Table of Contents The Story ............................................................................... 1 Basic Gameplay—Key Directions & Methodology ................ 3 Outgrowing the Cliché—The Modern Affluent Gamer ..........

5 Connecting to Others—Gamers are Active, Social and Influential ............................................................... 10 The New Media Paradigm—Gamers Thrive on Diverse Set of Media ................................................................. 16 The Goal for Advertisers—Reaching the New Power Consumer ..................................................................... 18 Cast of Characters—The Diversity of Modern Gaming ....... 21 Helpful Hints—Implications & Recommendations .............. 33 Appendix—How IGN Can Help ........................................... 34

The Story
“Gamers are not who you think they are.” This message has been repeated many times, and while it is certainly true, recent revelations about gamers have focused primarily on their broadening demographics, or gameplay behaviors and preferences. All this information is exceedingly useful to game developers, to be sure. However, as we increasingly recognize that gamers are not simply the tired cliché of the young single male, we risk missing a much more ground-shifting, game-changing reality. The whole truth about gamers is that they are more active, more social, more influential, and more affluent than non-gamers, while also representing the majority of consumers (59% of the U.S. online population). Gaming is now a mainstream consumer activity that brand marketers and advertisers ignore at their peril—particularly given the ongoing media fragmentation and consumer filtering of brand touch points. Clearly, the gaming industry can no longer be ignored or treated as tangential —Grand Theft Auto 4 generated $310 MM in its first day, shattering previous records and exceeding blockbuster entertainment properties like Dark Knight, Spiderman 3, and the final Harry Potter installment. The time has well come to embrace gaming as a highly engaging, attention-compelling, revenue-generating vehicle for delivering brand-building impressions and fostering brand affinity. This report leverages both broad-scale quantitative and deep-dive qualitative research, and focuses equally on gaming and non-gaming lifestyle attitudes and behaviors. As a result, these insights provide a more holistic view of the mainstreaming gamer market. We invite you to walk with us through the exciting, and still very much evolving, story of how gaming is taking its place as a powerful communications and bonding channel. Buckle up, because there is plenty of hard data ahead —softened by visuals that help to bring those data points to life! Are you game?
New Media Savvy (traditional media less effective with this audience; video games are key advertising medium)

“Sweet Spot” Consumer for Advertisers/Marketers: Potential Audience of 100MM+

Highly Affluent (higher HHI and more educated vs. mainstream)

Trend Setters (very social/networked; influential with peers being acknowledged as trendy is important)

16% 17%

19% 20%

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Basic Gameplay—Key Directions

1. Outgrowing the Cliché—The Modern Affluent Gamer
Gamers now outnumber non-gamers in the U.S., representing approximately 144 million of the 244 million online consumers. No longer for children alone, the head of household is often joining the game as well. As a result, game players represent an extremely lucrative audience to target based on their high purchase power, their extensive media consumption and technology usage, and the overall breadth and depth of their entertainment filled activities.

5. Cast of Characters—The Diversity of Modern Gaming
Even though videogames are for anyone and everyone, gamers are not all the same, due to the shifting landscapes in the videogame industry. Overall, five very lucrative segments were identified: • The Family 3.0 segment focuses on playing games with their families as a part of their overall family focused lifestyle. • The Social Troopers are generally younger and exceedingly social, both in- and outside the gaming world. • Traditional Core members may personify the cliché of the single male gamer, but they are also massive consumers of media and have relatively high incomes. • Weekend Warriors play games simply as an outlet and to pass the time. • Online Puzzlers are generally older women who enjoy playing free online games on their PC to relax, relieve stress, and provide mental stimulation.

2. Connecting to Others—Gamers are Active, Social, and Influential
Gamers are very social people who want to make the most of all of their time and spend it on a wide array of activities. Furthermore, gamers are opinion leaders and influencers, passing on their preferences and knowledge to non-gamers as well. In addition, they choose to remain connected with others when they are playing games as a way to bring their “real life” into the gaming world. Ultimately, three out of four gamers spend at least some of their time playing with others. The rapid increase of family-oriented gaming has led to a new “family game night,” often taking a spot once reserved for board games and TV.

Basic Gameplay—Methodology
This study was conducted in two phases, a quantitative overview of gaming households among the U.S. online population, and a follow-up qualitative deep dive among the key segments in the gaming market. The quantitative research was conducted in June 2008 by Ipsos MediaCT, the technology, media and entertainment division of Ipsos, the third largest survey-based market research company globally. Approximately 3,000 respondents completed the 25-minute online survey among an online representative population of 12- to 54-year-olds (small weights were applied to ensure it was representative). All respondents were then qualified based on whether they owned a modern gaming console, handheld system, or a PC/Mac that is used to play games. While everyone included in this research is in a gaming household, respondents were then divided into heavy and medium gamers who play two hours or more per week, and light and non-gamers who play less than two hours per week. The medium and heavy gamer audience was further grouped into six key segments based on a K-means multivariate segmentation. Follow-up qualitative research was conducted by Ipsos Understanding UnLtd. in August 2008 among three of the key segments. Three focus groups were carried out in Los Angeles, immediately followed by three in-home ethnographies to further assess how videogames are incorporated within the household. These findings were used to help hone and augment the overall findings, particularly through the use of quotes within this book.
Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

3. The New Media Paradigm—Gamers Thrive on Diverse Set of Media
Gamers are massive consumers of all forms of media. Gaming is a new power medium that enhances an integrated media plan by working with, not against, other forms of mass media. Indeed, on average, gamers spend an extra hour per day consuming media, not counting their time spent playing games. Gamers are also altering their traditional media activities (such as watching live TV) by using technology (DVR, online) to choose when to watch their favorite shows.

