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In part one of our exploration of the gaming audience landscape, we spoke with people from across the industry to establish some of the key characteristics of the different types of gamer – social,......

In part one of our exploration of the gaming audience landscape, we spoke with people from across the industry to establish some of the key characteristics of the different types of gamer – social, console and mobile - and where the power to engage and own these audiences lies.

In this follow up piece, we use social media analytics to understand how and why gaming audiences engage with the games and platforms they use and craft some insights into how publishers, manufacturers and platforms can keep these gamers coming back for more.

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  • 1. Platform Games
  • 2. Gaming InsightsIn part one of our exploration of the gaming audiencelandscape, we spoke with people from across the industry toestablish some of the key characteristics of the different types ofgamer – social, console and mobile - and where the power toengage and own these audiences lies.In this follow up piece, we use social media analytics tounderstand how and why gaming audiences engage with thegames and platforms they use and craft some insights into howpublishers, manufacturers and platforms can keep these gamerscoming back for more.
  • 3. Gaming InsightsThrough our own interviews with developers, marketeers andgamers within the industry, we’ve established four themesaround which we can characterise the differences betweensocial, mobile and console gamers:• Convenience• Quality• Value• CommunityTo create this piece, we have categorised and analysed socialmedia conversations around these four engagement themes tobegin to understand what drives decision-making andengagement across the different gaming platforms.
  • 4. Gaming InsightsKey Insights• Gamers are seeking a single, unified title across everyplatform.• The gaming experience doesn’t have to be consistent acrosssocial, mobile and console – it just has to be aware of thedifferent reasons people play.• Certain tasks and scenes from titles could play out better inthe short, rapid, repetitive mobile environment.• Social platforms can act as a Gaming Exchange mobile andconsole games, allowing gamers to seek and connect withpeople who can provide them with the elements they needto progress.• Gamers of all types still look to console titles for animmersive narrative. Similarly, they look to the Facebooktimeline for the narrative of their daily lives. Linking gameprogression to a Facebook timeline is a key opportunity.
  • 5. Convenience
  • 6. Gaming Insights• Increasingly, console gamers see gaming as a way of gettingimportant physical exercise or an easier way of doing someother physical activity.• The ideal conditions in which to game are often seen asmercurial – free evening, no boyfriend/wife, no commitments– and therefore occasions that it is imperative to takeadvantage of.• For console gamers, ideas of convenience are driven byescapism. An immersive experience that enables them to letoff steam and relieve stress is seen as providing convenience.Console Gamers necessarily interpret convenience differently tomobile and social gamers. It’s not about accessibility or ease ofgameplay, it’s more driven by ideas of personal empowerment:
  • 7. Gaming InsightsMobile Gamers value convenience above all. The ability to play agame during those times of the day that are most ‘boring’ is crucial.• The ability to think or hear of a game and be playing it withinminutes is a big driver of engagement and adoption.• Convenience drives perceptions of gameplay more thannarrative or graphics – it’s more about repetition and quickprogression.• Ideas of convenience are driven by gameplay occasions - aquick 10 minutes on the train or while waiting for friends.Moving the story along is not as important asquick, repetitious bursts.
  • 8. Gaming InsightsMore so than for mobile gamers, for those that do their gamingon social platforms the convenience of playing has to bemitigated by a sense of time well spent.• The ability to play several social games at the same time onFacebook is seen as valuable and convenient .• Crucially, users need to feel like they’ve got time to ‘burn’ toplay social games rather than just having ‘spare’ time.• Social gaming is often seen as convenient when the Facebooktimeline isn’t delivering new or important content. Thepreciousness of timeline content is a recurring feature inconversations about social games.
  • 9. Quality
  • 10. Gaming InsightsQuality is the force in driving engagement for console gamers. Ideas ofquality are almost diametrically opposed to those of mobile gamers:• Quality is often measured by console gamers in terms of howlong you can ‘lose’ yourself in a game. The longer you canplay a game without it feeling repetitive, the better it is.• The gameplay and ability to connect with people often drivesquality comparisons between console devices.• The gameplay experience is crucial– an immersive, multi-sensory experience driven by a complex narrative andenhanced by top of the range audio-visual technologyprovides that essence of escapism that is so important.
