From competition to community, see what changes in gamer motivations Quantic Foundry found in their COVID-19 study

Did COVID-19 have any impact on why people play video games? Beyond the shared, global anxiety of watching the pandemic unfold, many countries put in place similar shelter-in-place orders in roughly the same timeframe, disrupting work, leisure, and social interactions. Certainly, being kept indoors and having fewer sources of entertainment has boosted spending and engagement with video games, but we wondered if this global event had any impact (even temporarily) on what people want out of video games?

One plausible shift is that gamers may want more social interaction in gaming as face-to-face interactions are reduced. And might the barrage…


And how they can help identify market opportunities and inform the design of your game

One of the most pertinent questions asked by developers when creating a new game is: how do I ensure it’s going to appeal to the audience I’m targeting? Answering this with 100% certainty is near impossible, but a surefire method to reduce uncertainty and help you make informed decisions is using Game Maps (AKA Genre Maps), which show how different game studios have specialized within the genre according to the gamer motivations they’re leveraging. As we shall see, numerous valuable insights can consequently be gleaned from this information.

In this article, we’ll explain how Game Maps can be important tools…


In past articles, we’ve unpacked gamer motivations and various takeaways from our study of 450,000 gamers, but we’ve yet to explain in detail how they can be leveraged in ad creatives. In the context of both rising user acquisition costs and market saturation, standing out from the crowd and ensuring a positive return on investment from your games’ creatives is crucial.

Below, we share examples of how games from various genres, including idle clickers, puzzle, and strategy, can increase IPMs (installs per one thousand impressions) and in turn lower CPIs by targeting the emotions of their target audiences in creatives…


In the context of rising development cycle costs and higher consumer expectations, ensuring you know what makes your target audience tick and the nuances of gamer motivations will help you maximise your return on investment. From the differences between Chinese and North American gamers to the trade-off between certain motivations in game design, here are four surprising findings from Quantic Foundry’s survey of over 450,000 gamers.

1. Chinese gamers are much more competitive than US gamers

In the U.S., we tend to stereotype Asians as being compliant and striving for social harmony. However, data we gathered with Niko Partners, a market research and consulting firm covering the games markets in…


Much focus is placed on gender when designing games, but age is an equally important factor that is often overlooked. In fact, for game developers and marketers, one of the most valuable takeaways from the results of our survey of 400,000 gamers is the impact of age on gamer motivations. Its impact is wide-ranging, and below we present five key findings from our data set to deepen your understanding of what makes older and younger gamers tick.

  1. Older gamers want fantasy and completion

It’s crucial that as a game developer you have a strong understanding of the dynamics of different gamer motivations and the impact of variables such as gender and age. Ultimately, these inform the design and mechanics of your game, and help you reach and broaden your target audience. In this post, we’ll take a look at three key takeaways from our survey data from 400,000 gamers, all of which should be considered when designing your game.

See how you compare with other gamers. Take a 5-minute survey and get your own Gamer Motivation Profile

1. Female gamers are easier to design for


Understanding what motivates gamers is crucial for a game’s success, and can inform important decisions from adding new gameplay features to knowing what messages to convey in ads. This article unpacks the 12 gamer motivations we at Quantic Foundry identified based on data from over 400,000 gamers. We split them up into six pairs according to their correlation to each other: for example, gamers who were strongly motivated by destruction were also strongly motivated by excitement, and so these were grouped together. Each pair was then assigned overall category labels, like Action or Creativity.

See how you compare with other…


At first glance, gaming and VR seem like a natural pairing, especially with their shared emphasis on action-oriented and immersive content. But gamer adoption has been slow and enthusiasm among developers is also waning. In this post, we’ll take a look at some survey data on the gaming motivations behind VR adoption. In a follow-up post, we’ll compare the concerns and frustrations among non-adopters and adopters.

The Gamer Motivation Profile

The Gamer Motivation Profile is a 5-minute survey that allows gamers to get a personalized report of their gaming motivations, and see how they compare with other gamers. Over 400,000 gamers worldwide have taken…


In many of our blog posts, we explore our data through the lens of gaming motivations. This time around, we’re going to focus on another kind of preference — thematic appeal. Or put another way, if the game mechanics are the same, how much does it matter that you’re killing orcs vs. space aliens?

See how you compare with other gamers. Take a 5-minute survey and get your Gamer Motivation Profile.

Data from the Gamer Motivation Profile

Here at Quantic Foundry, in addition to the Gamer Motivation Profile, we also have additional research surveys that gamers can participate in. These surveys tackle a variety of game…


What motivates gamers? How do these motivations correlate to personality traits? What impact do age and gender have? At Quantic Foundry, we combine social science with data science to answer these questions. As you’ll discover, the findings aren’t what you’d expect.

Introducing the research model

Using factor analysis, a technique used in psychology research, we were able to identify how variables of gamer motivations cluster together, and what their underlying structures are. We extracted gamer motivations presented in academic and industry literature, and generated about 50 questions for a survey, such as ‘how much do you enjoy games with elaborate storylines?’, …

Nick Yee

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