用戶類型劃分和遊戲體驗的進化方式:從gamer到player

本文原Allen Bevans 譯者ciel chen

全世界手遊數量的劇增證明越來越多的人喜歡上了玩遊戲,在此之前,這樣的體驗還限於電腦平臺和遊戲主機平臺的用戶。

這樣的擴張意味着那些玩遊戲的性格、需求以及動機變得更加多樣化了。儘管這種玩家的多樣化是一種難得的機遇,但這也可能是一種挑戰。爲了構建出能吸引多樣化受衆,激起他們興趣的遊戲,開發者需要構架出針對他們現有及潛在客戶的獨立見解,這樣的見解需要具備足夠的深度以及意義。

爲了構架出這樣的見解,Google Play委託開展了一項研究,該研究幫助我們瞭解全世界手遊玩家在行爲與需求方面的異同。一開始我們做這個研究是爲了內部需要,但是我們相信,我們的發現將對更多的遊戲開發者有所價值。

曾經我們認爲玩遊戲的人是“gamer”,現在我們認爲是“player”。

人們一般都會覺得玩遊戲的人屬於兩種極端羣體——一個是“骨灰級”玩家,他們愛高技巧遊戲愛到骨子裏;另外一個是“休閒”玩家,他們喜歡玩一些不需要太多技巧,沒什麼挑戰性的遊戲。這兩種極端的看法也跟一系列對玩家的年齡和性別假設與刻板印象有關——就像“骨灰級”玩家都是年輕男性,而“休閒”玩家都是年長女性這樣的看法。事實上,在遊戲中,大多數玩家都不屬於這兩種玩家類型。

遊戲在玩家生活中所扮演的角色和玩家的社會行爲有着最大的相似性和差異性。

當我們想到給玩家分類時,我們遇到了第一個挑戰,就是要做出某種形式的順序。有數以百萬計的玩家,他們對手遊的態度、需求和行爲有着怎樣的或相似或不同之處?

在對八個市場的兩萬多手遊玩家進行的調查中,我們問了一系列他們在遊戲中不同方面的問題:他們是如何找到他們手頭的遊戲的,遊戲中哪些內容是他們看重的,他們玩遊戲的方式和時間,遊戲是如何融入他們生活的等等。我們發現了真正區別玩家羣體的因素在於他們的社會行爲和他們對遊戲的熱情。

社會行爲的例子包括在遊戲探索和選擇中其他玩家對自身造成的影響,還有與其他玩家的競爭、或者參與聯盟社區成爲其中一員。對遊戲的熱情則包括在遊戲上花的時間、遊戲在他們的身份和粉絲行爲的中心地位,比如購買該遊戲品牌的商品。

我們根據這些維度確定了五種不同的玩家羣體:

five player segments(from gamesindustry.biz)

five player segments(from gamesindustry.biz)

這五種玩家羣體也有不同的行爲,開發者可以通過這些行爲了解他們的遊戲偏好和動機,然後我們把發現的內容解析成以下四種關鍵見解:

遊戲玩家的年齡和性別不是造成差異的主要原因

一旦我們確定了基於這些維度的5個羣體,我們開始從他們的身份以及他們的行爲中瞭解到更多關於他們的信息。要強調的很重要一點是——儘管在不同羣體中的年齡和性別存在差異,但它們並不是造成羣體差異的主要原因。像這樣的羣體分類指標通常是從生活層次或者性別上進行羣體分類的,這樣的分類方法會隱藏住那些真正發揮作用的不同維度之間的關鍵異同點。雖然較年輕的“遊戲愛好者”會稍微多一些,或者較年長的“被動玩家”會多一些,但兩個玩家類別的大多數人年齡都在26-45歲之間。相似的還有——屬於“遊戲愛好者”以及“玩法探索者”的男性會稍微偏多一些(也就只略高於50%)。

不同玩家羣體通過不同渠道和傳播者發現遊戲

“遊戲愛好者”發現新遊戲的途徑最多,但是他們所有渠道幾乎都有賴於社交——不論是生活中或者是網絡中(比如Youtube)的朋友都可是他們發現新遊戲的傳播者。他們也是最有可能對軟件內廣告做出反應的羣體。“玩法探索型玩家”在社交上依賴度較低,他們發現新遊戲的主要依據就是遊戲商城的榜單、Youtube、遊戲內廣告以及遊戲評分等等。正如所料,對於“受影響玩家”和“試探性跟進型玩家”都是受到別人影響才發現的新遊戲——可以是他們的朋友,還是看到什麼人在玩一款遊戲,又或者是看到有人在Youtube上看到誰誰誰在玩某款遊戲。“被動型玩家”更容易受到排行榜和應用內廣告,還有“其他”的發現渠道(不在調查所定義的範圍內的方法)的影響。

