Flurry, a smartphone application analytics and monetization platform, recently released a study pertaining to social and traditional gamers. According to the study, the video gaming industry is currently transitioning; no longer are gamers between the traditional age range of 18-34. What has happened to the gaming industry over the years to make this transition, and how can we take advantage of this new direction?
This study reminds me of an interesting question I came across on Quora: “Is the social gaming industry sustainable?” Replies to this question, including mine, explained that the social gaming industry is sustainable. However, games will evolve and the industry will be a little different than it is today. Gaming in general has always followed this type of trend.
If you were to go back into history, you would discover that board games have been around for over 2000 years. As time passed, board games evolved into the type of board games we see today. Along with the change in board games, came the computer age. Technological advancement made way for the type of digital games we see today.
Gaming became a way of living. Teenagers, from across the globe, locked their doors to focus on a world of fantasy instead of reality. Angry parents would try to get their children to go outside to play, but they wouldn’t budge. Something on the screen brought them into a realm that was much better than the green grass and blue sky they once knew. In the gaming industry, we call these individuals: hardcore gamers (or traditional gamers).
Social networking used to be a way for business individuals to connect to clients and converse with fellow businessman. However, as we know, a change in technological advancement creates a new opportunity for the gaming market. A collision of social networking and gaming created a new born creature: social gaming.
A new type of gaming eventually creates a new type of gamers: social gamers. These gamers are more about the social aspect of gaming than anything else. Consequences are not acceptable to this new group; instead, being able to communicate efficiently with peers is preferred. With the movement of social gaming on platforms like Facebook, came the creation of social games on mobile devices, which is what Flurry’s study focuses on.
Traditional gamers, according to Flurry’s study, are 60% male. Mobile social gamers, on the other hand, are 53% female. Flurry’s study doesn’t go into why this is, but we can make a few assumptions. For the most part, females are casual gamers. They aren’t going out of their way to play a particular game. Since almost all of us carry a mobile device around with us these days, these social games are easy to access — unlike the types of games being played by traditional gamers. Flurry’s study also shows interesting results regarding the education, income, race and age of mobile social gamers.
CJ Arlotta covers the world of social gaming for development firms as well as the average consumer. Currently, he is accumulating more knowledge of the international gaming market to follow and understand what global developers may need to compete with already striving markets.