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Survey: Co-op more popular than competitive multiplayer, especially if it's local

In Quantic Foundry's latest survey of 1,200 video game players, cooperative play proved more popular than competitive play -- especially if the people you're playing with are in the same room.

Alex Wawro

July 21, 2016

1 Min Read

Quick note for data-loving game makers: Analytics and consulting firm Quantic Foundry has a new blog post up today outlining findings from a survey of over 1,200 game players about how they prefer to play games with others.

The result? Cooperative play proved more popular than competitive (see chart below), and cooperative play with friends in the same room was just a bit more popular than playing cooperatively with friends online.

That's notable data, as Quantic Foundry's Kaleb Embaugh points out, for any developers who feel there's no market -- or not enough of a market -- for games with cooperative multiplayer modes. Of course, there are also significant challenges to designing a great cooperative game.

In the Quantic Foundry blog post Embaugh goes on to outline how the men surveyed found competitive games more appealing than the women, while both genders rated cooperative games appealing in roughly equal measure.

Predictably, survey respondents' interest in competitive and cooperative gameplay with strangers online was lower, across the board, than interest in said gameplay with friends. However, the drop in interest for competitive play when said play took place online, with strangers, was far more pronounced among women than men. Embaugh suggests this may be due to toxicity women encounter when they play competitive games online. 

Developers interested in making games for older players may also appreciate Quantic Foundry's finding that cooperative local multiplayer "is the only game mode whose appeal is stable with age." By comparison, survey respondents' interest in every other mode (especially the competitive ones) dropped significantly as the respondents' age increased.

For further insights based on Quantic Foundry's survey, check out the full blog post for yourself.

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