Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Interactive Gaming: More Social, More Women, and Older

If you read this blog regularly, you know I'm a big fan of advergaming (or branded gaming, if you prefer.) The right game for the right audience can create enormous attention.

If you read that last sentence and thought, "Yeah--the 'right audience'--but my brand isn't for teen boys," then you haven't see the latest gaming demographics or followed what's new in gaming consoles. Games are skewing older, more female, and more social than ever.

A new survey by the video game industry trade group Entertainment Software Association has found:
  • Some 40% of gamers are women.
  • The average age of video game players has risen to 35, with 26% of gamers now over age 50.
  • Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33%) than boys age 17 or younger (18%).
Check out other interesting demographic facts about interactive gaming on MarketingCharts.com.

This trend toward older and more diverse gaming will continue as the games themselves become even more appealing to non-traditional gamers. The Nintendo Wii was a major factor in changing consumer perception and involvement in gaming in recent years, and Nintendo will continue to be a leader in offering appealing new game features such as:
  • Wii Music: Guitar Hero and Rock Band are huge hits, but they have tended to appeal to younger gamers with their style of music, competitive game play, and need for speedy coordination. Wii Music will appeal to a more diverse group--both older and younger--by offering something different: Creation rather than competition. Players can select from over 60 instruments and enjoy the art of music creation.

  • Wii Speak: Nintendo is going to make gaming even more social with their new community microphone. The mic is designed to pick up voices from anywhere in the room, so everyone playing a game in one place can chat with other players around the world. Games Nintendo has demonstrated allow players to trash talk during competition and to gather for a voice-to-voice chat in a virtual cafe.
At Fullhouse, we've been diversifying our gaming capabilities for clients with great success. Our most recent game uses motion gaming controllers to permit consumers to compete in a home run derby on a field branded for Miller Lite. (Don't worry--the game is only deployed in bars so that access is limited to consumers 21 and older.) Consumers swing their hands as if holding a bat, and when they knock one out of the park, they're treated to fireworks on the jumbo Miller Lite scoreboard. Consumers line up to play, creating a huge opportunity for the brand to spend time with consumers and offer a value-added experience that enhances an evening of socializing.

Interest in gaming will continue to grow, opening new opportunities for marketers wanting to reach not only young males but a variety of audiences with diverse demographics.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Very interesting. How do you think this will affect the traditional "youth marketing" going out to these gaming sites?