  • 11. Gaming InsightsThe interpretation of quality is very different for mobile gamers. Graphics,immersion and narrative are secondary to more functional ideas of quality.• Mobile gamers understand the necessary gameplay trade-offfor convenience, but sound and graphics are increasinglybeing measured against console games.• Often the quality of a mobile game is linked to how easy it isto play, which is directly opposed to console games. Ease ofplay is defined both in terms of gameplay and physicality ie –played with just a thumb on one hand.• Popularity also drives perceptions of quality, with mobilegaming trends influencing purchase decisions more so thangameplay.• Bad graphics often drive negative perceptions far more thangood graphics drive positive perceptions.
  • 12. Gaming InsightsSocial gamers look for social currency amongst friends and family as a driverfor quality, as opposed to the individual motivations that drives mobile andconsole gaming.• Friends and family being regular players of the same gamedrive repeat play and perceptions of quality.• Increasingly, perceptions of quality are linked to a perceptionof time being used productively on social games.• A social game needs to be seen to improve the quality of timespent on Facebook. Daily Facebook time is immutable, sosocial games need to provide better value for time than thetimeline or ‘stalking’ friends.
  • 13. Value
  • 14. Gaming InsightsConsole gamers base their interpretations of value for money entirelyaround the games themselves rather than the hardware, which is seen as afundamental part of everyday life.• Concepts of value are linked with graphics, scale and storylinewithin individual games and, sometimes, whole genres.• However, capacity for multi-player and enabling newconnections are seen as positive and valuable assets ofconsoles.• Because of the much higher cost of games, the question ofvalue for money plays a much more significant role forconsole gamers and games are constantly questioned as agame narrative unfolds. At any point, a game may be seen aspoor value and this perception is easy to gain and very hardto lose.
  • 15. Gaming InsightsProliferation of choice is a key driver of perceptions of value for mobilegamers, with mobile gamers often having different games for differentmoods and occasions.• Mobile games are often seen as value for money because ofthe sheer volume of games. However, it can be thought thatmobile technology cannot capacitate the necessary graphicsand experience to justify paying more than £3/4. Theperceived homogeny that drives choice also creates a costceiling• Nostalgia is also a big driver of perceptions of value – withmobile being seen as the ideal way to reconnect with oldconsole games you used to play in former years. Mobileversions of classic games are often seen as being worth themoney purely for the sake of nostalgia.• Graphics, again, are not a driving force here. Often it is aboutimmersion in terms of mobile games fitting into a userslifestyle that drive perceptions of value.
  • 16. Gaming InsightsFor social gamers, value is perceived in terms of value for time rather thanvalue for money.• The size of the gaming community is often seen as the cost ofplaying. The more friends a user has playing the samegame, the more valuable it is.• The Facebook timeline is seen as important and content onthe timeline is a precious commodity. Social games are oftenseen as ‘spamming’ timelines with information that is not ofsufficient importance to warrant being on there.• The free to play, pay to progress model of a lot of socialgames is tolerated if the trade off provides social mediacurrency in terms of bragging rights or unique, personalisedcontent that can be used across social platforms.
  • 17. community
  • 18. Gaming InsightsA sense of community for console gamers tends to be defined by a network ofweaker ties that enable a user to ‘get away’ from their everyday environment.• While console gaming is seen as a method of escapism, it isalso seen as a unique way to connect to people for asingle, powerful reason – gaming.• Unlike social media, where connections are built on sharing ofpersonal content, it is often the case that console gamersthrive on the anonymity of their gaming communities.• Gaming also adds a new and often more compelling dynamicto existing friendships. Competitive gameplay often becomesa foundation of existing friendships.
  • 19. Gaming InsightsFor mobile gamers, a sense of community is often provided through a games’integration with other platforms.• Connecting with other players is driven by wi-fi access whichis not as available for mobile gamers as it is console or social.• Community manifests itself largely in sharing post-gamescoring though, in Candy Crush, there is a deeper level ofsocial integration that inspires community game play.• Community is also present in purchase decisions, withcompetition with friends and family playing a large role inrepeat playing. Also, watching other people play mobilegames also drives curiosity in mobile gaming.
  • 20. Gaming InsightsPerhaps obviously, community is a fundamental component of social gaming withgamers’ perceptions of quality, value and convenience inextricably linked to a senseof a wider gamer community playing the same game.• The volume of other gamers playing a social game is criticalto it’s success. Social gamers are not as interested in adoptingnon-mainstream games as ensuring that their network sharesthe same game experience.• There is a growing expectation amongst social gamers thatgames provide social media currency in exchange for playing,this currency is often content that can be used inside andoutside of the game itself.• Asking friends for ‘help’ in gameplay by lending elements thathelp progression is almost exclusively done on socialplatforms.
  • 21. This is meant as a thought-starter. It isby no means definitive. We’d love tohear your ideas and opinions on whatwe’ve touched on…