• NPD Games

2018 Q4 Round Up

EEDAR's 2018 Q4 Round Up

Purchase Intent

Resident Evil 2 leads EEDAR’s Upcoming Purchase Intent List as we move into Q1 2019 and away from big holiday performers, and it received a significant bump in interest two months before release. Though only recently officially announced, Mortal Kombat 11 already has a large share of consumer interest, barely nudging Kingdom Hearts III out of second place. Mortal Kombat 11 will likely be the highest-performing game that EEDAR tracks heading into Q2. Purchase Intent for the currently untitled Animal Crossing game for Nintendo Switch has significantly increased since its announcement despite a lack of new marketing materials. The Division 2, The Lego Movie 2 Videogame, and MLB The Show 19 (all of which will be released in late Q1 and Q2) round out the bottom three slots, though there is still time left for larger marketing pushes. Large IPs still far from release but with loyal fan bases make up the rest of the top 10.

Genre Trends in 2018

Genre Trends of 2018

To celebrate the end of the year, we wanted to take a look at the top genres across gaming platforms. In our survey, we asked players to tell us their top 5 favorite genres (out of 16 genres for console/PC and out of 22 genres for mobile). Console by far draws the clearest line between the top genres. Shooter, Action, and RPG hold the titles of favorite genres on consoles by a wide margin at 47%, 45%, and 38% respectively. Fighting and Puzzle are a distant fourth and fifth, both favored by 24% of console gamers.

The top mobile genres are split more evenly among the top 5 and reflect the genres that perform well on the platform. Brain Puzzle, Matching, Arcade, Skill & Chance, and Strategy genres are very popular with the older, more casual mobile audience.

PC players (which includes players who game on sites such as Facebook) are somewhere between the other two segments. Like consoles, the Shooter, RPG, and Action genres are still very popular, but Puzzle games make up a very close fourth pick amongst PC gamers. Massively Multiplayer games are also exclusively popular on PC.

So what’s changed in the past year? Well, the Shooter genre on consoles and PC has increased in popularity in 2018, becoming the top genre on both platforms this year. This primarily due to the large popularity of Battle Royale games such as Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). On mobile, Casino Slot games have fallen out of favor in 2018, replaced by Strategy. This is in part due to the popularity of titles such as Clash Royale and the lack of newer titles in the Slot genre in the past year.

The Evolving Demographics of

Nintendo Switch Owners

The Nintendo Switch has been on the market for over a year now, and one interesting trend EEDAR has observed over time is the shift when comparing the current demographic makeup of all owners versus that of early adopters. PlayerPulse’s design allows us to see changes in gender, age, investment, and engagement with content, and the shift has been drastic. Let’s take a look at the Nintendo Switch’s first quarter contrasted against performance this most recent holiday season.

Early Adopters vs LTD Owners

Age of Switch Owners (North America)

The early demographic for the Switch was heavily skewed, with males accounting for 70% of the of the player base. Over time this has shifted over to an almost 50/50 split between males and females, much more in line with what you would expect from console player bases from the PS4 and Xbox One. In fact, the Switch skews slightly more towards females than either of the other two consoles, which have averaged a 55% male split. Ages for initial Switch owners skewed towards people in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Later, demographics would begin to skew both younger and older, suggesting that families and younger people (with little disposable income) were not as quick to adopt the platform right away.

So what else can we tell about these early adopters, and what sets them apart from the later buyers? For one, we can look at their investment in gaming through how much they play and how much money they spend on gaming.

Time Spent Playing Console/PC Games (Weekly)

Money Spent on Console/PC Gaming (Yearly)

As one might expect, early owners of the Nintendo Switch are significantly more invested in console gaming in general, with almost 60% of early Switch owners averaging 11 hours or more of console/PC play time every week. These early Switch adopters were also more likely to spend money on their gaming hobbies, with 79% of early adopters spending $100 dollars or more on gaming each year, compared to 63% of total Switch owners today.

This helps us learn more about who these early adopters are. They’re male, they’re of working age, and they have the disposable income and time to invest in their hobby. These are the people that want to buy a new gaming device as soon as it’s out. What else can we learn about them? There’s a few ways to dive into this data, but let’s look at their engagement. What are they doing and what are they into?

Video Engagement (Twitch, YouTube etc.)

Top 5 Most Common Titles Played on PC/Console

Other metrics in PlayerPulse help to fill in the picture of how time has shifted the Switch’s player base from people heavily invested in gaming and core experiences to a broader audience. The original Switch adopters were much more involved with video creation for sites like YouTube and Twitch, again highlighting their heavy investment in their gaming hobby. We can also take a look at what they were playing on consoles and PC. We see a core audience heavily invested in mature experiences like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Fallout 4. Some of those experiences have fallen off, replaced by more family-friendly ones. Minecraft is the top experience shared by Switch Players going into 2019, and that trend is continued with other family-friendly games like Super Mario Odyssey and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate selling incredibly well.

The Switch’s story of a demographic shift from the original core audience to its current broader audience is interesting, although not entirely unique, as each platform has had its own demographic movement through its lifecycle. As new consoles are released in the coming years, we look forward to showing the unique trends and shifts with PlayerPulse. We’re especially curious to see how different branding, price points, and marketing efforts change the way these demographic shifts occur. Anyone can make their own predictions, but we look forward to telling the true story with our data.

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