Whenever a game releases or there is even a hint of a triple-A title on the horizon, I am usually all over it. I love a good rumour and generally check out gaming news websites daily for updates.
This got me thinking: who else does this?
Am I alone in this regard or one of millions upon millions of gamers who do this?
I would say the majority of people who game probably don’t have this level of interest but I cannot be sure. I have laid out some, hopefully, interesting points that have varying degrees of evidence to make my point.
I would opine that people who regularly read gaming news, tweet, follow gaming instagram accounts, make YouTube videos or vlog about games are, in general, a different breed when compared with the majority of the people populating today’s gaming community/market.
With this in mind the MINORITY (great Green Day song btw) probably constitute the MAJORITY of the outrage and/or support games get before, during and after launch. Not many “casual gamers” feel the need or even want to vent their feelings online with any regularity in regards to video games in my experience.
I feel that a sizeable majority of game sales, of certain games, comes from this group of casual gamers. I am talking about the group of gamers who play one or two games a year such as Fortnite, FIFA and maybe a COD title thrown in there for good measure. They are not necessarily interested in gaming news and the latest hot rumours about Hideo Kojima and his next secret project. They won’t necessarily care when a game like that releases as it won’t fulfil their needs as a gamer. In my mind, they are the Nintendo Wii generation of gamers, if you will. Interested in the novelty aspect but not really a proper gamer, much more casual in their outlook. They enjoy jumping into a game for 30 minutes here or there and never really think much of the experience when it’s over.
The second type of gamer has a smaller share of the game sales market. I could classify this type of gamer as an “avid gamer ” but you could pick your own platitudes to describe them. This person picks up most, if not all, of the big AAA releases every year and does a fair bit of gaming, possibly dabbling in a little twitter here or there to follow some game news. They don’t stick to Fortnite or FIFA/COD; they have a multitude of different preferences when it comes to games. I have one friend in particular who I would say falls into this category perfectly. He buys most of the big AAA titles that release. Playing them all, on the other hand, has become problematic for him. Like many of us ageing gamers over 30, work, family and LIFE get in the way these days. But for sure when he was a little younger, he fit the category of avid gamer well.
I fall into this third category: devoted gamer (sounds more romantic than obsessed gamer).
I am someone who buys/collects and plays as much as I can. I give anything a try, whether that be FIFA, COD, Fortnite, God of War, Red Dead Redemption, indie games, VR games, anything and everything that deserves my attention. This and my obsessive nature with games can lead to massive tirades or even veneration of particular games before, during and after launch. I essentially, LIVE, games to the extent I am allowed of course. Having a job and being a parent both conflict with my gaming habits but it still hasn’t taken away my desire and passion for gaming.
I have boiled down large chunks of the gaming community into 3 very simple categories and haven’t even taken into account the many nuanced levels that will no doubt fall in between and also live at the far extremes.
You will, of course, have some people who have a game system in their residence and play it every few months for a few hours when they are bored. Attributing a name to these such people would be pointless as I wouldn’t even consider them a gamer. For them, it’s something to pass the time every now and then. The other extreme, you have professional gamers whose job it is to game. Even some Twitch streamers who have an exhaustive schedule could be placed in an extreme gamer category. They live, breathe, eat and sleep gaming. OCD gamers or insomniac gamers could be two apt names for this core small minority.
That said, I’m sure you are also aware of toxic “gamers” who are nothing more than trolls. These people simply jump on any gaming bandwagon to get likes, follows or shares at the expense of other people. They can be, cruel, mean, thoughtless and above all, attention seeking, I would not consider them true gamers and generally give them a wide berth when online.
Of course, I’m not merely stating an opinion here, I do have SOME evidence that points towards my opinions on minority and majority gamers.
This may be a shock for some people as it certainly was to me, but EA’s Battlefront 2 has sold 9 million copies to date. I was astounded by this figure as I was aware of the problems it had at launch. After what can be described as a massive backlash online, one of the worst I have seen, EA chose to change the way the game delivered up loot. The dreaded microtransactions that EA seems to be more well known for these days as opposed to creating amazing games were the focal point for many a fans rage.
9 million copies sold for a game that every gamer knows was a disaster at launch tells you that Avid and Devoted gamers are in a minority. It also shows that the group of avid and devoted gamers can have a voice online to bring about change if that voice is loud enough which is encouraging for the future.
The fact that this game sold so many copies means that many true avid and devoted gamers were not the ones first in line for their copy. I know many people online who came out and boycotted the game completely. I would opine that the majority of copies were sold to people who do not consider themselves avid or devoted, they are the casual gamer.
StarWars has a huge following outwith the world of gaming and this license I feel was and is, enough of a grab to entice the Fortnite/FIFA crew into making the purchase. The type of game being an online multiplayer FPS like COD plays directly into the type of game that a casual gamer would be in the market for. Throw in the Star Wars licence and don’t think it would matter much at all to those gamers that the game suffers badly from microtransactions. Many of them wouldn’t be aware of the scandal that was underway when the game launched in the first place and they would of course be used to seeing and using MTX having played FIFA, COD and Fortnite.
Reading some articles online, it is clear that Battlefront 2 undersold by a considerable margin even although it did make a huge number of sales. This again could be another hint towards my theory about avid and devoted gamers being in the minority. They chose to give the game a wide berth due to the nature of its launch and the fact they were clued up with the ins and outs of its problems.
It is a sad state of affairs that the main reason for the game to undersell has not affected the sales to the point where EA have suffered greatly financially. Obviously, I don’t have sale figures and profit margins etc, much of that information is kept close at hand by EA but I would say that it wouldn’t be wildly inaccurate to say that Star Wars Battlefront 2 after production costs etc. would have made a reasonable profit.
9 million copies sold is a huge number and you would think using common sense as a barometer that 9 million copies sold would constitute a profit for the company. I am not looking for devs/publishers to go out of business but I would like to see more of what avid and devoted gamers demand from the publishers come to fruition. Being a devoted gamer I am in the minority here and will continue my crusade for better games that are not riddled with cash grabs. I would hope many other gamers would follow this way of thinking too. I suppose it depends on…
What type of gamer are YOU?
Casual? Avid? Devoted? Extreme? Obsessed? Troll? (Haha)
If you are reading this, I’d imagine you are not so casual in your gaming endeavours.