Paul Thelen, founder and chief strategy officer of Big Fish Games, the world's largest casual games distributor, today revealed new research that challenges the conventional thinking about audience profiles in the video game industry. The results of a recent study show gamers can no longer be classified into the traditional archetypes of core and casual fans due to the rapid diversification of the demographics, game styles, business models and platforms in the U.S. games market.
In partnership with NPD Group, Big Fish Games surveyed nearly 3,000 U.S. individuals who play games, and matched the results across demographics, game mechanics, and psychographics. The study identified 14 distinct segments of gamers within 39 genres of games. The casual market was segmented into 10 distinct groups, while four segments were identified within the traditional core market. However, the segmentation calls into question the relevancy of the terms casual and core, due to a great deal of overlap and similarity between various casual and core segments once thought to be disparate.