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Insight of the Week: Targeting the Heavy Gamers

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More than most, gaming is a sector that continues to evolve rapidly, thanks largely to technological innovation. The result is a large proportion of the adult population today are heavily engaged with and undertake frequent gaming.

Latest figures from Kantar Media’s TGI study of consumer behaviour reveal that 44% of adults in the Republic of Ireland undertake some kind of gaming for at least an hour a week, whilst 31% of adults spend more than seven hours per week gaming – that’s 71% of all those who undertake gaming for at least an hour.

Traditional assumptions and stereotypes about heavy gamers are outdated. Talk of gaming may conjure up a mental image of a male youth in their bedroom obsessively tapping away on a controller. However, the truth is more nuanced. These heavy gamers (over seven hours per week) are not significantly more likely to be male than female (indeed, over half a million of the total of a little over a million heavy gamers are female).

In addition, many spend a great deal on games and price is the overriding factor in selection. Indeed spend on games is big business and 14% of heavy gamers have spent €200 or more on games in the past year, making them over two and a half times more likely than the average adult to have done so. Console games see the most concentrated expenditure, with 29% of heavy gamers having spent €50 or more on these games.

When it comes to what prompts heavy gamers to play or buy particular games, top is sale/price, cited by 46%, followed by a free version of the game (27%) and then word of mouth/friends recommendation (27%). However, the prompt that they are particularly likely to acknowledge compared to the average gaming adult is game trailers/in-game footage.

The games and games series they are most likely to play compared to the average adult who plays console games are Fallout (57% more likely) The Elder Scrolls (53%) and Battlefield (20%).

Watching and streaming games online is already popular with a significant minority of heavy gamers. Over a quarter of them watch others playing games online and 11% stream their own games.

Online and cinema are particularly efficient forums for reaching these heavy gamers. They are 59% more likely than the average adult to be amongst the heaviest fifth of users of internet and 51% more likely to be amongst the heaviest fifth of consumers of cinema.

They are particularly likely to visit sites relating to comedy (57% more likely than the average adult), technology (42% more likely) and celebrity interviews and stories (38% more likely). As for cinema, they are particularly likely to cite animation (over twice as likely as the average), horror (81% more likely) and science fiction (78% more likely) as their favourite film types.

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