Every game has a target audience. These are the players that are anticipating the release of your game. However, identifying who your player is has become more difficult as markets have become diversified and fragmented. Teenage boys are not the only viable market anymore. Game markets now include older players, international markets, and female gamers. So who is going to play your game? We’ll take a look at the many markets that exist today in the game industry in this video.
[Voiceover] Who's going to play your game? Who's the target audience? These are questions that one must think about when designing a game. These questions have become increasingly more difficult to answer as the markets for video games have become more diversified and fragmented. For instance, you might be surprised to find out that the traditional market of teenage males isn't the largest market for video games anymore. Consider that, women gamers have grown over the past 10 years to make up close to 50 percent of all players.
Of parents that buy games for their children, mothers make up over 60 percent of those purchases. Recent studies have found that there are more female gamers than teenage boys. It is true that the traditional marketing rules are changing very quickly in the video game industry. While games don't necessarily need to be aimed at women for them to buy or enjoy certain titles, there is a clear influence that female players have on the game industry. Good examples of this change are social network gaming and cloud gaming.
Social network games are a type of online game that is played through online social networks such as Facebook or your Internet browser. Cloud games are video games that allow players a frictionless and direct playability across various devices. Both have made it easier for anybody to access and play games almost instantly. A player doesn't need to go to a game-centric online game distributor, or a game store to buy or download a game of their choice anymore. The emergence of these new platforms and systems that play games on has created new player bases that traditionally haven't been a part of the marketing efforts or gained development in general.
Not only have the platforms and delivery methods changed for videos games in the past decade, but also the way games make profits. The free-to-play model that encourages players to buy items and other assets to make games easier to play has become a standard online gaming revenue model, while the older pay-to play, where players pay up front to play the game, has been shrinking rapidly over the last five years. Online gaming is another sector that often gets overlooked by designers looking for a platform home for their newest game.
Online mobile gaming makes up over 20 percent of Internet industry investment, and the growth in the Chinese and US mobile gaming markets alone has doubled over the last five years. There are more choices of platforms than ever, and this has made for more player markets. PC, Android, iPhone, smart phone, PlayStation, Wii, X-Box, tablet, social online gaming, MMO, cloud-based gaming, TV, Roku apps, and handheld consoles are just some of the possible platforms your game can be played on.
Think of all the people those new platforms can reach. Don't forget about where you can market a game either. Although many countries already have solid inroads made by publishers to sell games there, some are new markets, markets hungry for entertainment and new games to play. India, China, Russia and Brazil are great examples of countries that are growing financially and seeing tremendous growth in the total number of video games imported and sold.
Think about who might be the best market for your game. But don't limit yourself to just the old, traditional market of 12 to 25 year old males, game markets have evolved and will continue to do so. You might be surprised to find out that there are a lot of under-served markets out there just waiting for that awesome game that you might make someday.
- A brief history of video games
- The phases of game development
- Roles in game development
- Essential programming, art, design, and audio skills
- Choosing a game engine
- Funding options outside the game studio system