4. The Goal for Advertisers—Reaching the New Power Consumer
The Internet is an ideal way to reach this essential group of consumers, as the majority of gamers spend 10 or more hours online every week and utilize the full spectrum of what the Internet has to offer (social networking, streaming & downloading, search, research, purchases, instant messaging, etc.). Furthermore, gaming websites are a common online destination used during every step of the research process when purchasing a new game, or when they’d like to enhance their offline gaming experiences with exclusive online gaming content.
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— Outgrowing the Cliche The Modern Affluent Gamer
Gamers Outnumber Non-Gamers in U.S.
Video gaming is no longer a niche activity in the U.S. appealing to only a small group of younger consumers (presumably teenage boys playing video games in their parents’ basements). Rather, gaming has firmly tapped into a richly diverse market that represents a wide swath of mainstream consumers. Today, roughly 71% of all U.S. households with Internet access own either a recent generation gaming console, a handheld gaming system or a computer that is used to play games, and nearly six in ten (59%) online consumers claim to play videogames themselves. Previously held notions about the limits of this medium will continue to shatter going forward, as not only the lifecycle of this medium matures, but the market it appeals to broadens based on its growing appeal with mainstream America. Currently, 11% of console gamers began playing in the last two years, roughly within the same timeframe that the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3 launched, and while the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS were still in their early adoption stages. As we’ll illuminate later within this booklet, not only do today’s gamers represent a massive audience, but they are also an extremely lucrative audience for marketers and advertisers to target based on their higher incomes, their positive attitudes towards technology usage, their extensive media consumption, and the overall breadth and depth of their entertainment filled activities.
Breakout of U.S. Online Population Gaming Households— 71% of Online Consumers
Non-Gaming Households Heavy Gamers: 10+ hours a week playing games

Age No Longer a Factor
As its popularity has soared with consumers, gaming’s fandom is spilling over into multiple generations of users. In fact the average age of gamers is steadily increasing, as proof of the growing influx of older gamers. Yet what is perhaps most surprising is that those who have been playing games for less than two years are actually older than more established gamers, illustrating this medium’s universal appeal given its ability to pull in new gamers both young and old. “We have so much fun and grandma is older, she’s 74, she comes and bowls…We’re doing it together; we’re enjoying the social aspect of it.” Many assume that gamers are getting older because those that started playing back in the 1980s have continued to do so. While many that grew up on Atari, Apple II, and the original Nintendo have not lost their passion for games, it is noteworthy that two out of three new gamers are 25 or older. Clearly this medium is not just for children or even those who do not want to relinquish their childhood.
Age of Gamers (New vs. Established Gamers) Into which of the following age categories do you fall? Base: New Gamers <two years (n=284), Established Gamers two+ years (n=1,979)
Average: 32 years 30 years

20%
45-54 35-44 25-34 18-24

17%

29%
Note: throughout this book, those who spend at least two hours per week playing games (medium and heavy gamers) will be referred to as “gamers.” For comparison, light gamers will often be grouped with non-gamers.

20% 20% 27% The majority of gamers, whether established or new, are over the age of 25
Note: those under 12 or 55 and older were excluded from the study

26%

22% 19% 22%
Established Gamers (<2 years)

12% 7%

26%

Medium Gamers: 2 to 9 hours a week playing games Light Gamers: Less than 2 hours a week playing games Non-Gamers/Supporters

12-17

16% 17%
New Gamers (<2 years)

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— Outgrowing the Cliche The Modern Affluent Gamer
Games are a Key Part of the Household
Gaming is becoming a core part of how the average American household spends its time. To wit, just under half (45%) of gamers are female and, among adults 18 to 54, a majority (54%) are married. Approximately half (48%) have children. This means that the female head of household is often a gamer as well, leading to a breadth and depth of marketing opportunities well outside the realm of what is expected of the cliché gamer. Examining the differences between new gamers and more established gamers brings to light additional insights about this market that shows it maintains its appeal as consumers enter different life stages. In fact, many gamers continue to play video games despite reaching the important milestone of raising a family. Conversely, many parents who have recently begun playing games, have adopted gaming oftentimes as a key way to spend time with their family. “When we got the Wii about a year ago…It made us actually play as a family. My wife and I found that we could do it.” In addition, many parents are actually introducing games to their children. “I like to relax with my games, so does my husband. We just both enjoy that. And, then it’s also reminiscent of growing up. We have an old Atari, which we still play. The kids think it’s hysterical.”
Marital Status of Gamers (New vs. Established Gamers) Household Composition Base: New Adult Gamers <two years (n=236), Established Adult Gamers two+ years (n=1,539) 55% 53% Important milestones such as getting married and having children do not deter established gamers from playing or even prevent new gamers from entering into the fold.
Established Gamer New Gamer Plasma/LCD/ DLP Television

Gaming Households are Heavy Spenders
Modern gaming households encompass an extremely attractive and highly sought after consumer market, given their average household income ($79,000) is considerably higher than the U.S. online average ($54,000). Furthermore, while gamers and non-gamers are about equally likely to own the most mainstream technology, such as regular DVD players, desktop PCs, notebook PCs and digital cameras, gamers are more likely to personally own an MP3 player and high-end home electronics such as an HDTV or Blu-ray player. However, as will be seen in later chapters of this book, it’s not just their spending power that should attract marketers, but also their overall zest for entertainment and leisure activities. Examining their attitudes toward spending habits and lifestyle reveals a propensity to spend a great deal of their time (and money) with family and friends, while at the same time clearly showing a tech-savvy nature that underlies their overall consumer behavior.
Technology Ownership (Gamers vs. Non-Gamers) Please indicate which of the following you personally own. Base: Adult Gamers (n=1,774), Adults Non-Gamers (n=767)

55%
MP3 Player

46% Gamers are more likely to own an MP3 player or high end home electronics.
Gamers Non-Gamers Blu-ray/HD DVD Player

32% 28%

Married

17% 11%

Have Children

48% 46%

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— Outgrowing the Cliche The Modern Affluent Gamer
A Major Force in the Entertainment Industry
A closer look at entertainment spending uncovers major insights regarding the marketing clout of videogames. This year, Grand Theft Auto 4 generated $310 million in revenue in its first day of release, smashing the Guinness World Record for “Highest Revenue Generated by an Entertainment Product in 24 Hours”. This is more than The Dark Knight, more than Spider-Man 3, more than the final Harry Potter book. Clearly videogames are a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. Obviously, individual gamers are spending more moderate amounts of money within the category—about $230 in the past six months on video game software, accessories and/or hardware. It is also remarkable to note that new gamers are already spending a similar amount of money on the category as compared to their more established counterparts. “My son specifically got a part-time job in the mall to support his gaming habit.” Even those within gaming households that are not personally gaming are supporting the industry. Two-thirds of these non-gamers still purchase games, typically for their children (38%) or their spouses (16%)—spending about $116 on games, accessories or hardware in the past six months.
Videogame Spending Approximately how much money have you spent on video or computer games, gaming accessories, and gaming hardware in the past six months? Base: New Gamers <two years (n=221), Established Gamers two+ years (n=1,776)
Video or Computer Games
$113 $115 $91 $33 $32 $41