同一種玩家羣體不會只玩同一種遊戲

當我們問到玩家關於他們玩的遊戲類型時,我們看到在不同玩家羣體之間存在很多相似性,解謎遊戲是所有玩家羣體都喜歡的,還有策略遊戲也是(除了被動玩家之外),當然還是某些玩家羣體所喜歡的特定遊戲類型的。

“遊戲愛好者”幾乎每種遊戲都玩,並且似乎不怎麼偏向某一類型的遊戲。然而,“玩法探索者”更傾向於動作和冒險類遊戲;“受影響型玩家”最迷解謎遊戲,不過也喜歡冒險和策略類遊戲;“試探性跟進型玩家”喜歡卡牌、小遊戲和文字遊戲;而“被動型玩家”喜歡的都是解謎類和卡牌遊戲。

遊戲動機並非僅僅是放鬆和排解無聊

人們玩手遊的普遍動機是用來放鬆和排解無聊的。然而,我們還看到一些其他驅使人們投入到手遊當中的原因。特別是對於“遊戲愛好者”而言,他們重視在遊戲上取得進展、測試提高自己的遊戲技巧(包括單機和聯機對戰)以及喜歡通過玩遊戲獲得愉悅感來“獎勵自己”。“玩法探索型玩家”和“受影響類型玩家”也把玩遊戲和取得遊戲進展作爲一種獎賞自己的方式,不過他們比較不注重技能方面的比試。“試探性跟進型玩家”以及“被動型玩家”都比較少關注玩遊戲帶來的歡愉感。

這些結論對開發者的含義

爲自己遊戲玩家的各種需求做考慮。除非你的遊戲對玩家年齡和性別有高度針對性,不然不要想當然地對玩家按照年齡和性別分類。要想想你的遊戲能提供哪些不同的遊戲需求和關鍵經驗。

設計遊戲以及添加遊戲功能時,考慮到玩家的差異性:要夠精確,這個功能是隻針對某個玩家羣體的嗎還是面向全體玩家的;要掌握實時信息,從合適玩家羣體哪裏過的反饋;要專注,清楚地說明某個功能特性將如何改變玩家特定方面的遊戲體驗,以及說明這些功能對他們來說重要在哪裏。

定製你的用戶獲取策略。要用最好的市場營銷渠道,讓遊戲覆蓋到每個你的目標玩家羣體。所有類型的玩家都有發現新遊戲的多種方式,不過如果你所構建的遊戲是針對某一類型的玩家,你就應該優化你的營銷策略,把重點放在他們使用最多的渠道上。

定製參與策略來鼓勵你的目標玩家羣體更多地參與到遊戲中。“遊戲愛好者”喜歡佔領排行榜前排以及挑戰他們的社區,然而“玩法探索型玩家”則更喜歡在個人的遊戲進展。要利用對你的玩家來說最有意義的遊戲內容來讓他們發現並參與到你的遊戲當中。

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The amazing growth of mobile games across the world means more and more people engage with gaming experiences previously limited to users of other platforms such as PCs and consoles.

This expansion means the characteristics, needs and motivations of those playing games are more diverse. While this diversification of players is an amazing opportunity, it also can be a challenge. In order to build games that excite and engage such a diverse audience, developers need to build deep and meaningful insights about their current and potential customers.

allen
Allen Bevans, Google Play
To help build such insights, Google Play commissioned a research study to understand differences and similarities in the needs and behaviors of mobile game players across the world. Initially we ran this research for internal purposes, but we believe our findings are of value to the wider community of mobile game developers. The research report can be found here.

We used to think ‘gamers’, now we think ‘players’

It can be easy to think of people who play games belonging to one of two extreme groups – the ‘hardcore’ gamers living and breathing complex highly skilled games, and the ‘casual’ gamers playing low skill, non challenging games. These extremes are also associated with a range of demographic assumptions and stereotypes, like “hardcore” gamers being young and male, and “casual” gamers being old and female. The reality is a majority of players fall somewhere between these two extremes along the game playing spectrum.

