Seasonality of Gaming

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Gaming Seasonality

US gaming industry is extremely seasonal and has its selling peaks in November and December each year, with the logical increase in revenues during the said months. However, it could not be possible to determine if users and support tickets are also seasonal.

SEASONALITY

  • Video game industry is extremely seasonal since sales increase during Thanksgiving weekend in which video game consoles are sold out.
  • Video game sales spike in the holiday season which begins at the end of October.
  • Peaks in sales usually occur during November and December because of Christmas gifts, when monthly sales increase more than three times as high as they are during the rest of the year.
  • Video games can produce a psychological disorder called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This is so because the act of playing video games is isolating, players do not make connections with others, and this can lead to depression.

REVENUES

  • In March 2019, the hardware sales in the United States were of approximately US$282 million.
  • US video game industry revenues grew by 18% in 2018. That year, the video game US market was valued at an estimated US$19.08 billion, and it is believed that it will be worth US$20.3 billion by the end of 2020.
  • We have attached copies of the graph and they can be accessed here.
The following revenues are estimated in billions US dollars for each month from Jan 2018 to March 2019:

2018
  • January $1.1 billion
  • February $1.01 billion
  • March $1.32 billion
  • April $0.82 billion
  • May $0.69 billion
  • June $1.1 billion
  • July $0.75 billion
  • August $0.80 billion
  • September $1.38 billion
  • October $1.55 billion
  • November $2.69 billion
  • December $3.42 billion
2019
  • January $0.89 billion
  • February $1.05 billion
  • March $1.2 billion

ACTIVE USERS

  • A recent study has shown that active users are about 67% of Americans who play video games mostly on their mobile phones.
  • This study from the website Variety also found that gaming approximately takes up about 16% of U.S. players’ weekly leisure time, which makes a total average of 12 hours per week.
  • In 2018, gamers accounted for 66% of the general US population, from which we can infer that the number of active users increases every year.
  • Users seem not to be seasonal since they play games at a more or less constant rate. However, we can estimate who is the most likely to play games by gender, race, age, and level of education as stated in the graphic presented by Pew Research Center.

SUPPORT TICKETS

  • Gaming players do not have the bandwidth or resources to provide constant player support which encourages them to seek for peer-to-peer support in community forums.
  • Listening to players' voice would be the way to keep the gamers in the game, so a few gaming companies have come up with some creative ways to answer customers' questions.
> Rovio: provides support from within the game itself which caused an uptick in tickets over issues that may have been otherwise unaddressed.
> Nexon: creates banners notification to reach players instantly.
> Riot Games: invested in self-service and ticket deflection to improve players' experience. Its help center is able to load articles within milliseconds and it also uses artificial intelligence to identify and answers common requests like account recovery for lost passwords or hacked accounts.

Research Strategy:

For the user seasonality, we were not able to find whether users were seasonal but we found relevant information about the users such as their habits and the time they spend gaming. The research team's first strategy was to look for data in Statista because we thought that it would provide statistics in relation to the target data, but we found that such information was only available to premium subscriptions. Our second strategy was to look for information in research websites but unfortunately, it only provides information segmented by age, race, level of education, and gender, but nothing was stated concerning seasonality. Our third strategy was to look for users' seasonality in gaming magazines with millions of followers. However, we only found information about users' habits such as the time they spend gaming.

For the support tickets' seasonality, we aimed to determine whether support tickets were seasonal but such information was not available. Our strategy was to look for information on relevant and credible websites that provide information to agents, admins, and gaming customers. But we only found some interesting data regarding the improvements the main gaming companies have implemented to give the players a better experience. Secondly, we looked for the information in relevant research websites because we thought a website that offers information about users could also address their main problems and the customers' support they receive. However, we only found information related to users' sociodemographic characteristics. Our third strategy was to look for support tickets' seasonality in gaming magazines because we thought that a website with customers' experience would provide us with the information required, but we only found data concerning customer behavior.

In the absence of the specific information for the user seasonality and support tickets, we pulled together other relevant and helpful data and information and presented them in the respective sections above.

Sources
Sources