— Connecting to Others Gamers are Active, Social and Influential
Gamers are More Social than Non-Gamers
It has already been touched upon that gamers lead very social lives, and reviewing their leisure activities helps to drive this point home. Gamers are more likely to have gone out with their friends, gone to see a movie, played sports, or gone on a date. So it would seem that gaming goes hand-in-hand with many other highly social and engaging leisure activities. Indeed, these are people that want to make the most of all of their time and spend it on a wide array of activities. They may play a lot of games when they are home, but they also choose to get out of the home on a regular basis. A lot of hours may be spent on videogames, but ultimately it is downtime—it is what gamers do while awaiting their next opportunity to do something outside of the home. Quite simply: “I don’t focus my whole day around videogames; I just play them.” However, games are useful for starting new relationships and enhancing existing ones. Gamers also connect in the real world to discuss everything (new products, technology). “…I meet people all around the world; you play with people in Japan, England, Alaska. I also play with my college friends that are away at school.” “I have 88 friends that I’ve met online.”
Social Activities (Gamers vs. Non-Gamers) Which of the following activities have you done in the past 30 days? Base: Gamers (n=2,263), Non-Gamers (n=832)
Went out with friends Went out to the movies Worked out at gym/home Played sports activities Went to beach, park, or zoo 61% 52% 48% 35% 36% 36% 34% 23% 29% 29% 20% 19% 20% 17% 17% 8% 15% 12% Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

Gaming Accessories

New gamers are already spending almost as much as their more established counterparts.

Gamers are much more likely to engage in social activities outside the home.
Gamers Non-Gamers

Total Gamers
$83 $82 $84

Went on vacation Attended sporting event Went on a date Went to a concert or theatre

Established Gamers New Gamers

Gaming Hardware

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— Connecting to Others Gamers are Active, Social and Influential
The Ideal Use of Limited Free Time
What do gamers choose to do if only given a few hours of free time? Would it surprise you to learn they would not choose to play games? While videogames are clearly important to many people, only the most dedicated gamers would choose to play games if they only had a few hours of free time. In fact, gamers are more likely to choose various out-and-about social activities than non-gamers, such as go out with friends, on a date, or to the zoo. Once again, the cliché of the gamer as a recluse simply does not hold true. “You want to have a life outside of videogames. You just don’t want to be in your room all day sitting in front of a TV. You want to get out.”
Most Preferred Activity If you only had a few hours free in any given week and only had time for one activity, what would you do? Base: Heavy gamers (n=1,136), Medium Gamers (n=1,127), Light Gamers (n=315), Non-Gamers (n=517) Only the heaviest gamers would choose video games as their ONE chose activity.
Heavy Gamers (10+hrs/wk) Medium Gamers Light Gamers (2-9 hrs/wk) (<2hrs/wk) Non-Gamers (0hrs/wk)

Gamers are Influential with Their Peers
Gamers are considerably more influential than non-gamers with regard to technology and entertainment content, as they are almost twice as likely to state that others rely on them. They are also more likely to be early adopters, purchasing the newest products even if the price is still high, or even if all the kinks have not been worked out. Based on this thirst for acquiring the newest technology and content, others now rely on them for information regarding current technology and entertainment-related content. In essence, reaching gamers not only attracts this lucrative audience but can also connect with the non-gaming public as well.

Influence (Gamers vs. Non-Gamers) Below is a list of statements, which may or may not be used to describe your attitudes regarding your purchases and lifestyle. Please indicate to what extent each statement describes your attitudes. Top 2 box scores (5 point scale: 1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree) Base: Gamers (n=2,263), Non-Gamers (n=832)

Friends & family rely upon me for current technology Friends & family rely on me for movies, TV, and entertainment news

39% 21% 37% 22% 29% 15% 24% 12% Gamers are much more influential than non-gamers in regards to entertainment and technology.
Gamers Non-Gamers

Go out with friends Read books Surf the internet Play video/computer games Watch cable or network TV Go on a date Go to the beach, park or zoo Work out at gym/home Play sports Watch movies at home Listen to music Shop Go to the movie theater

14% 8% 10% 19% 7% 8% 5% 4% 4% 3% 5% 3% 3%

16% 13% 10% 4% 8% 7% 8% 6% 6% 4% 4% 4% 3%

17% 16% 9% 1% 9% 5% 10% 9% 7% 4% 4% 2% 2%

11% 18% 9% 1% 12% 5% 6% 9% 4% 7% 2% 5% 4%

Will pay for newest technology

Will purchase new tech before kinks are worled out

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— Connecting to Others Gamers are Active, Social and Influential
Games Represent the New Social Scene
Since gamers are extremely social people, it makes perfect sense that they choose to remain connected with others when they are playing games. Three-quarters of gamers spend at least some of the time playing with others, either online or in-person. The ever increasing focus toward online connectivity and social games (Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Wii Sports, Mario Party, etc.) will continue to shift the industry away from the single player. Already, top franchises such as Halo and Call of Duty are typically purchased for their multiplayer offerings, with the short single player campaigns often treated as practice. “I play multiplayer games with other people. So my games never get boring…It’s always different every time.” Even more important than how often they play with others is with whom they choose to play games. Despite online play allowing gamers to quickly pick up and play with anyone, the time spent playing with random strangers is relatively low. Instead, they choose to play with family and friends, as a way to bring their “real life” into the gaming world. They bring games into their everyday interactions as well, spending close to four hours a week discussing games. Traditional media has long been considered a social activity, as people can watch TV, go out to the movies, or go to a concert together. However, these are relatively passive experiences; someone else created the content. Games actively require the gamer to take part and this immersive experience makes the gamer part of the content, thus nurturing a more interactive and social experience than the constraints offered by traditional media.
75% of all Gamers play with others at least part of the time.

