Identifying a Great Developer or Publisher for Your License

Posted by Jay Powell on June 12, 2017

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Video games on mobile devices, PC’s, and consoles have a tremendous reach now and engage users far more than ever before. And that’s quite a feat. Let’s dispel some old ways of thinking first and then we will go through some simple steps to find a great partner for your license.

“Video games are just for kids.” – Not anymore, the average age of gamers is now 35. The average age of purchasers is 38. It’s also worth noting that 47% of homes have a device used exclusively for playing games (a console or portable console like the Nintendo 2DS).

“Games are for boys.” – Nope. 41% of gamers are women and 31% of those women are over the age of 18. Gaming has reached near equality these days. For the last 10 years the “casual” market has been dominated by women over the age of 35. We just learned in Activision-Blizzards Q1 earnings call that players are averaging 35 minutes per day playing Candy Crush Saga and the other games from King.

You can see all these statistics for yourself here and here, but let’s talk about how to find these opportunities for your license.

Step 1: Know your demographic.

Different games and devices attract different demographics. This is much less varied than it used to be, but in short:

  • Console players are can range from 5 to 50 but are typically in the 14-35 range. However, Nintendo consoles such as the new Switch as a whole attract a wider player base (both younger and older). Their 2DS/3DS line runs younger though.
  • Mobile gamers are all across the board. While the purchaser is older, kids play a lot of games on phones and tablets. You need to target genres on mobile to hit your demographic.
  • PC gamers are typically in the 35 and older range. Younger hardcore players will be found more often on consoles than PC games.

Step 2: Pick your genre.

Games are typically divided into “Hardcore” and “Casual”. There are exceptions and many gamers, myself included, play both variations. Casual games include genres such as match 3 games, endless runners, hidden object adventures, and many platformers. Hardcore games include shooters, MOBAs, strategy games, racing games, RPG’s, etc. Casual games are usually played by men and women over the age of 35, Hardcore games venture into that territory but are usually in the 14 to 35 year old range.

Step 3: Pick your team.

Whether you are targeting a developer or publisher (and many developers self-publish so the line is very thin) your objective is to find a team that has had success in the genre, and on the platform you desire. Use digital storefronts such as SteamiTunesGoogle Play, and Amazon to identify your targets, these stores let you sort by genre. For more detail you can go to Steam Spy which estimates sales on Steam or a site such as Sensor Tower for mobile games.

From there, simply reach out and start a dialogue!

By: Jay Powell, CEO The Powell Group