Today’s world of gaming is far from what it used to be, you look at games then to what they are now and there are massively noticeable differences as far as the story lines to the control the player has over it even down to the graphics and visual quality of the game itself.
Especially when you look at games back from about 20 years ago such as Pong, Space Invaders, Mario or Snake which have now predominantly been redesigned and established as mobile apps or for the Nintendo consoles and you compare them to big brand games such as Ratchet and Clank, Call of Duty, WWE and Far Cry which are and always have been console based games and are largely distributed worldwide without any restrictions which allow anyone to play them, you can tell with the developments in age, styles and preferences which have become and are now established as being the more popular choices.
Regardless though of how much people love the ‘New World Brands‘, which are the latest and revolutionary games on the market, they will never take away from the fact that games like Pong and Space Invaders laid the foundations for what we play now and were the pock mark for entertainment back then and were always that popular to still be around now. Even to this day they are entertaining us and there are kids and young adults now that are of a similar age to myself that are playing them and think that they should become re-branded for consoles, just as a ‘simple pleasure’.
Now I know what I like as a preference for game types and styles is Action Shooters and Strategy games, but what do the audiences at home think about the variety of game genres and styles that are currently on the market and what was available back 20 years ago? To establish this and find out what is preferred by the public, I have done some secondary research into this and the information that I find should help me and my team establish where our trailers that we are constructing and the premise of these games, would really fit in on the market and how recognised they would be with the advertisement and on the basis of their style of genre.
Before anything else though, I felt that it was important to get a degree of understanding over the gender preferences within the industry. The spectrum of gaming today has been very cleverly aimed and fairly concentrated on providing a decent gaming experience certainly for women who have unfortunately been the left out, perhaps unknowingly but it became quite evident very early on when the debut of games consoles reached the market and the majority of games where male orientated with the likes of action shooters and racing games, it became very evident that this was a male orientated market.
Gender Research and Developments:
This link (above) is about 4 years old, but it should me to give you a good idea of how times have really changed with genres differences within the gaming industry and how brands and games are marketed. This article talks about the statistics of the male dominance of games and their genres that are more directed to them over female gamers. The reporter who is undisclosed and uses the name “SURL” reported that in 2010 the gender gap had closed by a mere 2%, where originally it was only a 40% margin and that was documented two or three years before these figures were given. This only shows at minimum another 2,000 women at most, that is if my calculations are correct that have become gamers and take to genres.
Now it is a belief and a proven fact in a few but very subtle ways, that most game developers and companies within the industry have aimed games within recent years towards female gamers, when I say this what I mean is the vast majority of games that are violent and horror themed they have been designed to have a strong female presence in the game itself but still is aimed at the male spectrum which is blatantly obvious to women and many that I have first hand spoken to do agree that regardless of a female character present it helps to make it more appealing.
However the majority of women are more attracted to a lot of games produced now purely because of storylines and series related plot lines as they are becoming more and more like scenarios that are more down to earth like, Beyond: Two Souls (Non-Violent), Last of Us (Violent) and for the stronger of stomachs The Walking Dead (Violent) and this is all due to the plot line and people’s ignorance to violence as it doesn’t overtly phase anyone now, not like it used to about 15 years ago.
In contrast to this though, the reporter of this particular article said that basically male gamers will play pretty much anything with violence, whereas women will play predominantly anything that requires you to really think about your movements and develop strategy to your plans and this can come from games like Puzzle, Dance or Educational. However I have found from various sources that there are two basic genres of gaming that they both share and they are Adventure and Driving.
For further validation to what I am stating here, I have found a graph that perfectly represents the figures of womens preference for violent games and when you look at this there isn’t much of a one over the other scenario as they aren’t far of each other and nearly equal in measurement. (Reference found highlighted above)
In contrast to much of what I have mentioned and already found out, there is a really well written report that I found which is written by a woman called Simoney Kyriakou in June 2015. She works for Sony Computer Entertainment and has done since 2013, so she has a fairly good understanding of how things work and has expressed what she is aware of in this report.
She starts of with some relatively simple points and then proceeds to talk about how the industry is impacting on women which only further validates my point. Firstly talks about how the way technology has been manufactured and designed to be more “masculine” above all else, but then she does go on to say that regardless of that fact, women over the past decade and more have become more open to the virtual realm. Another things that she mentions is the fact that if you wanted to review these stats or analyse them roughly ten years ago or so, you’d have been hard pressed to find any women willing enough to do it whereas now they are far more entertained by the notion of games.
But staying along the same tangent of gender bias within the gaming industry it is reflected through the games that are produced and the brand names that follow them. Statistically, 89% of software developers, graphic designers, website developers etc are male according to PayScale.com, so what this means is, is that predominantly the majority of games on the market right now are from a male mindset, which means that there wouldn’t be a huge consideration for the opposite sex in this situation. Which only further validates my point about it being a bias environment and helps to further prove the what Simoney is saying is true.
One things that could be done with the industry to help the way that genres and games are designed and become “equal” is to have diversity in the providers which creates the diversity you need in games, which is true in a manner of speaking, because I know for a fact that most games if there was a level pegging within the industry would create more complex designs and compelling storylines for people to become more enticed to play games that have the same complexity in their design as Beyond: Two Souls, Last of Us and Rainbow Six: Siege demonstrated.
If you want to know anything else about what I have mentioned here, then check out this link below.
This link is a report made by two women that are talking about the women in education and are studying to become game designers and looks at the statistics of women that want to study and those that succeed.
Lastly, I have found a forum that someone has placed the results of a poll vote online that asks “If you play game, what is your gender?”. So what he’s asking is select your gender to confirm that you play games. Then he asked a series of 5 or 6 questions below that to gather further confirmation of this and what people think about the gender strengths within gaming.
Now as I mentioned before, I would also be talking about and finding more information with regards to how much people really take notice of advertisement for games and their genre styles and how this helps the game industry with deciding which are the more prevalent genres to focus on and what will bring them more money through the purchases and essentially doing secondary research as well on their part or as I have witnessed in recent months, they have been leaving single box selection votes on YouTube videos before displaying the actual video.
At one point, certain areas of the gaming industry especially the indie gaming market, were quite ignorant when it came to being prepared to advertise their games and ideas. However, now they realise that it is actually the most important element when composing a game idea as it brings that level of intrigue out of the masses and entices them enough to be curious and consider purchasing it once it reaches the market. In this little segment of research I am just going to briefly explore the importance of advertisement for games and how it can be a valuable asset to the media industry and the figures that back this claim up.
The importance of advertisement is the exposure of something new and it is the chance for you to make it eye catching, whether that comes in the form of an animation, game play or visual reviews, the word will spread quickly once reporters and fanatics get hold of the relevant information.
If it wasn’t for advertisement then we would be oblivious to the latest releases and unaware of when the newest Call of Duty game debuts or what the current consoles have to offer with perks and DLC’s for games and there wouldn’t be as much popularity for that particular genre if the companies that produce a lot of these big brand games didn’t advertise them then that genre would just simply die out. You can’t exclude any piece of information that makes the advert itself relevant, this includes the budget for making the advert, logistics and consideration for the target audience.
Just briefly, what I meant by the “logistics” of something in media is the placement of a product exactly and where the audiences would find this sort of information. I mean besides YouTube, other means could include websites, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. etc.), Forums (IGN, LOP.etc.), magazines, newspapers etc. In my personal opinion, the more effective areas of media that would be best to place any information relating to a new product would be social media accounts and of course YouTube as news travels faster and spreads worldwide through the use of social media accounts.
Here are a few links that talk about the means of marketing for games and how effective they are for getting the message across about that game and genre.