Description

“Gamers play for more reasons than just to have fun and relax. Different groups each get something unique from the experience; accomplishment, narrative exploration, socialization or competition. Working with these gaming motivators can help brands and businesses apply themselves and their products in ways that effectively target an incredibly diverse consumer base.”
– Brian Benway, Gaming and Entertainment Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Detailed profiles of four different segments of video game players based on their motivations for gaming.
  • Gaming industry strategies and opportunities to align with player motivational trends.
  • What factors influence player preferences that shape initial purchase consideration and long-term time commitments.
  • Player attitudes toward industry scandals and mature content in games.
  • The gaming-adjacent interests of players and how non-gaming brands can participate.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
              • COVID-19: US context
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Overview of gamer segments
                        • Figure 1: Gamer segments, 2021
                      • Core motivations for gaming vary
                        • Figure 2: Reasons for playing video games – Top ranked, and by gamer segments, 2021
                      • Opportunities and challenges
                        • While they play similar games, different segments have unique reasons for playing
                          • Figure 3: Favorite game genres, by gamer segments, 2021
                        • Efforts to maximize monetization turn gamers into bargain hunters
                          • Figure 4: Perceptions of video game prices (median), by platform, 2021
                        • Millennials are the primary extra content purchasers
                          • Figure 5: Special edition, DLC and extra content purchases, by generation, 2021
                        • Gamers prioritize different aspects of gaming for initial purchase and long-term
                          • Figure 6: Factors important for initial purchase vs long-term engagement, 2021
                        • Gamers want to see the video game properties they love grow
                          • Figure 7: Gaming interests and tie-ins – Select items, by gamer segments, 2021
                        • While marketing focuses heavily on M rated titles, top sellers have family friendly appeal
                          • Figure 8: Total copies sold and share of total for 51 top-selling games of all time, by ESRB rating, 2021
                      • Profiles of US Gamers – Key Takeaways

                        • Gamer profiles extend beyond conventional demographics
                          • Understanding who plays and why helps brands connect to players
                            • While they play similar games, segments have unique reasons to play
                            • Profiles of US Gamers

                              • Who plays video games?
                                • Figure 9: Profile of US gamers, by key demographics, 2021
                              • Four segments of gamers identified based on motivations for playing
                                  • Figure 10: Gamer segments, 2021
                                • Why gamers play helps to identify their value to the industry
                                  • Figure 11: Reasons for playing video games – Top ranked, and by gamer segments, 2021
                                • Why they play influences what they play
                                  • Figure 12: Favorite game genres, by gamer segments, 2021
                                • Why four segments instead of five
                                  • Figure 13: “Other gamers” gaming motivations – Word cloud of write-in responses, 2021
                                • Who are the Achievers (26%)
                                  • Characteristics
                                    • Demographics
                                      • Figure 14: Profile of Primary Achievers, indexed to all gamers, 2021
                                    • Who are the Explorers (23%)
                                      • Characteristics
                                        • Demographics
                                          • Figure 15: Profile of Primary Explorers, indexed to all gamers, 2021
                                        • Who are the Socializers (21%)
                                          • Characteristics
                                            • Demographics
                                              • Figure 16: Profile of primary socializers, indexed to all gamers, 2021
                                            • Who are the Competitors (11%)
                                              • Characteristics
                                                • Demographics
                                                  • Figure 17: Profile of Primary Competitors, indexed to all gamers, 2021
                                              • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                • The gaming industry showcases it’s best during a year rocked by scandal
                                                  • Understanding player behavior shapes the industry from top to bottom
                                                    • Working with player motivations instead of trying to change them
                                                    • Market Factors

                                                      • Video games are for everyone
                                                        • Finding success despite shortages and supply chain issues
                                                          • Put your house in order, because you are on your last life; you will not respawn
                                                          • Competitive Strategies

                                                            • Understanding gamer profiles for hardware manufacturers
                                                              • Understanding gamer profiles for game publishers
                                                                • Understanding gamer profiles for game studios
                                                                  • Understanding gamer profiles for brands seeking game partnerships
                                                                  • Market Opportunities

                                                                    • Making the most of DLC and GaaS model purchasables
                                                                      • Figure 18: Extra content and DLC purchases, by gamer segment, 2021
                                                                    • Drawing Achievers into esports with advanced techniques
                                                                      • Figure 19: Factors important for initial vs long term – Social features, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                    • Gamers seek self-improvement
                                                                      • Figure 20: Factors important for initial vs long term – Progressive systems, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                    • Gamers want to see the video game properties they love grow and spread
                                                                      • Figure 21: Gaming interests and tie-ins – Any (net), by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                      • Figure 22: J!nx Minecraft merchandise collection, 2021
                                                                  • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                    • Puzzle and trivia games appeal regardless of age or platform
                                                                      • Is now the right time to test the economic sensitivity of the game industry?
                                                                        • Even for extra content, gamers are waiting for a good sale
                                                                          • Graphics pull gamers in, but system and features keep them playing
                                                                            • Millennials and Gen Z gamers are the prime targets for tie-ins
                                                                              • Keep your company ethical, and your content family friendly
                                                                              • Favorite Game Genres

