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Research

Modern Gamer Personas

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Activision Blizzard Media

October 01, 2020

5 minute read

Overview

The picture of a gamer is outdated. The gaming world has evolved. The technology that powers games has improved. The players have changed. But what about the way we think about gamers? 

This research takes a deeper look at gamers. It reveals that less than a third of gamers fit the stereotypical gamer mold. If you consider a gamer as someone who lives and breathes gaming, it’s even less. Only a sliver of the gaming population looks like the young, male, gamer caricature we’re familiar with.

By developing gamer personas that are based on questions beyond simple demographics and platforms used, the result is a more complete picture of who gamers are.

Takeaways

1. Six distinct gamer personas were identified in our research

Gamers are not homogenous. When gamers are clustered by identity, motivations, and play styles, the result is six distinct gamer personas. Their motivations converge around the games they play and how they play them, rather than just their basic demographics.

2. Less than half of all gamers identify as a gamer

Over 60% of gamers surveyed responded “no” or “unsure” when asked, “are you a gamer?” Most gamers refuse to acknowledge the gamer title, making the audience larger and more diverse than many realize.

3. Only a small minority of all gamers fit the typical gamer stereotype

The stereotypical gamer is by no means representative of the broader gaming audience. Of the six gamer personas, only two resemble the stereotypical image of a gamer. The most hardcore gamer makes up just 4% of the overall audience.

4. The single-platform player is rare

The majority of gamers play across multiple platforms. “Mobile gamers,” often thought of as single-platform users, often play on console and PC. Consequently, looking at gamers only through the lens of single-platform usage doesn’t give the full picture.

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Methodology

This consumer research defines holistic gamer personas based on demographics, platforms, motivations, attitudes, and psychographics.

To better understand the gaming audience, Activision Blizzard Media conducted a quantitative study among adults over the age of 18 who played, watched, or engaged with video games at least once in the past month. Gower’s Distance clustering was used to identify unique subsets of gamers by analyzing survey responses and creating grouping distinctions based on maximal differences.

The online-based study surveyed 21,168 gamers split across the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

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