HomeArticlesWhat you need to know about gamer demographics & the new face of gaming | Gamer Stereotypes Begone!
What you need to know about gamer demographics & the new face of gaming | Gamer Stereotypes Begone!
March 5, 2020
Whether it’s Candy Crush or Fortnite, 2 out of every 3 Americans are gaming on a regular basis. See what this means for brands and marketers — inside the video! Hey, it’s Chia from Brand24 and this week
I want to take a look at “gaming” — specifically, at how today’s gamer demographic is changing, and what this means for brands and marketers. So, the gamer demographic is something that has become increasingly difficult to pin down for both advertisers and marketers alike — and a very large part of this is due to the fast pace of change in gaming technology. A lot of games that used to require very high-end systems and the latest equipment now have mobile versions which only require a smartphone, making them much more accessible — and to a much wider audience. In fact, a recent study by the Entertainment Software Association found that among adult gamers in the US, 60% prefer playing games on smartphones, compared with 52% who prefer personal computers, and 49% who like to use desktop consoles. And greater accessibility is something that has very broad implications for the “gamer identity”. What used to be seen as a really male-dominated group (at least, in terms of the targeted demographic by advertisers) has experienced a steady increase of female gamers, who now represent about 46% of gamers in the US. The face of gaming is changing (and it has been for some time now), expanding now to include an ever growing set of ethnicities, ages,
income brackets, and even political affiliations and more. But even more diverse than the gamers themselves, may be their games of choice, which ranges from Candy Crush and online poker to Fortnite and Death Stranding. And even if we separate the really hardcore gamers from the casual ones, this mainly reveals broader, albeit smaller, subsets of audiences filled with different niches and subcultures. The gamer identity no longer applies to a
single type of audience — and, actually, it hasn’t for a while — at least not where
marketers and advertisers are concerned. Today’s gamers are just people who like
to… they like to play games! And this demographic couldn’t be more diverse, composed of people with different hobbies and interests, who often make purchase decisions based on an equally varied set of incentives. Now, considering the fact that roughly 2 out of every 3 Americans play video games on a regular basis, this also corresponds to how diverse the American population is. And with 65% of Americans playing video games, the increasing popularity of live streaming platforms like Twitch comes as no surprise. In fact, Twitch reports over 15 Million daily active users who tune in to watch video streams. That’s more than 15 Million people who go on Twitch to watch their favorite streamers play games (or do something else) and listen to their commentary or interact with them through chat… And the viewers really get into it. 2019’s most-watched video stream on Twitch actually saw 1.7 Million users tune in to view Fortnite’s “The End” event, where, contrary to the
typical action-packed video game, absolutely nothing happened! Video streamers all around the world
went online to watch a black hole swirl around… and around… and around… Of course, this isn’t your typical video
stream on Twitch; it just goes to show how addictive video streaming content can be for gamers and gaming fans… which speaks to really great opportunities for brands and marketers. We saw this when a popular streamer, Mike “Shroud” Grzesiek, just casually mentioned to his viewers that he was thinking about
buying a Cougar brand gaming case during a stream on Twitch… and within a matter of
seconds, the sudden flood of web traffic caused the Cougar site to crash. This is just One example of how brand mentions and recommendations that come from gaming influencers, especially during live streams, can be a really powerful form of marketing. And this is a really good way for brands and marketers to work around the very difficult task of trying to define and analyze the gamer
demographic: by working with people who are already part of that demographic — who gaming audiences trust. So, this means monitoring video streaming platforms that are popular with gamers, like Twitch and YouTube, and identifying the gamers who would be a good match for your brand to work with. And the key to finding the most compatible gaming influencers is to look for the ones who are already familiar with your brand — and who genuinely like it. You just need to monitor references to your brand on those live stream gaming platforms, which you can do with a media monitoring tool like Brand24, and you’d be surprised at the topics of
conversation that can come up in a video stream; gamers talk about everything while they play: from snacks and energy drinks to their favorite brand of razors, so you don’t even need
to have, like, a gaming-related product to drive sales through gaming influencers. Of course, for the more analytically-minded, there’s also lots of value in buckling down and trying to analyze the gamer demographic, including all the niches, the super niches and gaming subcultures… and attempting to identify where they intersect and how they interact — beyond their mutual love of gaming. And unless you’re actively working with
someone who’s already part of the gamer demographic and who knows it well, this is research that you have to do to avoid falling into the trap of cultural stereotypes. OK, thanks a lot for watching guys! If you have any questions or thoughts on gamers and how to work with them as brands, just let me know in the Comments section below! And if you found this video helpful or interesting, feel free to Like, Share or Subscribe to our YouTube channel, where you’ll find even
more videos like this. OK, thanks again for watching… and, as always, I hope you learned something new! I’ll see you next time, bye!