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 • 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 • Simple and consistent • Women (60-85%) • Older than core gamers (median 35-45) • Middle/lower-middle class
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.) • 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 • 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 • Ad-Supported Web Games • Casual MMO's • Virtual Worlds • Console Downloads • Social Games
What Do Boys Like on the Internet? • Your mind is filthy. • They like casual games!
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 • 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 • Identity/Investment • High levels of personalization • Open-ended play cycles with low commitment
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 • 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 • 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 • Casual games finally are becoming games for everyone. • But it may not be the same game for everyone.