Although I don’t watch every year, I sat through Microsoft’s Xbox briefing at last month’s E3 event. The potential for news about Fable 4 lured me in but I was sadly disappointed. Instead of hearing about the next instalment in the series, what we got was a bunch of CGI trailers, numerous mentions about Game Pass and an unexpected appearance from Keanu Reeves.
As I wrote in my post, the expo doesn’t really appeal to me because it feels as though it doesn’t cater for where I fall in the audience. I’m not what companies would call a ‘hardcore’ gamer because I don’t care about the specifications of upcoming hardware – I just want my consoles to run the games I’d like to play. But I don’t necessarily come under their ‘casual’ classification either, because I play video games four or five times a week and they’re my main form of entertainment.
So what does that make me? An article by Joanna Nelius published on the PC Gamer website might just have the answer. This described the findings of research conducted by Newzoo, a global provider of games and eSports analytics: segmenting gamers the same way we did 15 years ago no longer paints an accurate picture. Things like Twitch, and hardware and peripheral ownership have all changed the market drastically and it’s no longer as black-and-white as calling someone casual or hardcore.
The company spent the last year developing its ‘Gamer Segmentation’ from scratch and this covers ‘all aspects of consumer engagement with video games: playing, viewing, and owning’. The result is eight modern personas that traditional segmentation doesn’t cover and each one is broken down further by statistics such as age distribution and living situation. The Conventional Player of yesteryear is now the least common and makes up only 4% of all gamers; while the Time Filler is the most common at 27%.
I took a simplified version of the survey used in Newzoo’s research and the outcome was pretty accurate. The All-Round Enthusiast isn’t as dedicated as the Ultimate Gamer but still plays for many hours and considers their hobby to be ‘serious business’; and they enjoy a holistic experience achieved through playing, viewing online content and owning dedicated gaming hardware. The only thing I didn’t agree with was that the profile enjoys watching movies – I’d much rather get stuck into a game!
I got my other-half to complete the Gamer Persona Quiz too but his results were not what I expected. He’s very into technology and specifications, and loves nothing more than having an excuse to purchase new equipment so I thought he’d be classified as a Hardware Enthusiast: someone who keeps up with the latest trends and whose love of gadgets typically extends beyond gaming. But no, it turns out he’s an All-Round Enthusiast also.
So what does this mean for us? Well, I can see two positive outcomes coming from the research. For gamers, it finally puts to bed the outdated discussion about what it takes to be a true member of the community; and for those who previously would have been embarrassed to call themselves gamers, it shows there’s no shame in doing so because you’re not alone. The new segmentations show there are a whole host of ways to interact with our hobby nowadays and each of them is valid.
Have you taken Newzoo’s quiz? If so, were the results accurate and what do you think of the new classifications? And hello to all the other All-Round Enthusiasts out there!