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Is it time to start making more games for "older" gamers?

cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,998
This is something I've been thinking about for a while, and I don't have an answer, I'm just looking for your thoughts. For reference, I'm 35, so not exactly old, so when I say "older" gamers I'm really thinking of a wide spread of ages, basically anyone you could refer to as a "proper" adult with some maturity. People with normal jobs, partner / spouse, maybe kids. But people young enough to have grown up with video games being a part of normal life (so, maybe max 25 years old during the arcade era, 65ish now).


We know that, historically, the majority of computer games have been targeted at young people. It's a strategy that made total sense in the past and still holds relevence today. Young people are, generally, much better at adopting new technology, so it made total sense to target kids when the industry was new. Trying to convince a 40 year old bloke to try out pacman in 1980 must have been a hard sell, but getting a 15 year old would have been much easier.




Today though, we live in a world where that 40 year old has grown up with video games, from arcades, to consoles, to home computers and now VR. You're no longer trying to get these people to adopt new technology, we already did that when we were kids. Games are firmly entrenched in popular culture.

But, the majority of games are still aimed at kids, despite this very large group of potential gamers who also have a hell of a lot more spare cash than kids.

Why?

Is there an opportunity to specifically target these gamers?




I know one of the arguments has always been that once you've got a normal job, wife, kids etc, you simply don't have the time to game any more. This is very fair and true, jobs, wife and kids all take up time. But, everyone still has some spare time most days, and I know plenty of people who have continued gaming long into later life. Also, I dont know about the rest of you, but even though my gaming time has diminished as I got older, my spending has still gone up because I have more spare money and I'm willing to pay for quality entertainment.


Another of the arguements is that older gamers are harder to please, we get bored with games quicker. This is also true, but this is where I see the opportunity. Its totally natural to get bored with games as you get older - the longer you play games, the better your knowledge and the quicker you can overcome the challenges in a new game. This comes out in complaints like "when are we going to get good AI?", "why is all raiding just choreography?" etc. It's not that current gen games have gotten objectively easier (tho some have), its just that we all learned how to beat this sort of content 15 years ago.




So yeh, I'm wondering if there is an opportunity to specifically target older gamers, most likely 25-50 year old who have grown up with gaming but who perhaps aren't being served with many games right now. Despite the limited gaming time, is our collective spending power worth targeting specifically?

Some genres already do. Some of the strategy titles are definitely targetted at the more mature gamer, with slower gameplay but very complex long term strategy. Sim / builder games are often targeted at older gamers too. The racing genre gives us simulation titles like Project Cars or iRacing which also tend to have a much older average gamer compared to arcade racers.

But, it's still pretty few and far between.



What are your thoughts?

What do you think a game would look like if it was specifically targetted at older gamers?

Am I just talking shit?

For those gamers here who are older than I am, do u think the existing industry is doing well by you?
AlBQuirkyAsheramUngoodGdemamiPo_ggcheyaneTuor7
«1345

Comments

  • UtinniUtinni Member EpicPosts: 2,043
    edited May 17
    While I get that this post is an opinion, it could certainly benefit from a little bit of basic google research on gaming demographics especially when it comes to spending in the modern era. Design and monetization are being driven by people who have more money than time.
    TorvalKyleranAlBQuirkytzervocheyaneJean-Luc_PicardGormogon
  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member EpicPosts: 3,202
    I agree. Handicapped parking spots in GTA, ramps into stores, big letters for fonts, and free healing in games. As well as senior discounts in stores.
    AlBQuirkytzervoJean-Luc_PicardGormogonSandmanjw
    Catch me streaming at twitch.tv/cryomatrix
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  • cheyanecheyane Member LegendaryPosts: 7,964
    Is our collective spending power really the issue or is it more our unwillingness to pay for the loot boxes and other money making devices.

    In my guild in EQ2 there is a 74 year old gentleman who logs into the game before I do and is often on when I log off. He has a lot of time and he works but a lot of the time he is actually playing. He is lucky in that he has an office job that only takes up a few hours of his time in conference calls and he manages to just afk when he needs to. He does not have a family from what I understand.

    Game companies do not consider us a viable source of good income. We have not grown up playing games on the phone and are therefore unwilling to simply pay for those experience potions or cosmetics. Our mentality is quite different from the kids these days and they are not going to waste money on us.

    I am over 60 age group so even worse off than your 35. I cannot even manage an action combat game except when it is in story mode like Horizon Zero dawn so my options are even more restricted. I am also less inclined to play a game that has PvP. So many of the options are just closed off to me and I gave up thinking they will make a game for me.

