Imagine this: you spend most of your day out. School, work, gym, even food to go. Everything is in a rush. You’re on the go all day because that’s what life looks like. During a typical week, can you find time for computer games? Even pandemics didn’t change your routines that much. The computer is now your version of to-go. You spend hours on it – chasing for the “new normality”. When the day finally ends, you collapse on your bed, watch a NETFLIX, or slowly get ready for the next day and finally lie down and fall asleep.
I have just described one of the sample days of today’s young adults, representatives of Generation Z, also known as the “Internet generation” – the first generation that cannot remember the world without access to the Web.
Representatives of Generation Z draw their knowledge of the world mainly from the Internet. The most important for them are relationships (built online). When we want to talk about games, this generation plays them the most. Of course, the second in line is millennials, whose time is currently occupied with building families and careers. Both are generations of gamers who are familiar with digital entertainment.
But wait a minute – something doesn’t add up here. If you don’t have much time in your life, when do you find time to play games? When do you browse the Internet, social media, when do you exchange insights and thoughts? It’s hard to imagine Zoomers turning on their PC or console and indulging in eight or nine hours of gameplay day after day.
If you’ve read my previous article, you know that by the end of 2021, the gaming market will be worth more than $175 billion, nearly double the global movie market. You also understand that PCs account for 19% of this market, while consoles account for 28%. The fastest-growing segment is mobile gaming – smartphones took 45% of the market, with a growth rate of almost +5%. If we also add tablets (7%), it turns out that the mobile gaming market is more than half of the entire business, generating more than $90 billion in revenue. This is thanks to the generations of Zoomers and Millenials. Their gaming hardware is always in their pocket. Without disrupting their day, they play a lot but briefly and with a focus on results. Their passion is esports – to show their capabilities, their “skill.”
Zoomers and millennials are the ones who play skill-based games on mobile devices, generating gigantic profits and, well, having fun while doing it.
A wise man once said: know your … customer. So today, we’re going to focus on defining who the flagships of both generations are.
I’ll start with the description of this group because I’m a millennial myself – I was born in a world without the Internet. I witnessed its beginnings, watched as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram arise. I started playing the first tentative productions for mobile phones, which I downloaded, generating enormous bills for the Internet connection. Imagine how mad my parents were.
I am aware that the millennial generation is… difficult if we want to reach them marketing-wise. Millennials are picky – they don’t like pushiness, they don’t like being pushed around. Regular TV commercials do not appeal to them; in their choices, Millenials are guided by the opinions of other members of their communities, the reach of a given product in social media, the authenticity of the company, and building a relationship with a given creator based on trust and a simple message. The example of Nintendo perfectly illustrates this; the Wii was one of the company’s best-selling products, but its successor, the Wii U, was a failure that Nintendo only fixed by offering gamers the Switch. What happened?
In an interview with the president of Nintendo America, Reggie Fils said:
What we've been able to do with the Nintendo Switch is a number of very important things. First, we've been incredibly clear with the positioning of the product. Why should you purchase this device? Well, it's because you can play this great content, anywhere, anytime with anyone. Tell me what the Wii U proposition was in 10 words or less. We weren't as incredibly clear.
Transparent information – nothing more, nothing less. That’s what sold the Switch among Millenials.
Another characteristic of millennials is that they can no longer imagine life without a phone or access to a computer. They are eager to check out new technologies. 83% of the entire generation are gamers, of which almost 80% play at least once a week. According to the ESA study, in 2019, men in this generation are most likely to play shooters, sports games, action games, and… online casino games. On the other hand, women are most likely to choose puzzle games, racing games, party games, and casino games. Most millennials preferred to use their smartphones for gaming.
Interestingly, we found that millennials also like slot games where they can win money – so they combine this pastime with online gaming if they have the opportunity. Trendy are such games as blackjack, poker, and roulette. Dice is also making a comeback, which shows the potential of skill-based games in this generation. It’s relatively easy, quick entertainment literally at your fingertips.
The Zoomer generation are people born between the mid-1990s and the early years of the 21st century. The first “digital” generation, raised with a smartphone in hand and widespread access to the Internet. Representatives of generation Z play games not only for entertainment and relaxation but also to interact with other players and confront their results.
In generation Z, the difference between men and women is slowly disappearing. In 2019, already 40% of Generation Z players were women. In countries like Thailand and Singapore, the numbers are even for women and men.
It’s generation Z that has taken esports to a new level – today, many members of this generation actively want to watch esports competitions and try their hand at it themselves. 97% of Zoomers own a smartphone and spend an average of 1 to 2 hours a day playing games – multiplayer games are the most popular, but they are more focused on competition (like Battle Royale) than cooperation (players of this generation are reluctant to play MMORPGs or strategy games). The favorite gaming platform is the smartphone – so one can say that skill-based games are even created for this generation.
Both generations, Millenials, and Zoomers, are incredibly close in their understanding of each other and similar habits – especially when it comes to their shared passion for electronic gaming. Their world is increasingly speeding up, forcing them into short, intense gaming sessions, and they, in turn, are changing the world – as rumor is growing that we’ll soon see esports players competing in the Olympics. If there’s a good time to invest in skill-based games, games tailored to the tastes of these two generations – it’s now.
About the Author:
Michał Stonawski (born 1991 in Kraków, Poland) – writer, publicist, game designer.
Originator and co-author of the anthology “Map of Shadows”, author of the ebook collection of short stories “Strange Days” (published by Ebookowo 2018). In July 2020, he debuted his first full-fledged paperback book; “Paranormal: True Stories of Hauntings” (published by Znak), which gained bestseller status.
Proudly working with RealityUnit as a game designer.