The role of games in a player’s life and their social behavior drive the most similarities and differences

Our first challenge when considering the spectrum of players was to create some form of order. How were these millions of players similar or different in terms of their attitudes, needs and behaviors when it came to mobile games?

In our survey of over 20,000 mobile game players across eight markets, we asked a series of questions about different aspects of their game playing: how they find out about games, what about games are important to them, how and when they play, how gaming fits into their lives, etc. We found the questions that truly differentiated groups of players from each other centered around their social behaviors and their passion for games.

Examples of social behaviors include both the influence of others in game discovery and choice, as well as playing against others, or as part of a community or alliance. Passion for games includes time spent playing, the centrality of gaming to their identity and fan-like behavior such as purchasing branded merchandise.

We identified five distinct segments of players based on these dimensions:

image
These five player segments also have different behaviors which can be used to understand gaming preferences and motivations, and we have analysed the findings into the four following key insights:

1. Demographics are not the primary drivers of difference

Once we identified the five segments based on these dimensions, we started to learn more about them in terms of who they are and how they behave. It is really important to highlight that while there are demographic differences between these segments, these are not the primary drivers of segment differences. Too often segmentations like this primarily differentiate segments in terms of life stage or gender, which can hide key commonalities and differences across dimensions that really matter. While there are slightly more younger ‘connected enthusiasts’, or older ‘passive players’, the dominant age profile for both segments is between 26 and 45 years old. Likewise, there is only a slight male bias (just over 50%) for ‘connected enthusiasts’ and ‘playful explorers’.

2. The player segments use a range of channels and influencers to discover games

‘Connected enthusiasts’ use the most channels to discover new games, but nearly all their main channels involve other people – either in real life or online, e.g. YouTube. They are also the most likely to react to in-app advertising. ‘Playful explorers’ are less socially dependent, with their main sources of game discovery coming from Play Store top charts, YouTube, in-app ads and game ratings. As expected, it’s all about influence from others for ‘influenced players’ and ‘tentative followers’ – either their friends, seeing someone else play a game, or watching someone play on Youtube. ‘Passive players’ are more influenced by top charts and in-app ads, as well as “other” sources of discovery – sources that don’t fit into the pre-defined categories in the segmentation surveys.

3. Player segment does not equal one genre

When we asked players about the types of games they play, we saw similarities across all the segments. Puzzle games are universally appealing, as well as Strategy (except for the ‘passive players’). We did see some specific clusters of game types for certain segments.
‘Connected enthusiasts’ play nearly every genre and are less likely to skew towards any one in particular. However, ‘playful explorers’ skew more towards action and adventure games. ‘Influenced players’ are big puzzle fans, but also enjoy adventure and strategy. ‘Tentative followers’ enjoy card, trivia and word games, while ‘passive players’ are all about puzzles and card games.

4. Motivators of engagement go beyond just relaxation and boredom

Relaxation and boredom relief are universal motivators to keep people playing mobile games. However, we see some other more actionable drivers of engagement that vary across segments. In particular, the ‘connected enthusiasts’ are all about making progress, testing their skills (both personally and with others) and ‘rewarding’ themselves with the pleasure of game play. ‘Playful explorers’ and ‘influenced players’ also see playing games and making progress as a reward, but are less focussed on testing skills compared to others. ‘Tentative followers’ and ‘passive players’ are less likely to focus on the pleasure of game playing.

Implication for developers

Consider the various gaming needs of your players. Unless your game is highly targeted towards a specific demographic group, don’t fall for demographic stereotypes. Instead, think about the different gaming needs being met by your game and the key experiences your game provides.

Take player differences into account when designing your game or adding new features:

Be specific: Is this feature for a certain segment of players, or all players in general?

Be informed: Get feedback from the right segments of players.

Be concrete: Articulate how a feature will change specific aspects of these players’ experience, and why that is important to them.

Tailor your customer acquisition strategy. Use the best marketing channels to reach each desired player segment. Players of all kinds discover new games in many ways, but if you’re building a game for a specific kind of player, you should optimize your strategy to emphasize the channels they engage with most.

Tailor engagement strategies to motivate your target player segment(s). ‘Connected enthusiasts’ love leaderboards and challenging their community while ‘playful explorers’ are more interested in personal progress. Use the game content that is the most meaningful to your players to help them discover and engage with your game.(source:gamesindustry.biz