A Conversation With a 13-Year-Old Gamer

I recently had a discussion with my friend’s 13 year old niece about her gaming habits. Sure, this is a sample size of 1, but if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll notice this lines up with a lot of my early predictions.

Some Highlights

  • She doesn’t own a console.
  • Most of her gaming time is spent playing Nexon MMOs. Maple Story is one of her favorites and she has been a player for over 4 years.
  • She has in-depth knowledge of the content and mechanics of Nexon games and keeps up to date on their new titles.
  • She plays mobile games on her iPhone when not playing f2p MMOs.
  • She frequently spends money in Nexon games using pre-paid cards.
  • She thinks paying $60 for a game she doesn’t know she’ll like is “insane.”
  • What This Means Going Forward

    This is the mainstream game industry’s future customer. Nexon has a grip on the youth market but they seem to have a huge gap in-between the tween/young adult customer and the hardcore MMO gamer.

    Despite making investments in mobile and social games, Nexon doesn’t have enough games to keep users in their ecosystem from kid to adult. Nintendo has mastered this, although lately they seem to only make kids games for old people.

    Nexon has an opportunity to be this next generation’s Nintendo. They have an advantage over Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft in that they are not trapped on a particular platform. Console manufacturers can’t effectively address this new mainstream gamer because their content cannot be deployed on the platforms where these new users are.

    One thought on “A Conversation With a 13-Year-Old Gamer

    1. Its not just Nexon. Nexon is only a 500mm/yr company. The F2P MMO market is extremely fragmented. There are dozens of companies will revenues between 10mm and 50mm that no one has heard of. For example, Ankama Games is popular in the French market and does 35mm/yr and no one talks about them.

      As those users age, they will move into F2P MMOs aimed at a more mature audience. Since the revenue in digital is untracked, its difficult to determine exactly how much money is being made and what the growth rate is. I think F2P is a larger market and is growing more quickly than mobile, based upon the data I have seen. However it is a market that does not receive much media attention.

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