Not so long ago, only two breeds of gamers existed: the hardcore and the casual. Hardcore gamer dedicated their lives to power-leveling their Night Elf druids in Azeroth. And casual gamers...well, they didn't.
But times are changing. Marketing research firm Parks Associates recently conducted a survey of more than 2,000 online gamers, and they concluded that six statistically distinct gamer types have evolved, including:
- The "power" gamer, or the typical "hardcore" player who lives and breathes World of Warcraft/Counterstrike/Guild Wars/etc. Although this group accounts for 30 percent of revenue for online titles, power gamers represent only a small portion (11 percent) of the total market.
- The "occasional" gamer, who sticks mainly to puzzle, word, and board games. Unlike the power gamer, occasional gamers tend not to spend much money on their pastime.
- The "incidental" gamer, who plays online games mainly out of boredom. Despite that, however, incidental gamers still manage to tally more than 20 hours per month on online games.
- The "social" gamer,who sees gaming mainly as a way to interact or keep in touch with friends and family.
- The "leisure" gamer, to whom gaming is a serious hobby. On average, leisure gamers devote 58 hours per month to their pastime, but mostly stick to casual titles.
- The "dormant" gamer, who loves to game, but because of family, school or work obligations, has little time to play. As gamers grow older, this group has gotten bigger; it now accounts for more than a quarter of all gamers.