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

Report by Karol Severin
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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 the gamers, the more likely they are to prefer multiplayer modes –        of        year-old gamers prefer single-player modes, compared to just        of       
  • Mobile gamers are more single-player-centric than PC and console gamers, while console gamers are the most multiplayer-centric
  • Gamers who prefer multiplayer modes spend significantly more time on games (average of        hours per week) than gamers who prefer single-player modes (average of        hours per week)
  • Gamers who prefer multiplayer modes are more likely to spend money both on and in games than gamers who prefer single-player modes
  • Gamers who prefer multiplayer modes are more likely to use social media than gamers who prefer single-player modes
  • Virtual reality (VR) presents a multiplayer opportunity as gamers who prefer multiplayer modes are nearly three times more likely to own a VR headset than gamers who prefer single-player modes
  • Multiplayer modes will continue to grow in the short to mid-term due to headwinds from both consumers and suppliers
  • Single-player gaming is not going away – rather a bifurcated market providing distinct use cases will emerge, making both single and multiplayer segments important to cater to in the long-term
  • Older segments can be enticed towards multiplayer modes by carving out a fairer competitive environment for them to enjoy
  • Single-player games can learn from multiplayer games in terms of risk management, and in terms 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

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