As the gaming industry continues to grow, market research becomes an essential tool for video game development companies to stay ahead of the competition.
By conducting effective market research, companies can gain valuable insights into consumer behaviour, preferences, and industry trends.
In this blog post, we'll share five tips for conducting effective market research in the gaming industry.
Tip 1: Define clear research objectives
The first step in conducting effective market research is to define clear research objectives. This involves identifying your target audience and where they hang out, such as online forums, social media platforms, or gaming conventions. Setting specific research goals is also crucial, as it helps you focus your efforts and gather relevant data. Finally, it's essential to understand the objective of your research, whether it's to improve game design, understand consumer preferences, or identify new market opportunities.
When defining your research objectives, it's important to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying "we want to understand consumer behaviour," you might say "we want to understand how gamers aged 18-25 use social media to interact with gaming communities." This will help you focus your research efforts and gather data that is relevant to your goals.
It's also important to identify your target audience and where they spend their time. This might involve conducting secondary research to understand the demographics and behaviour of your target audience, as well as their preferences and pain points. Once you have identified your target audience, you can focus your research efforts on gathering data from these individuals.
Finally, it's essential to understand the objective of your research. This will help you focus your research efforts and ensure that you are gathering data that is relevant to your goals. For example, if your objective is to improve game design, you might focus on gathering data on consumer preferences for game mechanics, art style, and storylines.
Tip 2: Use a combination of primary and secondary research methods
Another key to effective market research is using a mix of primary and secondary research methods. Primary research involves gathering data directly from consumers, while secondary research involves analysing existing data from various sources.
When conducting primary research, there are a variety of methods you can use, including focus groups, surveys, and interviews. Focus groups are particularly useful for gathering qualitative data on consumer preferences, opinions, and pain points. Surveys are useful for gathering quantitative data on consumer behaviour, such as how often they play games and what types of games they prefer. Interviews can be useful for gathering more in-depth insights from individual consumers.
When conducting secondary research, you might analyse data from a variety of sources, including industry reports, social media analytics, and competitor analysis. This data can help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of the gaming industry and consumer behaviour.
It's important to choose the right methods for your research, depending on your goals and the data you need. For example, if you want to understand consumer preferences for game mechanics, you might conduct a focus group or survey. If you want to understand industry trends and competitor strategies, you might conduct secondary research using industry reports and competitor analysis.
Tip 3: Conduct focus groups and surveys to understand consumer behaviour
Focus groups and surveys are popular primary research methods that can provide valuable insights into consumer behaviour. By gathering feedback from a group of consumers, you can understand their preferences, opinions, and pain points.
When conducting focus groups and surveys, it's important to ask the right questions that will help you gather actionable insights. For example, if you want to understand consumer preferences for game mechanics, you might ask questions such as "What type of game mechanics do you enjoy the most?" or "What type of game mechanics do you find frustrating?"
When conducting focus groups, it's important to create a comfortable environment where participants feel comfortable sharing their opinions. It's also important to recruit participants who are representative of your target audience.
Surveys can be conducted online or in person and are useful for gathering quantitative data on consumer behaviour. It's important to keep surveys short and focused to avoid survey fatigue and ensure a high response rate. You should also make sure that the questions are clear and easy to understand, and that the response options are relevant and exhaustive.
Once you have gathered data from focus groups and surveys, you can use this data to inform your research and make data-driven decisions. For example, if you find that gamers in your target audience prefer certain types of game mechanics, you can use this information to improve your game design and make your games more appealing to your target audience.
Tip 4: Analyse your competition to stay ahead of the game
Analysing your competition is a crucial component of effective market research. By understanding your competition, you can identify opportunities for growth and improvement, as well as stay ahead of industry trends.
When analysing your competition, it's important to identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their strategies and tactics. This might involve conducting a competitor analysis, which involves gathering data on your competitors' products, marketing strategies, and customer base.
You should also monitor industry trends and changes, such as new technologies, emerging markets, and changes in consumer behaviour. This will help you identify new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.
By analysing your competition and staying abreast of industry trends, you can make informed decisions about your own product development, marketing strategies, and business growth.
Tip 5: Continuously monitor and review research results
Finally, it's important to continuously monitor and review your research results. This involves evaluating the effectiveness of your research methods, reviewing your research objectives, and analysing your findings to inform your business decisions.
By continuously monitoring and reviewing your research results, you can identify areas for improvement and make adjustments to your research methods and goals as needed. This will help you stay on track and ensure that your research is effective and informative.
Expert market research and consumer insight from specialists in the gaming sector
In conclusion, effective market research is essential for video game development companies to succeed in the competitive gaming industry. By following these five tips, you can gather valuable insights into consumer behaviour, preferences, and industry trends, and use this data to make data-driven decisions and stay ahead of the competition.
Bryter works with a broad range of gamer audiences to understand their behaviours, motivations, needs and experiences. This insight helps video game developers to better understand what is shaping and influencing gamer behaviour in relation to what they play, how and when they play, and what shapes their purchase behaviours.
This is evident in our annual female gamers survey, which uncovers insights, data and statistics about the female gamer market to help developers build more inclusive, representative and appealing games for a female audience.
Our expertise spans a wide range of platforms and genres in the gaming sector, allowing us to provide clients with a comprehensive range of services. From early concept testing and market sizing, to playtesting and post-launch evaluation, we combine our extensive market knowledge and experience to deliver valuable insights into brand equity and player understanding.
If you’d like more information on devising an insightful market research plan for your gaming project contact us to see how we can help.