Gaming Down Under: How to Reach Australia's Mid-Core to Hardcore Gamers
May 8th, 2024, Lesley Simeon

Gaming Down Under: How to Reach Australia's Mid-Core to Hardcore Gamers

Gaming has come a long way since the days of bulky desktop-lined gaming cafes. We now have brands creating physical gaming hubs  and video games offering blockbuster-making fodder for Hollywood. Even companies that would never have imagined getting into the world of gaming, are now levelling up with their own gaming offerings.

Who are Australia’s gamers?

Using data from YouGov Profiles, which covers demographic, psychographic, attitudinal and behavioural consumer metrics, we identify gamers in Australia, the game genres they play, and who they are as consumers.

Using YouGov Profiles, we can categorize gamers in Australia into four segments, namely, ultra-light gamers, light gamers, medium and heavy gamers. These categories are based on how much time they spend playing video games on consoles or PCs (excluding mobile) in a typical week.

Nearly three in ten Australians (29%) cite their gaming intensity as “medium” and 4% identify as heavy gamers. Just over one in ten Australians (11%) are ultra-light gamers and 9% of Australians say they are light gamers.

In this piece, we look at those who identify as medium or heavy gamers based on how much time they spend playing video games on console/PC in a typical week and will refer to them as mid-core/hardcore gamers.

According to data from YouGov Profiles:

  • Our youngest cohort (18–24-year-olds) account for 11% of mid-core/hardcore gamers.
  • 25-to-34-year-olds make up for 28% of these gamers.
  • 35-to-44-year-olds account for 27% of mid-core/hardcore gamers in Australia, followed by those aged 55 years and above (22%).
  • As for the gender divide, men account for 65% of this group, while women account for 35% of medium to heavy gamers in Australia.

What genres are mid-core/hardcore gamers playing, and what in-game experiences do they like?

Action and adventure games like God of War and Assassin’s Creed attract most of Australia’s mid-core/hardcore gamers, Profiles data shows. Nearly half of all these gamers (47%) say they play games from this genre. Shooter games like Call of Duty and Battlefield take the second spot (32%), followed by driving/fighting/shooting games (30%) like Grand Theft Auto.

A majority (78%) of mid-core/hardcore gamers in Australia agree that they “feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete puzzles in games.” More than half of them (55%) also “prefer playing games where (they) can create (their) own characters and/or story on-game.”

While playing games is also about challenging their minds (75%), Australian medium to heavy gamers have their eye on the rewards - 52% of them agree “they prefer to play games that offer a big reward.”

Moreover, two in five mid-core/hardcore gamers in Australia (40%) agree they “would opt for in-game purchases if they help (them) play better.”

Engaging Australian mid-core to hard-core gamers

We now know who mid-core to hard-core gamers in Australia are and which genres they prefer playing. Now let’s look at advertising attitudes among this group - a crucial insight, given that the gaming space is increasingly being seen as a potent advertising channel.

Do these gamers notice advertising? They do but 66% of them feel bombarded by it.

But there’s hope, this group does notice out of home advertising, ads online, sports events sponsors, to name a few channels.

More than two in five (44%) take note of sponsors of the events they watch (comparatively, a lesser 32% of the general population does as well). More than two in five medium to heavy gamers in Australia (43%) also pay attention to ads at events, making them more likely than the general population to do so (28%).

These gamers are more likely than the general population to say that posters or billboards help them become aware of new products and services (59% vs. 45%).

Mid-core/hardcore gamers in Australia are more likely than the general population (45% vs. 34%) to say that receiving emails from brands or companies can influence their purchase decisions.

But what about reaching this group through advertising? That’s a little tricky. Mid-to-hardcore gamers are more likely than the general Australian population to say they often notice ads on the internet (56% vs. 49%). But they are also more likely than the general population to say they use an ad blocker when online (54% vs. 38%).

To ensure greater visibility for your brand message, if you choose to field a celebrity as the face of your brand, it could get this group’s attention. A third (34%) of these gamers say that celebrity endorsements have an effect on the things they buy, far more than the general population (19%).

These gamers are also significantly more likely than the general population to say that they are more likely to engage with ads on social media than on regular websites (42% vs. 28%).

As for types of brand communication channels that work well among mid-core/hardcore gamers, YouGov data identifies social media, emails and TV commercials as the top channels.

When asked which brand communications have ever directly led them to a purchase, nearly three in ten (29%) cite offers made via social media, followed by branded e-mails (26%).

Roughly one in five (21%) of these gamers cite TV commercials and equal proportions cite direct mail (15%) and online newsletters (15%).

Mid-to-hardcore gamers are a diverse bunch. At least in Australia. They like completing puzzles in their games, are okay with in-game purchases if it boosts their pursuit and they probably also value a reward for it. They feel bombarded by advertisements, but a significant proportion of them also take note of them. Successfully engaging with these gamers might seem tricky but could prove worthwhile for brands trying to build inroads into the gaming space.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Australia is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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