I’m fascinated every time I visit one of my friends with how much time he spends playing Xbox LIVE.
Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media service created and operated by Microsoft. It’s currently the only online gaming console service that charges users a fee to play multiplayer gaming.
My friend averages about three to four hours each night playing games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Halo 4 and Assassin’s Creed III.
Rather than go to bars or movies or play in softball leagues, connecting with other gamers via Xbox LIVE has become his “social life”.
Needless to say, he also currently doesn’t have a girlfriend … and probably won’t any time soon.
Who Makes Up Online Gamers?
For marketers, the numbers that make up the global online gaming community are staggering.
Data from a secondary research study in 2010 conducted by the Entertainment Software Rating Board shows that:
- 67% of US households play video games.
- The average gamer is 35 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.
- 49% of gamers are between the ages of 18-49.
- The average time spent gaming per week is 8 hours.
- 40% of all gamers are female.
A second survey of the U.S. National Gamer market conducted by NewZoo in 2011 showed that:
- There are over 145 million active gamers in the US.
- 47% of active gamers spend money to play online games.
- Estimated totals spent on online gaming equated to $21.6 billion
- 57% of gamers play console games.
- 41% of US internet users are actively playing games on social networking sites.
While some of these numbers are older, it’s safe to assume that there has not been much decline in the online gaming industry. In fact, all signs point to this market actively continuing to increase as more younger generations of consumers become addicted to gaming online.
Marketing Ideas: Pay Attention to the Online Gamers
“Consumers” connotes passive recipients; “customers” implies short-term transaction partners; and “users” suggests faceless surfers with a disengaged agenda. “Players,” by contrast, describes active seekers of sustained engagement.
Consider Kevin’s statement above as one of your next marketing ideas.
Every brand on the planet wants customers right now! And yet, consumers, when pulled into an environment where they become players become MUCH more enagaged in active media versus the passive media that has dominated the marketing landscape for so long.
If your company or brand has not considered how online gaming and staying infront of ‘players’ fits into your marketing strategy, it may be time to investigate the possibilities.
Here are a few more resources that might help you to get your head around this marketing idea. Perhaps they can even help you to build the business case you need to get the executive-level eyeballs and signatures.
- Gaming on YouTube – study published on Google Think
- Gaming’s Connected Future – Study on Google Insights
- Understanding the U.S. Video Game Player – Forrester Research
- Game Your Campaign – Article by Google user experience researchers Carolyn Wei and David Huffaker in July 2012
You can also watch the video below which has some great insights on search behavior trends among online gamers.