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'Hardcore' and 'casual' are no longer adequate in defining gamers research says

By Cal Jeffrey · 22 replies
May 15, 2019
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  1. I used to consider myself a hardcore gamer. Then came a wife and kids and other responsibilities, and I just do not have the same amount of free time for it that I used to have. So "hardcore" doesn't really fit me.

    However, I still do play video games when I get a chance. I watch some streamers on Twitch when I’m not playing or streaming myself. And I frequently write about the subject. So, the term “casual gamer” does not really fit me either.

    Gaming and esports analytics firm Newzoo has seen that the gaming landscape has changed drastically. It spent a year studying gaming habits and has come up with eight new “personas” to better define today’s gamers.

    The personas are based on various metrics ranging from the amount of money spent on gaming to how much esports are watched. The eight personas Newzoo came up with follows (survey breakdown in parenthesis).

    • The Ultimate Gamer (13%) — You love nothing more than spending all your money and free time on games.
    • The All-Around Enthusiast (9%) — You live a balanced gaming life in your playing, viewing, and buying habits.
    • The Cloud Gamer (19%) — You're most likely an early adopter of game streaming services and will only spend money on hardware when necessary.
    • The Conventional Player (4%) — You own tons of gaming hardware and would rather spend your time playing games than watching other people play games.
    • The Hardware Enthusiast (9%) — You keep up with all the latest hardware trends and probably have a $5,000 extreme-build rig with RGB lighting everywhere.
    • The Popcorn Gamer (13%) — You don't play games all that much, but you like watching others play.
    • The Backseat Viewer (6%) — You used to game a lot, but you got older, and life happened, so you get your kicks from watching esports and people play other games.
    • The Time Filler (27%) — You play games to pass the time, when you have time, and you rarely touch a PC game.

    Interestingly, most of the respondents were The Time Filler — the casual gamer of old — and were a median age of 38 with more than 50 percent in the 51-65 age bracket.

    Newzoo has posted an abbreviated quiz based on its gamer survey if you are interested in where you fall in its “Gamer Segmentation.” Unsurprisingly, I am an All-Around Enthusiast. Its summary of the all-arounder fits me to a tee.

    “The all-around enthusiast is an avid gamer who plays [and watches] for many hours a week. They may not be as dedicated as Ultimate Gamers, but games are still serious business for this persona. They are typically fulltime workers, so paying for the newest titles — as well as hardware — is not an issue. All-Around Enthusiasts enjoy a holistic gaming experience by combining playing games, viewing game content, and owning dedicated gaming hardware.”

    Where do you fall in Newzoo’s Gamer Segmentation, and do you agree with its assessment? Let us know in the comments.

    Permalink to story.

  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,124   +1,617

    Apparently, I'm an "Ultimate Gamer." But also an old fart in the 51-65 age bracket.

    All I can say is video/computer gaming has been arguably my #1 recreational past-time since the very first Pong TV game came out a zillion years ago. And I never even lived in my Mom's basement to boot. :p
  3. antiproduct

    antiproduct TS Addict Posts: 115   +127

    This list still doesn't capture people right. I guess I fall into: You play games to when you have time, and you ONLY play PC games.

    I think maybe the categories should be more broad...

    Edit: took the quiz and I guess I'm a conventional gamer.
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  4. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 607   +1,222

    There's more than casual vs hardcore, but half the supposedly unique categories are just duplications worded differently. Eg, Popcorn & Backseat are exactly the same "I'd rather watch others stream". Conventional & Ultimate are both the opposing "I'd rather play games than watch someone else". Conventional and Hardware Enthusiast both "own lots of hardware", and anyone who reads news sites owns a $5,000 rig. Most people enjoy discounts but that doesn't make them "cloud gamers" simply because the games were bought cheap, and F2P would probably be better filed under "Time Filler" since mobile-centric mechanics are exactly what the super-grindy gameplay is styled around far more than any streaming service. All Rounder = anyone who watches movies / listens to music (ie, everyone). I'm pretty sure someone could cut the fluff down to 4-6 categories (even after adding missing ones like retro gaming), that actually measure gamer habits differently, not merely the same things re-worded differently twice over.
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    Toju Mikie, Godel and ShagnWagn like this.
  5. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,760   +387

    My only gripe with the quiz is that it combines watching esports and watching gaming channels. This is way too narrow.

    I watch channels like Angry Joe, Jim Sterling, and Yong Yea, but I do not watch streamer channels, or any esports at all. They cater to completely different segments of the gaming population. One is all about the dopamine rush, the other likes detailed breakdowns of industry news and events and lengthy game reviews.

    Still an interesting study nonetheless. I got "Ultimate Gamer" in the quiz.
    Toju Mikie likes this.
  6. nnguy2

    nnguy2 TS Booster Posts: 27   +28

    That's my assessment too. I think this segmentation is terrible, should just be 3-4 types:

    the enthusiasts
    the time filler
    the cloud gamer
    the spectator.

