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Core Gamer? Who are you and what do you want anyway?
by Natascha Roosli on 06/12/13 02:47:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

During our quest to find a partner for our game in development, Oliver&Spike we constantly get told that the focus right now is to make games for core gamers and that the graphical approach for Oliver&Spike does not appeal to them and is for a younger audience. It frankly is getting quite frustrating and starts to irritate me.

I consider myself a core gamer. I play many hours per week. I play Tomb Raider, Halo, Mass Effect but I also grew up with Zelda, Day of the Tentacle, Ratchet&Clank and Banjo Kazooie and quite frankly, there can't be too many different games to choose from. I WANT a new, non violent game I can add to my collection. A brighter looking game. I miss proper adventures and platformers in 3D. 

What the hell is a core gamer anyway? I would assume gamers who play 5 hours plus per week are growing up too. Now they are still heavy gamers, they are in their late 20s and 30s, have kids and a family. So, are those not core gamers any more? Are they not gaming any longer? Don't we deserve games any more?

With the shift in the market and the many options we as gamers have now, is there really still something like a proper definition of a core gamer? While I am a huge fan of God of War or FPSs in general, I also play Animal Crossing, sue me. Does that make me not interesting to sell to?

Double Fine proved with their kickstarter that Nostalgia is a very powerful incentive in buying decisions. Hell, I have all the Monkey Island versions on my PC and on my iPad. So wouldn't a game in the form and graphical approach such as Zelda or Ratchet and Clank still be interesting and appeal to just that itch we all want to scratch? Does our game and its art approach really alienate gamers who are looking forward to "The last of us", "Remember me" and version x of IPs like Halo, Tomb Raider etc? 

Oliver&Spike Art Style 

Having a family also means it's fun to have a game I can play that also appeals to my nephews or even better if it's something we can play together.

But of course, it's all about the core gamer..that illusive little creature I don't seem to be related to. Tell me, am I the only one in this believe? Am I totally wrong? I might be but for some reason I just refuse to believe that.

 Oliver&Spike Art Style


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Comments


Jana Majeed
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That good ole "core gamer"...seems to be a strange gamer if they don't like the games you listed. Someone needs to quit trying to force every game to look, sound, play and basically be totally like the last one released. Oliver and Spike looks awesome and I can not wait for it to be released.

Kenneth Poirier
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The average age of a gamer is 35. 60% male. What does that mean? Not much.

Basically the "core gamer" is whatever your potential investor says it is. The less "mainstream" your game is, the less money you are going to get for development. All investors care about is money, they don't care what your game is about or how innovative it is. So what you really should be asking is "are you an artist or a business?"

Natascha Roosli
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Yup, good point. I just question the definition of core gamer in general and its merit to decide a strategy for your portfolio at this point in time.


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