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NPD: Game Sampling Drives Game Purchases

U.S. consumer research company The NPD Group has released the findings of its latest report, showing that while ads, reviews, and price ...
U.S. consumer research company The NPD Group has released the findings of its latest report, showing that while ads, reviews, and price are important to a consumer's purchasing decision, having the power to sample the game first ranks highest amongst potential purchases. NPD's study, entitled "Games Purchase Drivers Report," looked specifically at what drives consumer game purchases and what sources of information about the game weighed most heavily before making the final decision, grouped by NPD's classifications of Heavy Gamers, Avid Console Gamers, Mass Market Gamers, Prefer Portable Gamers, Secondary Gamers and Infrequent Gamers. The study found that price and advertising -- be it TV, magazine, or online ads, word of mouth or web sites -- alone were not the sole driving forces, especially amongst casual gamers, but that taking the game for a “test drive” ranked foremost in making the final purchasing decision. The methods of "test driving" noted included in-store demos, online play (presumably both for PC and console), or simply by playing at a friend or relative’s house. "While various means of allowing consumers to test drive games have long been an important part of most publishers' marketing mixes, the findings of our study now show that it is of particular importance for attracting the broader gaming audience,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Ads, reviews, and other vehicles are relatively more influential to the heavy gamer, but to attract more casual players, getting games into their hands so they can experience the fun first-hand is essential.”

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