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Casual Game Audience Demographics. Prepared for the 2009 Casual Game Summit By Dave Rohrl, Director of Game Design, Zynga. The Easy Answers. If you think casual games are for soccer moms, clap! Once upon a time, you were right!. The Casual Game Business in 2004. Try and Buy Download

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Casual Game Audience Demographics

Prepared for the 2009 Casual Game Summit

By Dave Rohrl,

Director of Game Design, Zynga


The easy answers
The Easy Answers

  • If you think casual games are for soccer moms, clap!

  • Once upon a time, you were right!


The casual game business in 2004
The Casual Game Business in 2004

  • Try and Buy Download

  • Key Questions

    • Should I work with a publisher?

    • Should I think about an exclusive?

  • NOT Key Questions

    • What is my revenue model?

    • What is my distribution channel?

    • Who is the audience for this game?


Audience demographics for try buy downloads
Audience Demographics for Try & Buy Downloads

  • Simple and consistent

    • Women (60-85%)

    • Older than core gamers (median 35-45)

    • Middle/lower-middle class


Adult female casual game consumers
Adult Female Casual Game Consumers

  • Pluses

    • Have disposable income, credit cards

      • Fairly willing to do large online transactions

    • Not interested in core gaming value proposition

    • Little interest in piracy

    • Willing to consume lots of content in favorite genres


Adult female casual game consumers cont
Adult Female Casual Game Consumers (cont.)

  • Minuses

    • Not familiar with core game tropes

    • Minimal spare time

    • Attachment to “web is free” mentality keeps conversion rates low

    • Fairly price sensitive


Women in the ocean
Women in the Ocean

  • In the early 2000's, adult women were the blue ocean of gaming.

  • But by 2009, it has become very, very red

    • >1200 developers currently working on downloadable games






Blue ocean demographics blue ocean categories
Blue Ocean Demographics, Blue Ocean Categories

  • Ad-Supported Web Games

  • Casual MMO's

  • Virtual Worlds

  • Console Downloads

  • Social Games


What do boys like on the internet
What Do Boys Like on the Internet?

  • Your mind is filthy.

  • They like casual games!



What boys like in a casual game
What Boys Like in a Casual Game

  • Short

  • Frequent content refreshes

  • Topical/Edgy/Funny

  • In-browser play


Pluses and minuses of casual games for boys
Pluses and Minuses of Casual Games for Boys

  • Pluses

    • Lots of free time to invest

    • Comfortable with edgy subjects

    • Know lots of core game conventions

    • Don’t need to create depth (relatively)

  • Minuses

    • Competing for attention with core games

    • Minimal disposable income

    • Short attention span/low loyalty to individual games



What girls like in a casual game
What Girls Like In a Casual Game

  • Identity/Investment

  • High levels of personalization

  • Open-ended play cycles with low commitment


Pluses and minuses of casual games for girls
Pluses and Minuses of Casual Games for Girls

  • Pluses

    • Lots of free time to invest

    • Attracted to games offering high investment

    • Clear monetization through small transactions

  • Minuses

    • Minimal disposable income

    • Requirement for persistence ups the product ante

    • Social environment expensive to maintain



What men like in a casual game
What Men Like In a Casual Game

  • Tough – still figuring it out

  • Have cash for console games, etc.

  • Beginning to target through console downloads

  • Exploring the "gray" space between casual and core


What s in common
What’s in Common

  • These are still casual gamers

  • United by psychographics, not demographics

    • Looking for quick, accessible fun

    • Open to disposable online entertainment

    • Need low session times

    • Very price sensitive (free is nice!)


Fullfilling the promise
Fullfilling the Promise

  • Casual games finally are becoming games for everyone.

  • But it may not be the same game for everyone.


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