A Positive Impact on the Family
Many gaming households indicate that videogames can have a positive impact on the family. Not only do games provide mental stimulation or education, they also provide a fun way to interact with others in the family. In other words, videogames are the new “family game night,” often taking the spot reserved for board games in the past. Videogames also have a key advantage over many traditional board games because they can easily be played for short or long sessions. In fact, two-thirds of gamers spend less than two hours during their average game session, highlighting the ability of games to offer a quick connection with family. “It’s how we interact with each other. How he gets mommy-time or daddy-time is through playing games. His incentive to do good at everything…’are you going to buy me a game if I do good?’” “[The Wii] allowed us to do that kind of getting together thing that we would use a board game to do before.” Not as many gaming households agree that games provide physical activity, but this viewpoint is certainly in transition, as seen in the difference between newer gamers and more established gamers. Recent demand for music games and the Wii’s motion-based fitness and party games are changing the way many people view games.
Positive Role of Videogames in Household What is the role of video or computer games in your household? Please state how much you agree or disagree with the following. Base: Gaming Households (n=3,095) The view of video games as a physical activity is currently growing as New Gamers agree more often than Established Gamers, 40% vs. 28%.
Agree

29% InPerson 55% Online 45% Family 45% Friends 32% Random People 32% When you are playing with others, what percentage of the time do you spend playing with the following people? Base: Play with Others (n=1693) 60% 47% 26% 25% 25% 15%
Provides mental stimulation or education

45% 28%
Fun way to interact with family Provides physical activity

Neutral Disagree

When you play computer and/or videogames, what percentage of your time do you spend playing…? Base: Play with Others (n=1693)
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— The New Media Paradigm Gamers Thrive on Diverse Set of Media
Gamers Manage Their Time to Consume All Forms of Media
It is clear by now that gamers consume a massive amount of entertainment media, particularly via the Internet. However, the question still remains if their gaming time siphons away time that may have been spent on other activities. According to gaming households, most activities, especially social and physical activities, are unaffected by the time spent playing games. In addition, they now spend more time on the Internet and listening to music, giving advertisers the opportunity to bridge themselves via the Internet to this newly valuable gaming audience. Some of the more traditional media activities—reading books and watching TV—appear to be taking the brunt of the increase in time gamers spend playing videogames. Furthermore, many parents claim that games have taken the place of family TV viewing. “It’s probably less TV time, because now we only just watch shows when we know shows are coming on versus sitting in front of the TV and vegging out…we go between TV and playing games and back if we know there’s something on that we need to watch.” However, keep in mind that while gamers claim to be spending less time consuming traditional media, they actually are spending about the same amount of time consuming these media as compared to non-gamers. In addition, this technology and media savvy audience often uses technology to choose when to watch their favorite shows. “We have a DVR. Most of the time we’re not home so we’ll all sit down together and then go to the recording and then all watch it.”
Effect of Playing Videogames on Other Activities As a result of video or computer games being played in your household, are you spending more or less time doing the following activities? Base: Gaming Households (n=3,095)
Spending more time On the internet Listening to music About the same Spending less time Watching TV Reading books Mobile phone games Watching movies at home Going to the movies Reading magazines/newspapers Playing sports Concert/theater Dating Going out with friends Attending sporting events Beach, park or zoo Using a cell phone Going on vacation Shopping Working out

— The Goal for Advertisers Reaching the New Power Consumer
Gamers Utilize the Latest Online Technology and Trends
Perhaps the best way to reach a gaming audience, outside of the actual videogames they enjoy, is on the Internet. The majority of gamers spend 10 or more hours online every week, making the Internet an ideal medium to reach these affluent consumers. While nongamers are also likely to do many of the more mainstream activities, they are far less likely to watch online videos, download videos and music, use social networking sites, send and receive IM, and blog. Ultimately, gamers utilize the full spectrum of what the Internet has to offer.
Online Activities (Gamers vs. Non-Gamers) Which of the following Internet activities have you done during the past week? Base: Gamers (n=2,263), Non-Gamers (n=832)
Emailed Surfed the internet Used search engine Read the news Online banking or bill pay Watched video online Instant messaged Shopped online Used social networking site Researched products or services Downloaded music Shared digital photos Read or posted to a blog
17% 26% 16% 25% 23% 24% 25% 49% 57% 44% 43% 38% 37% 39% 36% 36% 38% 56% 75% 72% 69% 66% 66% 83%

29% 25%

Gamers are much more likely to engage in social activities online, as well as visit video and music sites.
Gamers Non-Gamers

Downloaded video Listened to music online

7%

15%

12% 8%

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— The Goal for Advertisers Reaching the New Power Consumer
Gaming Websites Play a Key Role
Where is the best place to target the affluent gaming households? While they are found across the same media channels as non-gamers, the highest concentration of gamers will be found visiting gaming websites. When purchasing games, there are a variety of sources that can be leveraged. A third of game purchasers state that gaming websites are a useful source of information when gathering information about what to purchase. No other media source is cited as more important, while only friends & family and game demos are more influential on the overall purchase. Of course, various information sources are used at different points in the consumer’s purchase process. As would be expected, advertisements play a key role in initiating the process, but gaming websites (as well as gaming magazines and TV shows) are used to gather more information and narrow down options. In fact, gaming websites are more closely aligned with all four key steps in the process than any other media source.
Decision Making Process for Buying Videogames At what point in your typical purchase decision do you use the following information sources when buying video/computer game software or hardware? Base: Purchasers of Games, Accessories and/or Hardware (n=2,514)
First began shopping Narrowing down options Deciding where to buy Making final purchase decision

