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Cost is claimed to be the most important factor when deciding to purchase a videogame among gamers in Europe, according to the results of Ipsos Mori’s GameTrack survey for Q3 2020.
For the Q3 2020 survey, GamesIndustry.biz submitted a list of ten factors that can influence a gamer’s decision to purchase a game, with respondents in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy asked to decide the importance of each one. In the survey, “gamers” were defined as those who have played games on any format and claimed to have purchased a video game in the past 12 months (aged 11 to 64 in UK, France, Germany, Spain & Italy).
In all but one of the markets surveyed, the most important factor was “the price of the game,” which was rated as important by between 71% and 79% of respondents in each market, and by 77% of respondents across all the surveyed European markets.
The price of the game ranked as the most important factor in all markets except Italy — it was the second most important factor to Italian gamers, and behind “If the games is on offer or discounted” which is still very much tied to the financial cost of gaming.
“If the game is on offer or discounted” was deemed important by between 62% and 76% of respondents in each market, and 67% across the surveyed European markets. It was the second most important factor in every market except for Italy, where it was top.
With the survey overall showing that the key factor in purchasing games is the price of the game itself, this brings more focus on the new generation of consoles and the cost of AAA game releases. Several publishers have already confirmed $70 games for the new PlayStation and Xbox hardware, and the platform holders have broadly supported the need for an increase in the standard price.
This also brings more attention to how game streaming services such as Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now may be more enticing to consumers, which provide a catalogue of games for a monthly cost. Indeed, Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg has argued that its strategy of making all first-party games available on the service from day one makes concerns over a rise in the standard $60 AAA game price irrelevant: “Does the price of a game even matter, if it’s included in your Game Pass subscription?”
This graph shows the proportion of respondents that considered various factors important when it comes to choosing which games to buy — with upfront cost at the root of the two most influential concerns
With the third most important factor, there was a clear consensus: “If the game has good reviews from friends/family” was considered important by between 49% and 63% of respondents in each market, and 58% of respondents across the surveyed European markets.
The fourth most important factor was also related to reviews: “If the game has good reviews by other gamers,” which was deemed important by 54% of respondents across all surveyed markets.
That’s in contrast to the one of the least important factors: “If the game has good reviews from influencers,” which between 24% and 39% of respondents deemed not important, and 32% across all surveyed markets
That difference illustrates a potential gulf in the faith gamers put in the opinions of influencers and those of people they know, and reviews from engaged gamers on platforms like Steam.
The two least important factors in the GameTrack survey related to the kind of extra content on which so many AAA companies now base their plans — post-launch content plans and in-game items.
The ability to “purchase extra downloadable content (DLC)” was deemed less important by between 34% and 51% of respondents, and by 44% across the surveyed European markets, making it the least important factor.
Just behind that was the ability to purchase “in-game extras that allow me to customise the game,” which was deemed less important by between 33% and 46% of respondents in each market, and by 43% across all surveyed markets.”
The survey included four other factors — the “length or duration of gameplay,” the ability to “play the game offline with others,” the ability to “play multiplayer online with others,” and “the storage space” the game requires — but all fell between the two extremes of consumer opinion.
You can find out more information about the GameTrack survey here.