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Who Are Hardcore Gamers and How Can We Target Them?

Posted May 19, 2020

When we look at the COVID-19 pandemic, we can see that people’s perspectives on the entertainment industry have changed. Especially in this period when we have to quarantine ourselves, every activity we do outside to have fun and socialize like going to cinemas, festivals, concerts, etc, is minimized. People around the world are looking for different options to have fun in the digital world.

From these options, we can see that there is an incredible demand for sports games, more specifically, for eSports or console games at a time when most sports events are postponed or canceled. As people continue to stay home, viewership for eSports has increased. In addition, demand for console games has coincided with huge releases from big game companies such as Playstation and Nintendo, offering great opportunities for games, publishers, and possibly, advertisers. As the release dates of these games are approaching and demand for eSports and console games have been on the rise, its time to discuss who these eSport lovers and hardcore gamers are and where is the best place to reach them.

The eSports Audience Keeps Expanding
With constantly evolving technology, gaming is a fast-growing international phenomenon generating billions of dollars in revenue. When we look at the eSports landscape, its’ audience has expanded year-over-year and there has been an uplift of 16% in terms of revenue since 2014. Before the Coronavirus epidemic, 335 million viewers for eSports were reported in 2018. With a 14% growth in audience, the number of viewers reached 381 million in 2019 and 40% of these viewers can be seen as truly engaged eSports enthusiasts, participating in amateur championships or watching eSports content regularly. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s been reported that there has been a 75% increase in gaming at peak hours, and online gaming is making up a huge part of people’s quarantine plans. In 2020, the eSports audience will grow to 495 million globally with a growth of 30% for the total year. 

Hardcore Gamers Are Playing on Multiple Platforms
Hardcore gamers include players whose leisure time is largely devoted to playing or following video games. Because of their long lifetime value, this audience is a much sought after type of gamer. Hardcore games from big companies like Playstation, Nintendo, Tencent, and Ubisoft have gone through an incredible rise during recent lockdowns. The number of downloads, online purchases, and session times have all increased. 79% of all games bought are purchased online, allowing people to buy any game they like without leaving their homes. With quarantine in place, they have more time to play on another platform like mobile gaming. As a result, the number of gamers using several platforms grew 10% only in the last month.

Find eSports Fans and Hardcore Gamers on Mobile
In order to reach these players correctly, traditional targeting methods including demographic characteristics, like age and gender can certainly be used. But it is more important to know what these people are doing, who they really are, and where they are. The easiest way to reach these gamers is mobile. Mobile is uniquely positioned to deliver unique mobile-only data signals to reach our audience in the right place at the right time. Also, knowing the hardcore game genre and players’ behavior in these games can make it easier for us to target them. Hardcore games usually attain long sessions due to the in-depth storytelling or battles that can’t be easily paused and picked up later. Advertisers will have lots of opportunities to get their brand messaging across to these dedicated and enthusiastic players on their mobile devices.

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