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In this article, we have discussed the key differences that exist between different types of gamer. The 15 Factors of Classification takes these factors into account, and offers a way to empirically categorise various types of gamer, and highlights the areas requiring further research. We hope that we have successfully expanded on some of the issues regarding the customer, and reasons why the concept of customer segmentation is a useful exercise. While many unanswered questions still exist, we can at least begin to take the first steps towards knowing and understanding our customers on a proper statistical basis rather than through anecdotal evidence, hunches, and personal experience. As new generations of hardware heighten customer expectations to new levels, it becomes imperative that we develop games that satisfy their expectations. Formally identifying the various categories of gamer will help us to develop games that do so.
Ultimately, the prosperity of the industry depends on our ability to meet the desires of as many of our customers as possible. In the future, customers might voice their likes and dislikes, and games can be tailored according to their wishes. In an increasingly heterogeneous marketplace, customisation may be a key to customer satisfaction. Mass-customisation is not a viable option for the industry, but in a diversifying market, we should not rely on a one-size fits-all mentality. While licences, sequels, and the me-too approach may attract the "ultra casual", "casual", and possibly even "transitional/moderate" gamers, the emphasis on producing truly captivating content to satisfy the "hardcore" and "ultra hardcore" must remain. And, bearing in mind that there is no evidence to suggest that the degree of customer importance is proportional to the number of gamers in each of the respective categories, great care needs to be placed on deciding what games are developed, and if they are aimed at the right categories of customer. With development costs rising, we can ill afford to disappoint customers through a poor understanding of the market, and given the amount of talent and resources in the industry, there is absolutely no reason why this should be the case.
Designer's Notebook: Casual versus Core", Gamasutra.
Kim, Scott (2001), "Designing Web Games that Make Business Sense", Game Developers' Conference 2001 Proceedings, San Francisco: Game Developers' Conference, 423-31.
Fisher, R. and Price, L. (1992), "An Investigation into the Social Context of Early Adoption Behaviour", Journal of Consumer Research, 19, (3), 477-86.