In the gaming industry, research is often over-looked by those who are new to subject and sometimes even by members of top companies. It’s vital because it allows the company to gain an insight into the public’s opinion, as well as new thoughts on an existing game or when creating a new one; research is what can cause a game to be success in the long run.
There’s three ways in which people can collect results, otherwise known as data, for their certain hypothesis or ideas.
Primary- Primary research is where you collect the data yourself by doing questionnaires, interviews, and experiments or experience/observe things.
Secondary- This goes by looking at what data other people have collected from their primary research, plus there’s more ways to gain secondary research and habitually it’s classed as one of the easiest ways to gain data. Internet, books, magazines and articles, games, forums, charts, TV, tales and memories (of someone else), posters/ advertisements, shops, power points are all types of secondary research.
Tertiary- Tertiary is the final way of researching types; it’s where you get information from a secondary research like bibliographies, TV, sometimes books and internet other times it can be from discussions with people who’ve taken quotations from what the original person has said to them.
Data is considered to be under two categories known as quantitative or qualitative and is what we gain from either taking part in primary, secondary or tertiary research. Quantitative data is considered to be questions that allow people to make stats and facts from the data collected, these questions are not always numerical and can be yes or no- although this can be considered as qualitative data.
Qualitative questions are mainly physiological with them being more sentences, than quick word answers. At times they do come across more opinionated, biased or based on a point-of-view. The questions are subsequently subjective and can turn into a binary as I’ve explained earlier.
With all the different types and sources of research there has to be a purpose on why we’ve collected it.
Audience research is where people tend to collect information on public’s view of a service or a product. Sometimes it can just be a general audience, other times it can for a specific target audience especially when dealing with games. For someone who’s trying to create a sequel of an amazing hit-seller they tend to gather thoughts on how the first game could’ve been improved or what was liked about it which would tie in with product research. Other times developers will look at what other games have succeeded in or will ask a different target audience their preferences so they could make another game suited for that type of public as well- thus gaining more profits.
Market research focuses on money tendencies meaning when is it more likely for people to buy games during the year, like Christmas, sometimes for Easter or other special occasions that appear on the calendar although this is quite rare. Another thing to look at would be how to price the end product by observing the annual salary in a certain nation and weigh up the cost it’s taken to make that product against the annual wage. At least that way the consumer will be further tempted into buying a new release during the start or end of the month when they’re given their money, or by saving it up to again get that product.
Product research would be mainly used for creating a newer version of existing materials. It works closely with audience research by gaining views on the company’s last products and what should be amended or left the same. For example after Ocarina of Time in Legend of Zelda they wanted to appeal to wider audience, so when creating Wind Waker the company thought cel-shaded version of Link would appeal ‘cuter’ aiming it more at a younger target audience.
If they’re looking to create a new game however, developers would think back to their favourite games why they were enjoyable. Could it be because of the graphics, storyline, gameplay or even the visual style?
In this assignment we are allowed to choose a topic that relates to gaming, mine is going to be on a childhood game known as Spyro The Dragon series. My hypothesis is the Spyro series (excluding Skyladers) are more aimed towards a female audience than a male audience. During my research I will be questioning 10 girls and 10 boys who have played Spyro, asking them to explain their views on the subject and collecting data on which I can conclude an answer from.
I’ve focused on collecting my results through a primary research by doing an online survey through Youtube with a video and asking people on Facebook. Otherwise I’ve interviewed people from my family, friends and workmates from the livery yard. I believed that I might be able to get a mixture of answers rather than just sticking with my friends, who might all share the same opinion leading to the results being biased.
With using 10 boys and girls it would start my experiment fairly so that we could get a clear end result, making the hypothesis believable and results easier to conclude as well as being reliable and not biased.With the age groups I didn’t stick to a particular age as I did the sexes, judging from this graph it would show males have played this game at a younger age compared to the female audience who supposedly starts playing this series in their teens following through to late twenties. However to make this statement more solid I would have to investigate more by asking a certain amount in each age group, thus meaning I would have to ask more people once again changing the number limit on the first question.
Spyro seems to more memorable to a male audience than females, it could be because the game series grew up with the boys more than it did the girls and seems more memorable because as a stigma, more males tend to play games around violence, military and shoot ups. As for girls it could be they've other games that are similar to Spyro- hence why it wouldn’t be so memorable.
One of the reasons that have led ` me to believe more girls would play Spyro is because on Deviant Art, Fanfiction.net and Youtube, I’ve noticed there’s been more tributes, fan fictions and fan arts of this game by the vast majority of this game being female. Questions 6 and 7 are based on this theory.
20% of boys have completed any fan-art, amvs or fan fiction on any of the game’s characters, compared to the girls who’ve achieved 50% in this subject.
3 boys admire pairings within the Spyro series (e.g Spyro x Cynder) which is a 10% rise compared to the last question, yet for the girls they’ve declined in 10% from the last question.
This could be although more girls have participated in ‘fan’-based work they don’t automatically like pairings within the game, instead having favourite ‘single’ characters. Still with the results it does allow us to believe that the main premise i created earlier is correct.
Depending on the end result of the hypothesis, I would want to know why it ended up the way it did and how can the game be improved instead of going the Skylander's route. The biggest hit feature of Spyro was the protagonist being a small purple dragon that people can control in gameplay, all the boys thought this was the best compared to other popular features. On the other hand 60% of females loved the fact of being a dragon as well as the option of flying concluding that Dawn of Dragon is possibly the favourite game among the female audience, yet question five would oppose this theory with 50% of the girls liking the series prequels and the same amount liking its sequels.
80% of females enjoyed the storylines in Spyro games compared to males where 90% of them love the storyline.
By looking at this final graph we can see my hypothesis is incorrect because the unisex option has the most votes. However bt studying this closer we can see more females have chosen the unisex option compared to males who've chosen the female option.
I conclude that in order to receive more profit and a wider target audience if Activision were prepared to create Spyro HD games or a new series that involve Skylanders, they should aim towards more a male target audience. This could be achieved by adding more realistic features to some of the prequel games, creating possibly a darker visual style or adding more shooting features. In order gain non baised views on this matter, my next step would be to conclude more research on what a male figure would want to see in the next Spyro game if they were to produce another or a HD.