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Consumer Gaming Trends Survey Finds Continued Game Expansion and Faster Download Times Crucial to Retaining Customers

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Limelight Networks, Inc. (“Limelight”) (Nasdaq:LLNW), a global leader in digital content delivery, today announced its first annual Consumer Gaming Trends report, which explores global trends in consumer video gaming and the video game industry. The report identifies several key findings:

  • Physical distribution is still top-of-mind for consumers;
  • Watching videos during game play is increasingly pervasive;
  • Casual games (such as Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds, Minecraft, and Farmville) are becoming a popular category among consumers;
  • Consumers invest in a continuously updated game experience, not just one-time play; and;
  • The second screen (smartphones and tablets) is changing the way consumers play.

The report is based on responses from more than 1,000 global consumers ranging in demographics, gender, and education.

Physical Copies of Games are Still in Demand

Digital downloads make economic sense from the game studio’s perspective since no packaging, shipping, or physical returns are needed. However, even though consumers are increasingly downloading digital copies of games, they are also looking for physical copies at retail stores. The survey’s findings illustrate that a multi-channel strategy is likely to appeal to the broadest set of consumers.

When asked about their digital download experience:

  • Over 53 percent of respondents download at least one title per month to their PC or console and 40 percent download at least one title per month to a mobile device.
  • 48 percent download between two and five titles per month to their PC or console, while 53 percent did the same for mobile.
  • 40 percent indicate that the most frustrating aspect of downloading games is the length of time it takes to download.
  • 53 percent would rather purchase their titles from a retail store.

Increasing Use of Video

Gamers are watching videos of others playing their current title of choice as well as posting videos of them playing, regardless of whether they are hardcore or casual gamers. In order to capitalize on this growing trend, gaming studios will need to more tightly integrate video-capture capabilities within the game platforms and explore how video impacts the overall game experience.

  • Nearly 50 percent of respondents watch videos of other people playing video games they are playing, at least once per month.
  • 25 percent post videos of their own gameplay.
  • Of those respondents who indicate casual games were their favorite genre, 12 percent cite that they were posting videos of their own gameplay to social media sites.

Half of all Gamers Prefer Casual Game Play

The rise of mobile platforms, along with the integration of games and social networks, has enabled casual games to appeal to a much broader audience, as these games can be started and stopped easily due to their lack of complicated story lines or controls. Half of consumers surveyed indicated that casual game play is their favorite type of game, while the rest identified more with hard-core gaming categories (first-person shooter, role-play, MMO, and Real-time Strategy [RTS]).

Continued Game Expansion Strategy Keeps Customers

Regardless of the game genre, once a player is past the point of abandonment, that player becomes committed to their titles, looking for regular updates and new content. Almost 75 percent of respondents want updates at least once a year with almost half wanting updates at least once per month or more. To capitalize on this, game studios need to not only develop ongoing updates for their titles in all genres, but also, continue to provide fast downloads.

Second Screen Contributes to Gaming Experience

Though mobile is a growing platform, the survey found that mobile devices are not just for playing games. Game developers need to consider the second screen as they design their titles, whether it is an application allowing the user to control different elements of the game or synchronizing the gaming experiences between both screens so gamers can play across platforms.

  • Over the past six months 30 percent have played most of their games on smartphones and tablets.
  • More than 35 percent use second screens to access supplemental content while they are playing, including videos of others playing the game or looking for cheats and hints.

“With the high competition facing gaming studios, retaining gamers, regardless of genre-preference, is critical to a studio’s success,” said Nigel Burmeister, vice president of product and solution marketing, Limelight Networks. “We found it particularly interesting that while gamers still enjoy the physical aspects of game shopping and ownership, they are looking for a digital experience that consists of frequent updates, fast downloads, and connectivity to fellow-gamers by way of video and social media. Providing high-performance experiences to gamers should be a number one priority for gaming studios to ensure they capitalize on all revenue opportunities and that their market share is retained.”

For a detailed look at the global trends in consumer video gaming, download the full Consumer Gaming Trends report from Limelight Networks.

Limelight will be hosting a webinar to provide more details on this solution. To register for the webinar, “5 Ways to Deliver a Great Game Experience: Lessons from the Consumer Gaming Trends Report”, please click here.

About Limelight

Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:LLNW) , a global leader in digital content delivery, empowers customers to better engage digital audiences by enabling them to manage and deliver digital content on any device, anywhere in the world. The company’s award winning Limelight OrchestrateTM platform includes an integrated suite of content delivery technology and services that helps organizations deliver exceptional multi-screen experiences, improve brand awareness, drive revenue, and enhance customer relationships – all while reducing costs. For more information, please visit www.limelight.com, read our blog, and be sure to follow us on Twitter(R) at www.twitter.com/llnw.

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