A New Opportunity to Reach Influencers on a Larger Scale
Gamers, as well as non-gamers who reside in gaming households, visit a large array of stores to purchase games. While game-centric GameStop is one of the top destinations, it is important to note how many visit the large discount retailers and electronic superstores to find videogames. Given the overall high propensity to shop and purchase technology among gaming households, games (along with other relatively low priced items such as CDs and DVDs) are a key way to attract these lucrative customers and attempt to up-sell to higher ticket items, such as high end technology. Online is also a common avenue for purchasing games, particularly on Amazon. com and eBay.com.
Retail Outlets Used to Purchase Videogames What retail outlets do you typically visit (online or in-person) when shopping for video or computer games? Base: Gamers (n=1,997), Non-Gamers (n=517) Discount retailers and electronics superstores attract everyone in the gaming household, regardless of how much they pay.
Gamers Non-Gamers

Wal-mart Best Buy GameStop/EB Games Traget

62% 54% 54% 41% 28% 28% 24% 21% 17% 14%

60% 48% 40% 42% 23% 19% 15% 19% 9% 10%

Information sources used

Friends/family TV ads Game demos Gaming website Gaming magazines Publisher’s website Online trailers Magazine ads Online ads

Friends/family Game demos Gaming website Gaming magazines Retail clerks Publisher’s website Online trailers

Friends/family Retail clerks Gaming website Game demos TV ads

Circuit City
Friends/family Game demos Retail clerks Gaming website

Amazon.com Ebay.com Toys R Us Blockbuster Kmart

While friends & family and game demos are the most important information sources overall, gaming websites are the only other top mention for all key steps in the decision making process.
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Cast of Characters— The Diversity of Modern Gaming

Overview of Characters (Segments)
As discussed throughout this booklet, videogames are enjoyed by just about anyone and everyone. However, their widespread appeal and the continually shifting nature of the medium have created an increasingly diverse consumer landscape, including a new set of unique characters within the market. Each of these various characters has very distinct feelings and behaviors regarding games in general, as well as enjoys an inimitable array of entertainment activities and lifestyle choices. While it is sometimes challenging to separate a heterogeneous mix of consumers into distinctive groups, we found five key characters (or segments as they are commonly called) that emerged, with the first three characters being of particular interest to the gaming industry and advertisers in general:
Key Takeaway
Family 3.0 Expanding the definition of what gaming means, with a focus on playing party, fitness, casual and puzzle games with their families. They are highly influential with their peers and have a family focused lifestyle Generally younger males that spend a lot of time playing games with others, talking about games, and visiting gaming websites. They are exceedingly social, but not interested in playing with their parents Personifies the cliché of gamers as single males who spend the majority of their free time playing games and are the most likely to visit gaming websites. They are highly influential with their peers are often early adopters They play games simply as an outlet and to pass the time, but are likely to prefer watching TV or reading books instead Generally older women who enjoy playing casual online & puzzle games on their PCs to relax, relieve stress and provide mental stimulation Size of Segment 23% Status of Segment Emerging, Growing & Evolving

Family 3.0—23% of Gamers
The Value to Advertisers: They represent the rapidly expanding audience of family gamers who are spending a lot of money, whether gaming related or not. They have high incomes and use their disposable income to shop for others, make technology purchases, and go on vacations.
Gaming Behaviors -Very high ownership for Nintendo, with higher than average ownership for PS2 (more “casual” systems) -Spend less time playing games (10 hours) -Most likely to play party & fitness games on their consoles and online & puzzle games on their PC Mac -Spend almost a third of their time playing games with others in-person (usually children and spouses) -Often began playing more recently due to their family Gaming Attitudes -Play games to: -Spend time with family and friends -Provide exercise -Have fun Demographics -Tend to be female (57%), somewhat older (average age 32) and have high incomes - Married with children, employed full-time or stay-at-home Media Activities & Influence -Prefer to spend time with family and go on vacations - Enjoy shopping for others - Very high technology ownership overall - Highly influential regarding technology & entertainment Purchase & Research Process -Recently purchased games, game consoles, and accessories for their family - Spent more this year than in the past - Price, educational value, ESRB ratings, and multi-player ability are important when purchasing - Ideal game website would provide ESRB ratings and online games; however, rarely visit sites

Social Troopers

24%

Growing & Evolving

Traditional Core

21%

Established & Static

Weekend Warriors

23%

Established & Declining

Online Puzzlers

9%

Established & Growing

Opportunity for Advertisers: Stress the importance of family, regardless of the product or service offered (i.e. why the vacation is fun for the whole family; how the technology will enhance the family household; why the movie is appropriate for everyone, etc.). They can easily be found online conducting the more mainstream online activities (emailing, using search, researching products, banking and sharing photographs).

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Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

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Cast of Characters— The Diversity of Modern Gaming

Social Troopers—24% of Gamers
The Value to Advertisers: They are the future of gaming, as well as the economy as a whole. They are extremely social, visit gaming websites, and while they may not make much money at this point, they are likely to spend their disposable income on entertainment and technology devices.

Traditional Core—21% of Gamers
The Value to Advertisers: Despite fitting the and, cliché of gamers, they are dedicated to the medium and are very likely to be found online specifically, at gaming websites. They are also willing to pay more for the latest technology, are heavy influencers, and are major consumers of media in general.

Gaming Behaviors -Higher handheld and PC ownership, with “next gen” console ownership gravitating towards the 360 - Spend a lot of time playing games (17 hours) and more likely to play many different genres of games - Likely to split their time between playing alone, online & in-person (often with friends) - Spend a lot of time communicating about games (6 hours a week) Gaming Attitudes -Play games to: -Have fun -Socialize with friends -Because they are popular -Enjoy the music

Demographics -Tend to be male (65%), teens (42%) or 18 to 24 (28%) -Primarily single students -Ethnically diverse Media Activities & Influence -Spend a lot of time listening to music, going to the movies and playing sports - Prefer to spend time with friends - In to the online social scene (YouTube, IM, MySpace) Purchase & Research Process -Recently purchased games for themselves or friends - Want games that allow multiple players or online capabilities - Friends and family are primary sources of gaming information - High awareness & visitation of gaming websites

Gaming Behaviors -Mix of console, handheld and PC ownership with a wide array of system representation - Spend the most time playing games (21 hours) with a heavier focus on “hardcore” games - Typically play alone, but also online with friends and strangers (less in-person) - Over half have been playing games for over 10 years Gaming Attitudes -Play games to: -Have fun and be challenged -Be by themselves -Enjoy a sense of achievement -Enjoy the graphics and stories -Do things they couldn’t do in real life

Demographics -Tend to be male (65%) and between 18 and 44 (73%) -More likely to be single; employed full-time or student Media Activities & Influence -Spend a great deal of time online & listening to music - Surf the Internet for entertainment - Will pay more to have the newest technology Purchase & Research Process -Purchases games for themselves - Recently purchased games or PC hardware for gaming -The story is most important when buying games - Highly aware of gaming websites & frequently visit - Shops online for games more than other segments

Opportunity for Advertisers: InPerson An active lifestyle and friendship are most important to this group and 55% should be the key talking points when trying to reach them. They can easily be found online at sites that are tapped into the overall social scene (MySpace, YouTube), as well as dedicated gaming websites.