    I adapt where I can and play games  where certain classes can be something I can play like the summoner in the Phantasy Star Online 2 (PSO2). I seriously doubt they will make a game you're looking for except Indie perhaps. We can hope I suppose.
    AlBQuirkyiixviiiixUngoodPo_ggMendelRhiow-DarkstepSKurjSandmanjwTuor7
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  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,330
    I'm not sure where I fit in this idea. I still like the same kinds of games I did when I was a kid and then a lot of the new ideas and hybrids in newer games. There doesn't seem to be a lack of games made 'for me' as there are more games to play now than any previous time in my life.

    It seems like there are a lot more half-finished and mediocre quality games due to the sheer volume of titles being produced. But there are still a lot of high quality games being made too.

    The one thing I don't like is how aggressively monetization has grown and how large the demographic has become that is willing to try and spend money attempting to make up for a lack of time.

    I don't think you're wrong, but I also don't really feel the same way.
    AlBQuirkytzervoPo_ggSovrathTuor7
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • NildenNilden Member EpicPosts: 3,332
    It's more about adapting the monetization than actual gaming imho.

    The companies making games don't care how old you are all they care about is money. It's why the MMORPG genre is dominated by cash shop cancer.
    AlBQuirkyTuor7

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  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,998
    Thanks for the responses!

    I wasnt really thinking about monetisation specifically, though that is a very good point to bring up. I'm of the opinion that when it comes to monetisation, it's purely a value proposition. If the player views the item as worth the price, they'll buy it regardless of the form it's being sold in.

    For example, I've never spent money on a microtransaction. Ever. Its not that I'm necessarily against the business model, its just that I've yet to see an item that was worth the price being asked.

    That value judgement is definitely informed by past experience, so having grown up in a world of upfront box prices has left me feeling like the price of a lootbox or cosmetic item is crzy overpriced. The youth of today have grown up in a different world, so their value judgements are gonna be different to my own.




    However, the gist of the thread was more about designing games with mechanics and themes targetted at adults / older gamers.


    To put the question more succinctly:


    Do you think it is possible to design a game that has the same level of success as Fortnite, but with an average player age of 35+? Has this already happened and I just missed it or forgot about it?




    AlBQuirkyUngoodGdemamiTuor7
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 37,894
    The future is already here, but you might not like the results.

    Gen X was born between 1965 and 1979/80 and is currently between 41-56 years old 

    Percentage of Candy Crush players that are GenX:

    46%

    Last updated 10/1/18

    The fact is they have been making games for "older" gamers for a very long time now.

    One of the lead articles in AARP magazine this month is about gaming.  (Happens to mention nearly 240M people played Candy Crush btw)

    Also states almost half of all older Americans play video games.

    So looks like OP might be a bit late to the party.

    ;)




    tzervoTorvalSovrathiixviiiixUngoodPo_ggcheyaneMendelKidRiskGdemamiand 2 others.

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  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,794
    I agree. Handicapped parking spots in GTA, ramps into stores, big letters for fonts, and free healing in games. As well as senior discounts in stores.

    Is GTA, et al, really that obvious?

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • UtinniUtinni Member EpicPosts: 2,043
    Kyleran said:
    The future is already here, but you might not like the results.

    Gen X was born between 1965 and 1979/80 and is currently between 41-56 years old 

    Percentage of Candy Crush players that are GenX:

    46%

    Last updated 10/1/18

    The fact is they have been making games for "older" gamers for a very long time now.

    One of the lead articles in AARP magazine this month is about gaming.  (Happens to mention nearly 240M people played Candy Crush btw)

    Also states almost half of all older Americans play video games.

    So looks like OP might be a bit late to the party.

    ;)





    Wish people looked at stats like this instead of the usual blaming young people. The younger generation playing minecraft, fortnite, league(that demo is aging now) aren't the ones whaling on mobile games and p2w mechanics. Blame the 30+ folks who don't wanna have to level in a game or play through story mode for where games are today.
    TorvalKyleranTuor7
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,794
    cheyane said:
    Is our collective spending power really the issue or is it more our unwillingness to pay for the loot boxes and other money making devices.

    In my guild in EQ2 there is a 74 year old gentleman who logs into the game before I do and is often on when I log off. He has a lot of time and he works but a lot of the time he is actually playing. He is lucky in that he has an office job that only takes up a few hours of his time in conference calls and he manages to just afk when he needs to. He does not have a family from what I understand.

