like this don't ruin their employers.

Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16012423)

A small number of general categories can be split into a larger number of more specific categories. Film at 11.

They're ignoring the 7th segment. (1, Funny)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012451)

The Seventh Segment. That almost sounds like a good name for a game, doesn't it? Perhaps I'm thinking of The Seventh Guest. But I digress... This elusive seventh segment of the gaming market is people like me: Non-gamers. And believe it or not, it is the largest segment of this market. Please allow me to explain: People who have nothing better to do with their time than being a gamer are seriously a bunch of lusers. I can think of a zillion better things to do than waste my time screwing with the joystick on a gaming console. Like having a social life, for crying out loud. So where is a video game targeted to people like me? I would say that when you buy this game, it should be an empty box. No game inside. So you can look cool buying it, but you don't have to waste your time with it afterwards. They could sell this game in bars, and just add it to your bar tab. When people are drunk, they'll gladly buy it.

Irony... (1)

stickyc (38756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012531)

It means that game developers and publishers are ignoring a large portion of the gaming market by focusing on the traditional two segments: casual gamers and hardcore gamers.

Oh, and also there's female gamers, but there's apparently no money to be made there.

huh (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16012576)

I suppose this is an improvement over what *kind* of game you'd like to play. After all, everyone likes the exact same thing, they just don't have the same time requirements for it. And let's face it, Grand Theft Auto, Mines, SimCity, or Barbie Fashion Show, it's all the same game, just with slightly different time requirements and socialization.
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