Opportunity for Advertisers: Playing up the technology or entertainment angle is key to attracting them, as they like to have the newest gadgets, even if it costs more or still has kinks. They are very likely to visit gaming websites, making it easy to locate them online.

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Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

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Cast of Characters— The Diversity of Modern Gaming

Weekend Warriors—23% of Gamers
The Value to Advertisers: They play games simply as an outlet and to pass the time; they are likely to watch TV or read books.

Online Puzzlers – 9% of Gamers
The Value to Advertisers: While they are the least involved in gaming, their high incomes and high tendency for shopping makes them a key target for advertisers regarding products and services that are not too technologically advanced.

Gaming Behaviors -Mix of console, handheld and PC ownership -Typically play games alone for about 12 hours a week -Have been playing games for 5 to 20 years -Less likely to talk about games (2 hours a week) Gaming Attitudes -Lower attitudes towards games in general, only really play games to: -Have fun & relax -Provide a challenge & relieve stress

Demographics -Mix of gender, young to middle-age adults -Mix of married and single Media Activities & Influence -Would often prefer to read books and very likely to watch TV (14 hours a week) -Like to go shopping -Heavy Internet usage for mainstream activities (email, search, banking, research, news) Purchase & Research Process -Purchases games for themselves and their children -Price sensitive

Gaming Behaviors -Own a PC or Mac used for games -Spend less time playing games (9 hours) with a heavy emphasis on online casual & puzzle games -Least likely to purchase, rent or receive games -Play by themselves and do not communicate about games Gaming Attitudes -Play games to: -Relax, relieve stress, reduce boredom -Be by themselves -Improve thinking and reasoning skills

Demographics -Tend to be female (65%) and older (47% are 45 to 54) -Usually married but smaller households -Highest average incomes ($81,000) Media Activities & Influence -Most likely to watch TV (17 hours a week) -Very likely to have gone shopping in the last month -Own DVD players, cell phones, PCs and digital cameras, but not higher tech devices Purchase & Research Process -Rarely purchase video games or vaccessories -Price sensitive when shopping for entertainment -Most aware of and visit Yahoo! Games -Their ideal game website would offer online games

Opportunity for Advertisers: They are interested in shopping but their high price sensitivity makes them more likely to respond to sales. They can easily be found online conducting the more mainstream online activities (emailing, using search, researching products, banking and sharing photographs).
InPerson 55%

Opportunity for Advertisers: They are likely to respond to advertising that appeals to an overall leisure and family oriented lifestyle. They can be easily targeted online at sites that offer free online games.

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Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

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Cast of Characters— The Diversity of Modern Gaming

Attitudes toward Playing Games & Overall Lifestyle
The largest differences between the segments are based on their attitudes and habits, both within and without the gaming world. Opposing viewpoints are noticeable between the newer Family 3.0 and Traditional Core segments. The Family 3.0 segment enjoys video games as a key way to spend time interacting with family members or for physical exercise, while outside of gaming they enjoy shopping and taking vacations. In contrast, the Traditional Core segment often plays games alone, getting caught up in the story, challenge, and graphics, but also are heavier consumers of consumer technology overall. The Social Troopers segment uses gaming as social currency and a core way to socialize with their friends, often playing games because it is popular and as a way to pass the time until their next activity outside of the home.
Segment Attitudes towards Videogames & Lifestyle What are the reasons that you currently play video or computer games? Please state how much you agree or disagree with the following. Below is a list of statements, which may or may not be used to describe your attitudes regarding your purchases and lifestyle. Please indicate to what extent each statement describes your attitudes. Base: Family 3.0 (n=517), Social Troopers (n=522), Traditional Core (n=469), Weekend Warriors (n=511), Online Puzzlers (n=207)
Attribute Associations Family 3.0 Social Troopers Traditional Core Weekend Warriors Online Puzzlers

Key Segments are Heavy Influencers
Even though gamers are much more influential and tech savvy than non-gamers, some segments stand out more than others. Gamers who fall into the Traditional Core segment stand out as highly influential among their friends and family and they are also very likely to be early adopters of technology. While only somewhat likely to be early adopters, the Family 3.0 segment is also highly influential. The Social Troopers should also be targeted based on their influence among their peers, as well as their likelihood to purchase new technology.
Influence by Segment Below is a list of statements, which may or may not be used to describe your attitudes regarding your purchases and lifestyle. Please indicate to what extent each statement describes your attitudes. Top 2 box scores (5 point scale: 1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree) Base: Family 3.0 (n=517), Social Troopers (n=522), Traditional Core (n=469), Weekend Warriors (n=511), Online Puzzlers (n=207)
Friends & family rely upon me for current technology

43% 36% 30% 28% 43% 36% 46% 28% 23% 29% 32% 18% 14% 26% 27% 34% 17% 10%
Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

51%

Enjoyment/Release
Game Play Motivations

Challenge/Stimulation Social Interaction Family Time Graphics/Music Story/Fantasy Physical Activity

Leisure Habits

Go Shopping Consume Tech Take Vacations

h n n h i i h h n h

n i h i h n i i n n h MORE

h h n i h h i i h n

n i i i i i i i i i

h h i n i i i n i n i LESS

Friends & family rely on me for movies, TV, and entertainment news

Family 3.0 Social Troopers Traditional Core Weekend Warriors

Will pay for newest technology

40%

Online Puzzlers

Will purchase new tech before kinks are worled out

n AVERAGE

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Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

