The Importance of Knowing Your Game’s Target Audience

April 10, 2023
April 4, 2023

You have a killer idea for a game and you are super-excited to play the finished product. However, when you run the idea by your publishing company, it is not as enthusiastic. Your publisher thinks that while people like you may be just as excited to play your game as you are to make it, there may not be enough people like you to make the game profitable.

How do you convince the publisher that a market for your game exists? Start by identifying who your game’s target audience is and then tweak your ideas to ensure the finished game appeals to and can capitalize on that audience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your game’s target audience is the group of people who are most likely to want to play your game.
  • Identifying your game’s target audience is a critical step that informs all of your decision-making throughout the life of your game.
  • The target audience for your game impacts nearly every aspect of your game’s development, marketing, monetization, and player retention strategies.
  • There are multiple strategies you can employ to identify your game’s target audience. Most developers employ more than one strategy.
  • Sonamine can help you identify your target audience and develop engagement, monetization, and retention strategies based on that information.

What Is Your Game’s Target Audience?

Your target audience is the types of people who are most likely to want to play your game. Most developers define their target audience by common characteristics, such as demographic information, interests, and habits. For example, if your game is a traditional RPG, your target audience may be males aged 30-40 who watch anime and value games with long, complex stories.

Why Is Your Game’s Target Audience Important?

It is easy for developers to fall in love with an idea for a game and to develop that game based on their personal interests and preferences. However, if those interests and preferences do not align with a large enough audience, the game is unlikely to be financially successful. Therefore, before you invest any resources into developing a game, it is important to identify who the likely players will be.

The target audience for your game will guide your development decisions and your marketing strategy. It impacts meta-decisions, such as the genre and overall difficulty of your game, and more granular decisions, such as the specific game mechanics that your target audience finds most engaging.

Knowing your audience also helps you decide the best way to invest your marketing resources. For example, if most of your target audience frequently uses TikTok but rarely uses Facebook, you probably want to focus on advertising on the former and avoid potential wasteful spending on Facebook.

The data you gather about your game’s target audience will also inform your decisions about your engagement, retention, and monetization strategies. To identify what will make your game engaging for your audience, it is critical to understand what makes your audience tick.

The more engaging your game is, the easier it will be to retain players. Additionally, the characteristics of your audience will drive which monetization methods you choose based on what is most likely to result in increased revenue and which monetization methods may drive your audience away from your game.

How Does Your Game’s Target Audience Impact Your Game?

The target audience for your game impacts nearly every aspect of development. Your players’ preferences affect which platforms you release the game on, the genre of your game, the types of visuals you use, your game’s content, how difficult the game will be, the planned session length, and the length of the game. For example, the audience for your classic RPG may prefer old-school or anime-style graphics over the ultra-realistic graphics found in many modern RPGs.

How Can You Identify Your Game’s Target Audience?

There are many strategies you can employ to identify your target audience. These are a few of the options to start with.

Build a Persona

Building a persona involves creating a fictional person who shares the characteristics and interests of your target audience. You can then create scenarios that expose this persona to various marketing strategies and versions of the game and create assumptions about how this person would respond.

Profile of a fictional person who represents the game’s target audience
Profile of a fictional person who represents the game’s target audience
https://www.seosavvy.com/blog/guide-to-building-personas/

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a classic market research technique that examines internal and external factors that are likely to help or harm your ability to reach your objectives.

SWOT stands for:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

This analysis is most useful during the preliminary stages of your decision-making processes.

Graphical representation of a SWOT analysis
https://spilgames.com/5-ways-to-help-define-a-game-audience/

Monetization Strategy

Some developers choose to start with the game’s target audience and then develop a monetization strategy based on that target audience. However, many games already have a monetization strategy in place. If that is the case for you, identifying the players most likely to respond to that strategy should inform your decision-making about other aspects of your game.

Competition Research

Competitors’ games that are similar to the game you plan to make are a good source of data you can use to identify the likely market for your game. To utilize this method, start by identifying the three top competitors for your game.

Next, research the audiences for those games and document their demographic information, interests, and habits. Finally, compare the data from the three competitors and make note of the areas that overlap. Those overlapping areas are the characteristics of your likely target audience.

Distribution Channel

Chances are you already have an idea about where you want to distribute your game. However, if your target audience is not using those channels, your game may struggle to attract players. If this is the case, you must either identify the audience that uses those channels and tailor your game to that audience or consider other distribution channels.

How Can Sonamine Help You With Finding Your Game’s Target Audience?

Sonamine’s monetization, user engagement, and user retention services can help you gather the data you need about your game’s target audience and effectively develop strategies that capitalize on the characteristics, interests, and habits of your players. Our packages include advanced analysis, creative services, hands-on testing, campaign setup, reporting, and ongoing tweaks. Contact us today to get started.

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