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.
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?