Associated with Motivation/Habit

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Cast of Characters— The Diversity of Modern Gaming

Media Consumption
As seen with gamers overall, all the segments are massive consumers of media, although differences do present themselves. The Traditional Core and Social Troopers are both massive consumers of media, helping to establish the younger Social Troopers as the new hardcore. Overall, their high media consumption highlights the many possible ways to reach them via an integrated marketing campaign. While the Family 3.0 segment does not spend as much time playing games or listening to music, they still spend a good deal of their weekly time online and watching TV.
Weekly Media Consumption by Segment Approximately how much time do you typically spend each week doing each of the following activities? Base: Family 3.0 (n=517), Social Troopers (n=522), Traditional Core (n=469), Weekend Warriors (n=511), Online Puzzlers (n=207)
65 75 81 66 66 Weekly Hours

Online Activities
The Internet is an ideal way to reach gamers, but they differ greatly in their online patronage based on segment. The Family 3.0 and Weekend Warriors are positioned firmly within the Mainstream Activity bucket: they tend to focus on emailing, online surfing, searching, news, research, banking and sharing photographs. As a result, they can be easily targeted with a marketing campaign centered on search engines and national news sources. On the other end of the spectrum are the Social Troopers, who prefer to spend their online time partaking in more social activities and focusing on music and video websites. This segment can easily be reached via sites such as MySpace and YouTube. The Traditional Core segment is positioned in the middle of the spectrum, since they are involved in a broad range of online activities. The Online Puzzlers are likely to be somewhat involved in the more mainstream activities but their distance from the Social Activities and Music & Video related content reveals their disinterest in those activities.
Online Activities by Segment Which of the following Internet activities have you done during the past week? Base: Family 3.0 (n=517), Social Troopers (n=522), Traditional Core (n=469), Weekend Warriors (n=511), Online Puzzlers (n=207)
Note: This chart spatially illustrates the tendency to conduct online activities among the segments. For instance, Social Troopers are much more likely than the other segments to watch video online and download music.

10 13 14 9 6 5 5 3
Family 3.0

17

21 12 16 13 12 6 5 5 3
Traditional Core

9 15
Playing games

14 13 13 7 4 5 2
Social Troopers

13 14 10 6 4 4 2
Weekend Warriors

Talked over a VOIP netowrk Mainstream Activities Researched products Shopped online

Explored virtual worlds

Downloaded a podcast Played MMORPG
TRADITIONAL CORE

17 9 6 4 3 3
Online Puzzlers

On the internet Watching TV Listening to music Using a cell phone Reading books Watching movies at home Reading magazines / newspapers

Uploaded video content

ONLINE PUZZLERS

Read news Downloaded video Music and Video Gambled online Webcam Listened to music on sites WEEKEND WARRIORS IM Blogging Shared photographs Downloaded music FAMILY 3.0 Surfed internet Watched video on sites Email Social networking SOCIAL TROOPERS Used search engines Social Activities

Played online casual games

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Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

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Cast of Characters— The Diversity of Modern Gaming

Website Preferences among the Segments
What is the “ideal website?” Well, it depends on the person. As would be expected, the Online Puzzlers solely care about playing free online games, while the Traditional Core state that they need online discussions and full walkthroughs for the games they play. It is worth noting that the Family 3.0, Social Troopers, and Weekend Warriors segments desire the same elements from their ideal gaming website, namely: news, reviews, previews, hints, videos, ESRB ratings, and top 10 lists. As a result, gaming websites such as IGN that cater to all these needs can attract a wide array of potential visitors.
“Ideal Website” Needs by Segment Thinking about your ideal video and computer gaming website, which of the following features would it offer? Base: Family 3.0 (n=485), Social Troopers (n=449), Traditional Core (n=445), Weekend Warriors (n=442), Online Puzzlers (n=143)
Blogs Advertisements

Purchase Power
Overall, gaming households have significantly higher incomes than non-gaming households, but there are some important differences between the segments based on their overall purchase power and how much they allocate towards games. The Family 3.0 segment is ideally positioned towards advertisers based on its overall purchase power and the amount its members spend on games, related accessories, and hardware. In addition, the depth of their interests and their ability to influence others (both their peers and their children) clearly establishes the Family 3.0 segment as a prime target, regardless of the type of product or service offered. Traditional Core gamers have very high incomes but are less likely to shop for others, limiting their purchase power somewhat. However, Traditional Core gamers spend a lot of money on games and technology in general. The Social Troopers may not have much money at this point in their lives, but they are very influential and the money that they do have, they spend on games and other entertainment products and services.
Purchase Power vs. Videogame Spending (by Segment) Approximately how much money have you spent on video or computer games, gaming accessories, and gaming hardware in the past 6 months? Purchase power is defined as a combination of income, likelihood to shop, household technology purchases and tendency to go on vacation.
High Family 3.0

Mainstream Offerings
Previews of upcoming games ESRB Ratings Interviews Top 10 lists

FAMILY 3.0
Reviews

SOCIAL Troopers WEEKEND WARRIORS
News Hints and cheats Maps Release dates for upcoming games Full walkthroughs

23%
Online Puzzlers Overall Purchase power

Traditional Core

Videos of games being played Play online games

Screeenshots of games

21%

TRADITIONAL CORE
Online forums/discussions

9%
Weekend Warriors

ONLINE PUZZLERS

23%
Low Low Allocated towards Games

Social Troopers

24%
“Hardcore” Offerings
Ability to be sent frequent email updates

High

Note: This chart spatially illustrates the relative interest in website offerings among the segments. For instance, ESRB ratings are much more important for the Family 3.0 and Social Troopers than the other segments.

Note: The spacing and positioning of segments on this scale are approximated for visual purposes only. This scale is not based on statistical measurements.

