New survey reveals hardcore social gamers

Explores the percentages of hardcore social gamers and cross-platform addicts, as well as casuals
Kerry Butters
Kerry Butters -

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A survey carried out by Kabam to investigate the demographics of social gaming has published its findings this month.

According to the research, 41% of gamers in the US with an internet connection play games on a social networking site such as Facebook or MySpace.

To qualify to take part in the survey, participants were required to have played games on any platform in the past year beyond casual games such as desktop Solitaire.

8% of gamers said that they only use the PC to play games, whatever the genre and 33% said they used a console. 59% said they used a combination of both.

All users said that they play strategy games and RPGs on social networks, that’s 100% of gamers.

82% of gamers said they also played them on consoles, whilst 94% said they also play games such as Farmville on social networks.

Casual social gamers were found to be most likely to be women over 50 years of age, whilst hardcore gamers were most likely to be men under 30.

Hardcore gamers were shown to be the most likely to play games across all platforms, again with 100% saying they did, and tended to split their time, giving the most attention to console gaming.

However, casual gamers were more likely to spend one to two hours a day playing, with 49% admitting that much time. Hardcore gamers were more likely to spend three to four hours at a time.

Almost half of social gamers play daily, regardless of whether they were from the hardcore section or casual player base. 10% said they played for over 3 hours and 30% said they spent more than an hour on social games.

More than half of hardcore users said that they play more than 4 games regularly, whilst casual gamers came in at 32% admitting to using 3 or more games.

41% from both segments said that they log on to social networks with the express intention of playing games.

Both sets of users said that they play games mostly from home, whilst a small number admitted to playing games at work, school, in the car or waiting for a bus.

A third of casual and 45% of hardcore gamers said they expected their habits to increase over the course of the next year, possibly in anticipation of Google+ providing them with a new platform to feed their addiction.

44% of hardcore and 22% of casual users said they have spent more than $50 over the past year on purchasing “in-game” content and for the hardcore element, many said that this would most likely increase this year.

However, the social element is an important aspect to both sets of gamers, as many reported that meeting new people within the gaming environment to be an important aspect to the experience.

Hardcore gamers are more likely to pay attention to content, style and genre than casual users, and have higher expectations concerning artwork and themes.

A quarter of those that play games across other platforms said that their use of consoles had declined since they began playing social games. However, this didn’t seem to have much impact on their expectations when it came to buying a new console in the future.

All in all the survey seems to sum up what many of us already knew, hardcore gamers, whether it be on a console or social networking site, are actually pretty darn hardcore.

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