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Market Research on EA Social Media Games

Market Research on EA Social Media Games

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Published by Varun Chopra
Market Research on EA Social Media Games
Market Research on EA Social Media Games

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Published by: Varun Chopra on Mar 03, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Varun ChopraRuby DinhEniola HollowayDarcey Kurashige-Elliot James PerryMellisa Traft 
  The constantly evolving gaming industry is now drifting towards a new type of platform: social gaming.These kinds of games are played through social media such as Facebook, MSN Live and Yahoo!; the goalis to create a collaborative, interactive gaming experience for the user. Electronic Arts (EA) is a videogame developer that is losing market share; the company has produced a loss in 11 straight quarters, witha 68% drop in stock price. Much of this is because EA jumped into the social gaming industry with littleto no background of successful drivers for these games. Our team wanted to conduct research about thegaming habits and preferences of social media game players; our goal was to provide recommendations toEA of trends to consider in the social game development process. Our sample target demographic was theClark University undergraduate student body. We conducted secondary source and literature research, hosted a focus group, and provided in-classsurveys to two undergraduate classes. When we realized that we would not have enough data to createaccurate conclusions, we decided to create an online survey with no demographic restrictions. We wereable to get 142 responses to our survey; of this, 36.2% (51) respondents said that they played social mediagames. Our conclusions and recommendations are based off of analysis of this group. We found some interesting trends regarding gamer behavior within our data; for instance, the number of new social media gamers is growing, and social gamers tend to have game sessions of 30 minutes or less.We discovered that there are two different types of gamers: casual (less than once a week) and frequent(once a day or more). We also found that some parts of the gaming experience, particularly playingpartners and recommendation preferences, were highly gendered; females preferred to play with friendsand used face-to-face recommendation, while males were more likely to play with strangers or find agame recommendation online. Another key development is the rise of smart phones; as smart phone usebecomes more prominent, social game developers will have to build appropriate mobile game platforms. The most popular games covered a variety of different genres (strategy, simulation, casual, adventure)and were played by people with a variety of motivations. We feel that these motivations (stress-relief,accomplishment, excitement, competitiveness) are the main driving forces for getting players to becomerepeat gamers. If a game can create repeat gamers, there is a higher chance that these kinds of gamers willbe motivated to use and buy virtual currency, which is the main source of revenue behind social gaming.                

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