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Scoping online gaming communities v1.0


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Scoping online gaming communities v1.0

  1. 1.  Are you game? Reaching the online gaming community
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>There a number of online gaming platforms: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Console </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handheld </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PC </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… with a range of gaming types: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MMOG (Massive multiplayer online games)- World of Warcraft, Second Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiplayer online games- Halo, Half-Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single or group based gaming - Hearts, Pogo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not online gambling games! </li></ul></ul></ul>19 July 2006
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>There are two primary game genres: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Generally console operated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Structured around gaming content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually action and fantasy type genres </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Generally Internet based </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Casual gaming; role playing; educational </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gaming sits within a wider virtual community </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Free access </li></ul></ul></ul>19 July 2006 Minimal above the line marketing
  4. 4. Gamer community profile 19 July 2006 Four-fifths are aged 15-44 16-24 year olds in a culture of ‘connected cocooning’ Over two- fifths of players are female Just over half are in social grade ABC1 Average gaming time is 45 minutes per day, on a daily basis Over 1/3 of GB internet users 15+ play online * Research based on findings from BMRB and SPILL GROUP
  5. 5. The market is segmented by game types… 19 July 2006 Entertainment Software Association, 2005
  6. 6. User groups vary across game types <ul><li>Competitive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An online survey for Everquest* showed 81% of online players were male </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mean age was 27 years old </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>18-35 year-old male demographic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 50% of non-competitive gamers are women** </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Older user base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average UK woman gamer is between 30 and 35 years old and plays for around seven hours each week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On PCs, female adults are almost twice as likely to spend more than 20 hours per week gaming compared to men (free to access) </li></ul></ul>19 July 2006 *Nottingham Trent University, 2006 ** Elspa
  7. 7. The market <ul><li>The online console game market is likely to triple from mid 2006 to end 2007 to over 40 million players worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>There are 82.5m players subscribed to the casual gaming sector </li></ul><ul><li>In 2005 the market was worth $3.5 bn and is predicted to rise to $13bn by 2011 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not huge compared to traditional platforms (the UK TV ad sector is worth £3.2bn) but growing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is taken sufficiently seriously that Nielsen/NetRatings provide rating metrics </li></ul><ul><li>In Europe, the number of online video gamers is expected to grow to 28.7 million, by 2009, matching that of the US. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Xbox Live </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 2 million subscribers worldwide (spanning 24 countries) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Today, the average Live member has 20 ‘friends’, this is up 44% from the average number of ‘friends’ a year ago, which was 14. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are more than 40 million friend &quot;connections&quot; on Xbox Live </li></ul></ul>19 July 2006 *IDC *Xbox Live
  8. 8. Multiplayer online games <ul><li>Gaming </li></ul><ul><li>Community forums </li></ul><ul><li>Review pages </li></ul><ul><li>Avatars </li></ul><ul><li>In-game economies </li></ul>19 July 2006
  9. 9. Gaming <ul><li>Multiplayer competitive genres </li></ul><ul><li>Played on the internet, capable of hosting thousands of players simultaneously in a persistent world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Players can interact with each other at any given time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Huge potential for viral communication and in-game marketing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leader boards creating sustainable engagement of users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities form around virtual teams, societies or ‘tribes’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strong virtual association leads to real world communities that are easily targeted and highly engaged </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multimedia channels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Video clips, music, TV (site and user generated) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Passive’ and ‘active’ advertising </li></ul></ul></ul>19 July 2006
  10. 10. Examples 19 July 2006
  11. 11. Gaming (2) <ul><li>Social gaming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiplayer, often with fewer players but still in a persistent world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role playing offers tailored gaming environments populated by real world actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User generated environments from branded materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater movement between gaming and non-gaming areas of the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large potential for user generated promotion </li></ul></ul>19 July 2006
  12. 12. Examples 19 July 2006
  13. 13. Large communities form around games <ul><li>Game led communities are an important part of in-game activities </li></ul><ul><li>Information and advice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FRANK association with Habbo Hotel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Online chat rooms to offer advice about drugs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Community events; User hosting educational quizzes, discussions; Competitions and viral marketing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Review sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User led opinion forming e.g. other games; music; films; posted content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Guilds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Membership built around common interests. Identifiable segments and forum for messages to be received and disseminated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include own online radio stations, newspapers, and photo albums </li></ul></ul>19 July 2006