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Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

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Helpful Hints

— Appendix How IGN Can Help
IGN—The Ideal Website
Not only are gaming websites a great place to target the gaming household, IGN in particular fits the description of the ideal website—this according to gamers themselves! With the exception of playing browser-based online games, gamers are visiting IGN for the exact same features and benefits they say are most important when describing the ideal gaming website. The recent launch of IGN’s new mainstream site will further help establish IGN as a leading destination for gamers online, truly allowing IGN to be an ideal place for advertisers to reach this rapidly expanding, affluent and influential audience.

Implications & Recommendations
Videogames can no longer be ignored. Now is the time to conquer this medium which has already been embraced by the majority of the U.S. population. While the industry is still evolving at a rapid pace, several key points are already evident: Anyone and Everyone Can Be a Gamer The cliché of the young, single, male, basement-dwelling gamer is a long outdated perception. Today’s gamers are almost as likely to be female as male, are often married with children, and are certainly not basement dwellers, as evidenced by their high incomes and rich social lives. The ever increasing focus on accessibility to those outside of the “hardcore” will continue to push the medium until it is as widely accepted as movies, music, and reading. Games are an Essential Part of an Integrated Media Plan Not only do videogames have the ability to out-gross the biggest summer blockbusters and cultural phenomena, they also fit neatly into an overall integrated media plan. Gamers are massive consumers of all forms of media, whether traditional or online. Indeed, the heaviest gamers actually spend more time soaking up key advertising outlets, such as television and the Internet. Furthermore, the tendency for gamers to influence others regarding technology, purchases, and entertainment content means that reaching out to gamers, in effect, means reaching non-gamers as well. Games are an Enhancement of Real Life Despite the ever increasing storylines and graphical capabilities inherent in today’s games, modern gamers often view games as an enhancement of their real lives, not an escape from it. Most gamers are exceedingly social, choosing to spend a large portion of their free time with their friends and family, often outside of the home. Their social natures do not end as soon as they turn on their console. Instead they invite their friends and family to play, whether online or in-person, often leading to video and computer games being the center of the party and also redefining the meaning of “family game night.” Gamers Can be Easily Targeted Online The Internet is an ideal medium to reach gamers as most spend more than 10 hours per week online. Gamers can be found on a wide spectrum of sites, from email services to news, from social networking to video streaming & downloading. In addition, gaming websites are the prefect place to reach these affluent consumers.
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Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

Comparison of IGN to the “Ideal Website” Thinking about your ideal video and computer gaming website, which of the following features would it offer? Base: Purchasers of Games, Accessories and/or Hardware (n=2,514) What are the primary reasons that you visit IGN? Base: Visited IGN in the past 30 days (n=266)
Other Strengths Key Strengths
Reviews of games Previews of upcoming games Hints and cheats

News regarding games

Screeenshots of games Full walkthroughs

Use of IGN

Release dates for upcoming games Top 10 lists Online forums/discussions Videos of games being played Maps Interview Blogs Advertisements ESRB Ratings Play online games

Send email updates

Other Opportunities

Key Opportunities

Ideal Website Importance
Note: The spacing and positioning of segments on this scale are approximated for visual purposes only. This scale is not based on statistical measurements.

Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

34

Appendix

Household Composition Demographics
While videogames are played by all ages and a close to equal mix of males and females, the heaviest gamers tend to be younger, single, and are often male. However, gamers who typically play two to nine hours a week are just as likely to be female as male, and most are over the age of 25.
Base: Heavy gamers (n=1,136), Medium Gamers (n=1,127), Light Gamers (n=315), Non-Gamers (n=517)
Heavy Gamers (10+hrs/wk) Medium Gamers Light Gamers (2-9 hrs/wk) (<2hrs/wk) Non-Gamers (0hrs/wk)

Demographic differences between the segments are clear: • Family 3.0 members tend to be a little older, married, and have larger households. • Social Troopers are young, single, and usually male. • Traditional Core are male and usually in their 20s or 30s. • Weekend Warriors are a representative mix of gender, age, and marital status. • Online Puzzlers are older, female, and married.
Base: Family 3.0 (n=517), Social Troopers (n=522), Traditional Core (n=469), Weekend Warriors (n=511), Online Puzzlers (n=207)
Family 3.0 Social Troopers Traditional Core Weekend Warriors Online Puzzlers

Gender Male Female Age 12-17 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 Marital Status Single Married Divorced People in Household Average 3.3 3.2 3.1 3.5 57% 36% 6% 43% 50% 6% 28% 66% 4% 23% 70% 6% 26% 22% 21% 17% 14% 17% 16% 24% 23% 20% 8% 10% 26% 31% 25% 8% 11% 20% 28% 34% 61% 39% 50% 50% 47% 53% 28% 72%

Gender Male Female Age 12-17 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 Marital Status Single Married Divorced People in Household Average 3.5 3.3 3.2 3.2 2.8 35% 57% 7% 77% 18% 3% 55% 39% 5% 43% 50% 6% 26% 62% 12% 16% 12% 27% 29% 17% 42% 28% 14% 9% 7% 16% 29% 28% 16% 11% 18% 14% 25% 24% 20% 4% 8% 20% 22% 47% 44% 56% 65% 35% 65% 35% 57% 43% 35% 65%

35

Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

Commissioned by IGN and Ipsos

36

Fox Interactive Media
Project Research Lead: Judit Nagy, Vice President Consumer Insights Public Relations: Dan Berger, Executive Director

IGN
General Manager: Roy Bahat Senior Vice President of Marketing: Brad Ramsey Senior Vice President of Sales: Charles Barrett

Ipsos MediaCT
Project Research Lead: Adam Wright Project Research Manager: Brian Pickens Project Research Associate: Sarah Jenson Project Consultant: Todd Board

Ipsos Understanding Unlimited
Project Research Manager: Kate Danaj Group Moderator: Jerry Larson Project Consultant: Susan Malloy

Research inquiries may be directed to:
Judit Nagy — Fox Interactive Media, Vice President, Consumer Insights — judit.nagy@fox.com

General inquires may be directed to:
Brad Ramsey — IGN Entertainment, Senior Vice President, Marketing — bramsey@ign.com

Copyright ©2008 IGN Entertainment, Inc. Are You Game is licensed to you by IGN under the terms of the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Attribution must be provided to IGN at or near each use of Are You Game. All other rights are reserved by IGN.