    Game companies do not consider us a viable source of good income. We have not grown up playing games on the phone and are therefore unwilling to simply pay for those experience potions or cosmetics. Our mentality is quite different from the kids these days and they are not going to waste money on us.

    I am over 60 age group so even worse off than your 35. I cannot even manage an action combat game except when it is in story mode like Horizon Zero dawn so my options are even more restricted. I am also less inclined to play a game that has PvP. So many of the options are just closed off to me and I gave up thinking they will make a game for me.

    I adapt where I can and play games  where certain classes can be something I can play like the summoner in the Phantasy Star Online 2 (PSO2). I seriously doubt they will make a game you're looking for except Indie perhaps. We can hope I suppose.

    I quite agree.

    I still have "trouble" spending money on "digital things." I see $5 for some "loot", and keep thinking to myself, "Is a pixel (or set of pixels) really worth $5?" The answer is inevitably, "No."

    I think this ties into what Utinni said. Money drives the market and as long as games keep making loads of money we will not see a significant change any time soon :)

    Is there any "irony" that "kids" spend their parents/guardians cash so freely?
    Po_ggMendel

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • AsheramAsheram Member EpicPosts: 4,901

    Ungoodcheyane
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,794
    Thanks for the responses!

    I wasnt really thinking about monetisation specifically, though that is a very good point to bring up. I'm of the opinion that when it comes to monetisation, it's purely a value proposition. If the player views the item as worth the price, they'll buy it regardless of the form it's being sold in.

    For example, I've never spent money on a microtransaction. Ever. Its not that I'm necessarily against the business model, its just that I've yet to see an item that was worth the price being asked.

    That value judgement is definitely informed by past experience, so having grown up in a world of upfront box prices has left me feeling like the price of a lootbox or cosmetic item is crzy overpriced. The youth of today have grown up in a different world, so their value judgements are gonna be different to my own.




    However, the gist of the thread was more about designing games with mechanics and themes targetted at adults / older gamers.


    To put the question more succinctly:


    Do you think it is possible to design a game that has the same level of success as Fortnite, but with an average player age of 35+? Has this already happened and I just missed it or forgot about it?





    Thanks for the clarification :)

    Numbers-wise, I think this is a tough sell. One thing that "young people" are, is that they are great "followers", not trend setters (that sentence structure seems odd...). Older people usually are better making decisions, but not always.

    Does Overwatch "kind of" do this, but not the sheer numbers? What about LoL or DOTA to lesser extent? They seem to be more geared towards "older gamers." I could be totally off in this :)
    UngoodtzervoGdemami

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 8,331
    Lord of the Rings would make Gandalf with a walker/wheelchair option instead of staff......
    AlBQuirky
  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 2,245
    edited May 18
    Older gamers (50+) are all child inside . Any rp13 rating is fine.

    tzervoAlBQuirky
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 5,815
    Is there an opportunity to specifically target these gamers?

    I think there is a huge well that could be tapped targeting these gamers, the question becomes, how.

    I personally think it will come from smaller more targeted MMO's not one big catch all MMO. And thus while the well spring of players is there, they would need to be tapped in small pools, in games that thrill some of them.. but the games that target that demographic, not just "Hey, are you an old fart?"

    I think this is something that Bethesda said when they made ESO, Paraphrased: "We are not trying to reinvent the wheel with MMO's with ESO, we are focusing on providing fan service"

    and I think that is what more studio's should do, and that is fan service, find that group of gamers you think you can make the best game for.. and make that best game for them. They will come, get sucked in, spend money, and be your core, that will carry your game. The people that show up and are like "This game needs XYZ", will never be your core.

    and really, MMO's developers need to catch that clue.
    GdemamicheyaneAlBQuirky
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 37,894
    iixviiiix said:
    Older gamers (50+) are all child inside . Any rp13 rating is fine.

    The best thing about getting older is being able to act increasingly juvenile and people just smile and nod at you as if it's to be expected. ;)






    UngoodtzervoMars_OMGTorvalScotiixviiiixCecropiaAlBQuirkySandmanjwTuor7

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member EpicPosts: 1,869
    Do you think it is possible to design a game that has the same level o[f success as Fortnite, but with an average player age of 35+? Has this already happened and I just missed it or forgot about it?

    I don't see that degree of popularity happening for any one game in a group with that degree of age disparity.
    AlBQuirky
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,659
    The "success" all developers are chasing these days is mediated through "influencers" and their followers who are hyperactive on "social media." It's all about Twitch, YT and Twitter. It's all about generating and maintaining buzz.

