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Profiling single-player versus multiplayer gamers A generational changing of the guard

Report by Karol Severin
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The 20,000 foot view: Though single player remains the preferred games genre for now, multiplayer modes are catching up, particularly among younger gamer segments. As audiences age, multiplayer modes will become increasingly important alongside single-player modes. Both segments will remain important for games companies to pay attention to in the mid to long-term. At the same time, audiences of both modes manifest differences in behaviour, including time and money spent, as well as technology ownership and social media usage – all of which are important to establish to enable games companies to effectively prioritise product roadmaps and design marketing strategies.

Key insights:

               of gamers prefer single-player over multiplayer games, compared to            who prefer multiplayer games, and            who have no strong preference
  • The younger            gamers, the more likely they            to prefer multiplayer modes –                       year-old gamers prefer single-player modes,            to just            of           
  • Mobile gamers            more single-player-centric than PC and            gamers, while console gamers are            most multiplayer-centric
  • Gamers who            multiplayer modes spend significantly more            on games (average of            hours            week) than gamers who prefer            modes (average of            hours per           
  • Gamers who            multiplayer modes are more likely            spend money both on and            games than gamers who prefer            modes
  • Gamers who            multiplayer modes are more likely            use social media than gamers            prefer single-player modes
  • Virtual reality            presents a multiplayer opportunity as            who prefer multiplayer modes are            three times more likely to            a VR headset than gamers            prefer single-player modes
  • Multiplayer modes            continue to grow in the            to mid-term due to headwinds            both consumers and suppliers
  • Single-player gaming            not going away – rather            bifurcated market providing distinct use            will emerge, making both single            multiplayer segments important to cater            in the long-term
  • Older segments            be enticed towards multiplayer modes            carving out a fairer competitive            for them to enjoy
  • Single-player games            learn from multiplayer games in            of risk management, and in            of product development

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Discord, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Fortnite, FreeFire, Instagram, Nintendo, Pinterest, PlayStation, Snapchat, Roblox, Tik Tok, Twitch, Twitter, WhatsApp, Xbox, and YouTube