    Unless the 3 different enthusiasts types different by age and income that is not shown here it's a bad customer segmentation.
  7. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,939   +1,487

    Did you just assume my game enthusiast type?
    Toju Mikie and Wessell Urdata like this.
  8. Prosercunus

    Prosercunus TS Maniac Posts: 269   +109

    In the 90's and early 00's I would have definitely considered myself a hardcore gamer. I had more time and simply put the standard wasn't so damn high. Now in 2019 there is no way I could commit the time and even if I could I would never spend the ungodly amount of time some people do in a video game.
    Toju Mikie likes this.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,979   +2,281

    I tested as a hardware enthusiast. However, I do not have an extreme build $5K rig, nor would I ever spend even $0.01 on RGB lighting. :confused:
    Toju Mikie likes this.
  10. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,832   +677

    Stop you are killing me..and why stop....how bout 15
  11. brucek

    brucek TS Maniac Posts: 166   +207

    Maybe this analysis will help some companies target their marketing, but I can't imagine any gamer using those categories to talk to other gamers.

    The only time wheres I've heard categorization attempted, and that it maybe mattered a little, was in multiplayer online situations where you were trying to figure out if you were in the right group for the content you were attempting. Like you might need a "hardcore" group to do the hardest raid in a MMO. Even then the terms had little to do with time played -- casual could play just as many hours -- it was more a mindset and depth of preparation.
    Toju Mikie likes this.
  12. Thannos

    Thannos TS Booster Posts: 39   +24

    I got "All-Round Enthusiast", but I'd say I'm definitely a mix between that and "The Conventional Player".
    Toju Mikie likes this.
  13. Kraemepoo

    Kraemepoo TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +24

    Conventional gamer, and their chart matches my observation from myself and my friends.
    mostly 30-45 years old.
    We're all in adulthood with time consuming kids, families, jobs, and hobbies. On the other hand our careers now allow us to buy any hardware or games we want. Our setups are always cutting edge, but the limiting factor is time, so we have an extensive list of games we want to play, already own, but haven't yet installed. When we play, we don't buy loot boxes or in game currency or merchandise, and we don't watch people play.
    brucek and Toju Mikie like this.
  14. Toju Mikie

    Toju Mikie TS Addict Posts: 101   +118

    I got Conventional Gamer, but I'm 24 and live with my parents. Currently work part-time, but since I don't make much, half of my computer components came from eBay, but working part-time also means that I have more time to play as well.
  15. m3tavision

    m3tavision TS Maniac Posts: 260   +169

    They missed a complete segment of Gamers ... the "Core" Gamer. Who play a certain type of game, and are at it's core. They rarely play any other type of game, because they are extremely competitive in their field of gameplay. They game with their guilds, clan, or squadmates almost exclusively.

    They are the expert gamers who are at the top of the game mentally and don't suffer from hardware envy. The game for competitive game play & the challenge, not nec for entertainment
  16. elementalSG

    elementalSG TS Booster Posts: 114   +94

    I was classified correctly under "Hardware Enthusiast". But then I'm an avid reader of Techspot and love the hardware reviews, so that was pretty much a no-brainer!
  17. xpwjintel

    xpwjintel TS Rookie

    I think there are only few gamer categories now: fortnite gamers, webbrowser gamers(those who play facebook or other web browser games), mobile gamers, and true gamers (formerly PC and Console gamers) :D
  18. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Evangelist Posts: 460   +267

    I really hate how someone bored at work who hops on Candy Crush to pass time, then goes home and plays no games at all is considered a gamer now. No.
  19. Bp968

    Bp968 TS Booster Posts: 101   +78

    Oh yes, the goal wasn't to give us useful terms to describe each other. The goal was to get as many of us to take the quiz as possible to they could sell the information to publishers and marketing companies.

    Its all about the data collection ;)
  20. arrowflash

    arrowflash TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +22

    I got "Cloud Gamer" (maybe because I've spent very little money in gaming in the past years), but based on its definition, I don't identify with it at all. Based on the descriptions, I identify the most with both "Conventional Player" and "Hardware Enthusiast".
  21. fluffydestroyer

    fluffydestroyer TS Booster Posts: 81   +41

    @Cal Jeffrey: you're a casual and thats not bad. The description you give means that you have a life and this aint really bad. You play games, watch streamers and do other stuff. Being casual as nothing to do with the money you spend on it.

    To me, there 3 of them. The casual, the influencer and the hardcore.

    Casual: play games occasionally from time to time. He has a life, he does other things. Priority in his life is not games in other words. He wont play for multiple hours on end to play games.

    Hardcore: He has a Mountain Dew taped to his "lala". He never gets up to go to the bathroom. He seat his not a racing chair, its the toilet itself. He plays hours upon hours. The only subject are games in his case. Ok I exagerate but you get the point. If he talks about a game, he makes an essay out of it, not a review. Almost everything he does his about game and that person could easily play games all day long without any problems.

    Influencer. Thats the bad one here. Were starting to see this one a lot more. The person who doesn't play the game at all. He just hears about it and gets triggered or some subject or thing about a game massively trigger something in him that makes him send threats to the game developer to change the game to his liking. Were starting to see this from design characters, to change of text which they see wrong. For example, think of Pillars of eternity poetry or text or Overwatch character design for one.
  22. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 572   +247

    They would need to create a true taxonomy to classify all the gamers type.
  23. Victor38077

    Victor38077 TS Rookie Posts: 24

    None of the profiles mentioned in this article fit me, so I am creating one for myself. I am a RETRO GAMER. I play games from the early 1980's to the mid 1990's. They range from games that run on Commodore 64 to MS DOS. I use emulators to play these types of games. The most advanced game I play is the classic DOOM games. Today's games are too visually complex for me to handle.

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