    Hell you even had Ashes of Creation admit recently that influencer availability on June 1st (TBC Classic's launch) was a reason for their Alpha 1 postponement,

    Whoever the demographic is that streams and follows streamers, that's who is targeted and I don't see that changing any time soon.
    UngoodAlBQuirkyTuor7
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

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  • Mars_OMGMars_OMG Member EpicPosts: 3,490
    no.
    - abandoning social media could possibly save the world.  
    #RestoreTheSnyderVerse 
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member EpicPosts: 1,869
    Iselin said:
    The "success" all developers are chasing these days is mediated through "influencers" and their followers who are hyperactive on "social media." It's all about Twitch, YT and Twitter. It's all about generating and maintaining buzz.

    Hell you even had Ashes of Creation admit recently that influencer availability on June 1st (TBC Classic's launch) was a reason for their Alpha 1 postponement,

    Whoever the demographic is that streams and follows streamers, that's who is targeted and I don't see that changing any time soon.

    I don't think that is universally true, especially when it comes to games meant to appeal to older players who would not so easily influenced by social media personalities.
    KyleranUngoodAlBQuirky
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,659
    edited May 18
    Iselin said:
    The "success" all developers are chasing these days is mediated through "influencers" and their followers who are hyperactive on "social media." It's all about Twitch, YT and Twitter. It's all about generating and maintaining buzz.

    Hell you even had Ashes of Creation admit recently that influencer availability on June 1st (TBC Classic's launch) was a reason for their Alpha 1 postponement,

    Whoever the demographic is that streams and follows streamers, that's who is targeted and I don't see that changing any time soon.

    I don't think that is universally true, especially when it comes to games meant to appeal to older players who would not so easily influenced by social media personalities.
    I was thinking more specifically about this part - maybe I should have quoted it:


    Do you think it is possible to design a game that has the same level o[f success as Fortnite, but with an average player age of 35+?
    The Fortnite level of success comes from the "influencers" and their followers. Without that these days you have niche levels of success which is still success but not on that level.
    GdemamiUngoodAlBQuirky
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,330
    Iselin said:
    The "success" all developers are chasing these days is mediated through "influencers" and their followers who are hyperactive on "social media." It's all about Twitch, YT and Twitter. It's all about generating and maintaining buzz.

    Hell you even had Ashes of Creation admit recently that influencer availability on June 1st (TBC Classic's launch) was a reason for their Alpha 1 postponement,

    Whoever the demographic is that streams and follows streamers, that's who is targeted and I don't see that changing any time soon.

    I don't think that is universally true, especially when it comes to games meant to appeal to older players who would not so easily influenced by social media personalities.

    Ashes of Creation just postponed their June test period because they think Influencers will be playing other games. AoC is certainly marketed towards a more mature crowd. MMORPGs in general are an older demographic. The under 35 demographic isn't interested in MMORPGs as they are other genres.
    AlBQuirky
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 21,330
    edited May 18
    Do you think it is possible to design a game that has the same level of success as Fortnite, but with an average player age of 35+? Has this already happened and I just missed it or forgot about it?

    Hmm, maybe. It depends on exactly how you're measuring. FIFA and Madden are super popular with older gamers and they're a couple of the biggest franchises in gaming.

    Like @Kyleran said, mobile gaming is huge with older gamers as are social media games. I don't think you're going to see media hype around those games though like game sites covering it.

    Older people don't consume youtube or twitch (or at least not the same way) like younger people. Old people hang out on MMORPG and make posts pining for the old days and being afraid of anything they don't understand or agree with.

    What demographics have more disposable income? Older people and they spend that mostly on mobile.
    KyleranAlBQuirkyTuor7
    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • AkulasAkulas Member RarePosts: 2,771
    Yeah sounds good but all you end up getting is a bunch of older guys killing rats in a starter zone (the old press button and wait days) then interest slowly fades except for the 5-10 people left that don't like "little squeakers saying brah" and drives the newer people away. If there was a way to get a traditional styled game without having that happen then sign me up.
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  • Deathkon1Deathkon1 Member UncommonPosts: 150
    edited May 18
    I'm in my 20's and have yet to find a game that can keep me im anti mandatory pvp and anti monthly fee and gatcha crate along with moba games and mobile games I killed 90% of the current gaming market on those points alone I havent found anything past a grind fest or people who are clowns running it game wise I'm playing the waiting game

    Also I hate battle royal games kill a team and then win and do it again? why the hell what is the appeal
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