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Survey: 'Word Of Mouth' Most Important For Game Buyers

In a new report entitled “Improving Game Marketing: The Game Purchase Process From A Consumer's Point Of View” presented during this week's MI6: Marketing Interactive '06...

Jason Dobson, Blogger

June 29, 2006

3 Min Read

In a new report entitled “Improving Game Marketing: The Game Purchase Process From A Consumer's Point Of View” presented during this week's MI6: Marketing Interactive '06, the company outlined a series of fascinating results of an survey aimed at improving game marketing. The online survey, conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., examined 2,070 consumers between the ages of 13 and 39 who have bought or received at least one console or PC game in last year. The firm also conducted interviews with both hardcore and casual gamers, as well as those who play both PC and console games. Overall, the survey found that 43 percent of hardcore PC game buyers and 41 percent of hardcore console game buyers had heard about their most recent game purchase six or more months ahead of time. Interestingly, the report also noted that 30 percent of males who participated heard about their game purchases six or more months in advance, while only 19 percent of females followed this same trend. The report also noted that word of mouth from friends and family ranked as the number one factor in game buying decisions in all stages of purchase. Commercials and physical game demos were found to have an increasing influence as the buyer approaches his or her final decision. Interestingly, 37 percent of those surveyed indicated that they did not need any more information after their first impression of a game. 36 percent indicated they they obtained more information later, while 27 percent immediately found out more about the game. The report specifically called out Halo 2 Civilization IV as games that inspired consumers to look up more information, while participants immediately bought or reserved Resident Evil 4, Star Wars Battlefront 2, and X-Men after hearing about them the first time. Half of the participants noted that price plays a key role in determining what they buy, including 'hardcore' game players (those that indicated that they purchase eleven or more games a year). Of these, 43 percent of hardcore PC gamers indicated price was a major consideration, while the number jumped to 51 percent with regards to hardcore console players. While, in general, most of those surveyed noted that they were satisfied with game marketing as a whole, a quarter did indicate that they did not see any advertising whatsoever for their most recently purchased games. The report also indicated that game buyers find that while advertising does a good job giving a good visual representation of a game, it lacks depth and makes it difficult for a buyer to get detailed information. Finally, the report noted that participants of the survey indicated that of all of the types of the types of marketing currently being used to advertise games, television is the most in need of improvement. Official websites launched by game publishers and developers ranked as the type of marketing that needs the least amount of work. Interestingly, the report noted that there was no difference in this feeling between casual and hardcore game buyers. For those looking for further specifics, plenty more detailed information on the game marketing survey is available via the complete survey PDF, hosted on the MI6 conference's website.

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