                                                                                • Brain teasers could be the secret sauce for a wider audience appeal
                                                                                  • Figure 23: Favorite game genres ranked, 2021
                                                                                • Genre tastes shift with age, but familiarity may be the deciding factor
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Top video game genres – Any rank, by age and gender, 2021
                                                                                  • Tech advancements could transition casuals into “hardcore” players
                                                                                    • Figure 25: Top video game genres – Any rank, by platform, 2021
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Xbox Remote Play
                                                                                • Breaking Down Price Sensitivity for New Games

                                                                                  • Efforts to maximize monetization turn gamers into bargain hunters
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Perceptions of video game prices (median), by platform, 2021
                                                                                  • Optimal console game price for consumers is roughly 50% of MSRP
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Video game price sensitivity – Optimal price, console games, 2021
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Holiday and seasonal Steam sales inspire memes of fervent devotion among pc gaming faithful
                                                                                  • They don’t price them like they used to
                                                                                    • Figure 30: Perceptions of console video game prices (median), by age, 2021
                                                                                • Extra Content and Special Edition Purchases

                                                                                  • Gamers want their extra content on sale – if they’re interested at all
                                                                                    • Figure 31: Special edition, DLC and extra content purchases, 2021
                                                                                  • Convincing achievement hunters to purchase DLC is not the Dark Souls* of marketing
                                                                                    • Figure 32: Special edition, DLC and extra content purchases, by gamer segment, 2021
                                                                                  • Millennials are the primary extra content purchasers
                                                                                    • Figure 33: Special edition, DLC and extra content purchases, by generation, 2021
                                                                                • Initial Purchase vs Long-term Engagement

                                                                                  • Gamers prioritize different aspects for purchase and long term
                                                                                    • Figure 34: Factors important for initial purchase vs long-term engagement, 2021
                                                                                  • Reputation is a key indicator for competitive and socially focused gamers
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Factors important for initial vs long term – Developer reputation, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                                  • Gamers buy with their eyes first, but their ears keep them hanging around
                                                                                    • Figure 36: Factors important for initial vs long term – Art, story and audio, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                                  • Competitive gamers are easily caught by flashy and beautiful characters
                                                                                    • Figure 37: Factors important for initial vs long term – Character features, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                                  • Competitive gamers scrutinize game design features before purchasing
                                                                                    • Figure 38: Factors important for initial vs long term – Game design features, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                                  • Adding multiplayer won’t fix a bad game, but could make a good game great
                                                                                    • Figure 39: Factors important for initial vs long-term – Social features, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                                • Gaming-adjacent Interests and Tie-ins

                                                                                  • Gaming TV and movies make critics groan, but are appreciated by gamers
                                                                                    • Figure 40: Gaming interests and tie-ins, 2021
                                                                                  • Achievers the least interested in tie-ins overall but still interested in films
                                                                                    • Figure 41: Gaming interests and tie-ins – Select items, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                                  • Women gamers’ interests lag behind males in most potential tie-in types
                                                                                    • Figure 42: Gaming interests and tie-ins, by gender, 2021
                                                                                  • Interest in video game tie-ins more pronounced among younger gamers
                                                                                    • Figure 43: Gaming interests and tie-ins, by generation, 2021
                                                                                • Attitudes toward Gaming

                                                                                  • Gaming companies’ behavior influences consumers’ behavior
                                                                                    • Figure 44: Attitudes toward gaming company behavior – Any agree, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                                  • Mature games are the minority, family-friendly games sell more
                                                                                    • Figure 45: Attitudes toward gaming vices – Any agree, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                                    • Figure 46: Total copies sold and share of total for 51 top-selling games of all time, by ESRB rating, 2021
                                                                                  • Gamers don’t always understand the way content is rated
                                                                                    • Figure 47: Attitudes toward video game content and ratings – Any agree, by gamer segments, 2021
                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                        • Abbreviations

                                                                                        About the report

                                                                                        This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

                                                                                        Market

                                                                                        Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

                                                                                        Consumer

                                                                                        Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

                                                                                        Brand/Company

                                                                                        Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

                                                                                        Data

                                                                                        Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                                                        Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                                                                                        Click to show report

                                                                                        Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

                                                                                        Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                                                                                        Bell Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                        Boots Logo - Mintel Client
                                                                                        Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                        Samsung Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                        Nike Logo - Mintel client
                                                                                        Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

                                                                                        Want to speak to us directly?

                                                                                        Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

                                                                                        Contact Us