  14. 14. Avatars <ul><li>Avatars allow personal identities to be used </li></ul><ul><li>They are central to the user navigation of games </li></ul><ul><li>Strong user investment in creating virtual identities </li></ul><ul><li>Users build up powerful avatars which can be successfully traded </li></ul><ul><li>Characters can be created to function in a highly interactive way </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive online identities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customised. Possibilities of strong brand associations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual citizens performing real tasks and gaining real information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shopping, reviewing, asking for advice etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education through role playing sometimes complex scenarios in virtual societies e.g. property buying/ selling, political leadership, event hosting </li></ul></ul>19 July 2006
  15. 15. Avatars are people too!... <ul><li>“ If I were to launch a Web 2.0 business today, I wouldn’t rely on advertising or subscriptions…I wouldn’t worry about technology at all, in fact. I’d become a personal avatar consultant, helping nervous people construct and manage their menagerie of online selves. Or I’d become a psychotherapist specialising in avatar issues, maybe even renting an office in Second Life with a little virtual couch. I would, in short, find a way to capitalise on what promises to be a lucrative epidemic of avatar anxiety.” </li></ul><ul><li>Nicholas Carr, author, Does IT Matter? </li></ul>19 July 2006
  16. 16. 19 July 2006 World of WarCraft Gaia Online
  17. 17. In-game economies <ul><li>Virtual market places </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Credits bought with real money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Money’ is earned by completing tasks or in virtual businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Purchase of avatar accessories, home furnishings, houses, games </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Trading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital items are sold on eBay for real money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online earnings converted to real money through in-game currency exchanges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possibilities for brand and message engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Earn discounts on real goods by gaining digital credits- engage with products </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promote brands in game stores which people can test, review, purchase and promote </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A virtual avatar operating with real world consequences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Send gifts to online friends- promotion and revenue generation (music; videos; mobile content) </li></ul></ul></ul>19 July 2006
  18. 18. In-game economies (2) <ul><li>Market segments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Established profiles allow individual users and user segments to be easily identified and targeted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Through online communities, guilds and gaming groups you can: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avatar consumers, wearing, eating and discussing branded digital goods and services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online promotion leading to real world purchase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual personalities consuming messages applied in the real world and fed back to online communities </li></ul></ul>19 July 2006 Promote messages and brands Embed advertising tailored to users Create forums or marketplaces to promote brands and signpost real world products
  19. 19. Messages move across multiple pathways and are self-perpetuating 19 July 2006 <ul><li>Positive online feedback </li></ul><ul><li>In game chat </li></ul><ul><li>Review sites </li></ul><ul><li>Product placement </li></ul><ul><li>User generated promotion </li></ul><ul><li>In game use </li></ul><ul><li>On profile pages </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>Online message consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Branded digital goods </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual shop </li></ul><ul><li>On/ off line real world consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Application of messages to the real world </li></ul><ul><li>Referral </li></ul>
  20. 20. Case Study: <ul><li>Social genre MMOG developed by Linden Lab </li></ul><ul><li>A virtual world built and sustained by its residents </li></ul><ul><li>Applications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual business ventures and services where money (Linden Dollars) is exchanged and converted to real world money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users control IP rights of their creations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotion events in virtual space e.g. Radio One gig; album launches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual clothing products available for residents to dress their avatars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsorship of virtual events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Thousands of residents are making part or all of their real life income from their Second Life Businesses” </li></ul></ul>19 July 2006
  21. 21. Conclusions <ul><li>Consumers place more trust in messages on gaming sites than other online environments </li></ul><ul><li>Brand advertising can actually add to the gaming experience </li></ul><ul><li>Key selling points: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A large and rapidly growing market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hugely compelling for key audience groups, especially young males, but also females </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A ready-made hugely imaginative and creative world lending itself to creative communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicating in a ‘trusted’ world, created by the user </li></ul></ul>19 July 2006 * Research based on a BMRB survey
  22. 22. Next steps… <ul><li>Potential applications for Digital Public clients…? </li></ul>19 July 2006