Maximum immersion in the game world and the possibility of direct communication with other players – these are the main tasks in industrial design. gaming headphone … Therefore, it is important for the user to carefully approach the choice of high-quality headphones, and for developers to constantly monitor technological innovations and improve their products.
The dynamics of the development of the gaming theme and the need for gaming headphones
The computer and video game industry is a mass market entertainment activity that has a solid foundation in today’s consumer culture. Video games are one of the fastest growing IT markets in the world. Over the past five years, revenue from sales of games in the world has increased by 56%, or by $ 70 billion, reaching a record high of $ 109 billion at the end of 2017. According to forecasts, by 2020 the capitalization of the global video game market will amount to $ 128.5 billion (+ 15.2% to the level of this year).
Microsoft and Sony have combined revenue of over $ 14 billion from their exclusive games and commissions from third-party games.
Global gaming market revenue by device and segment with annual growth rates (2017):
- Mobile segment – $ 46.1 billion, + 19.3% annual growth:
- Tablet games – $ 10.8 billion, + 11.4% annual growth.
- Smartphone games – $ 35.3 billion, + 22.0% annual growth.
- Computer segment – $ 29.4 billion, – 2.6% annual growth:
- Browser games on PC – $ 4.5 billion, -9.3% annual growth;
- Boxed / Downloadable PC Games – $ 24.8B, -1.3% YoY
- Console segment $ 33.5 billion, + 3.6% annual growth.
According to analysts from consulting companies, the current volume of the global market is at the level of $ 104.6 billion, with growth predicted by almost 40% by 2020.
The structure of the global video game market
The largest segment of the global video game market remains entertainment for mobile devices: in 2017, its total volume amounted to $ 46.1 billion (42%).
Game consoles account for 31% or $ 33.5 billion of total sales. Desktop apps take up 27% market ($ 29.3 billion), of which 4% are browser-based online games, and the remaining 23% are downloadable or boxed versions of games.
By 2020, the structure of the global video game market will undergo the following changes. Sales of games for mobile devices will increase by 8% (up to 50%), and share of desktop and console applications , against, shrink by 3% and 5% and will amount to 28 and 22%, respectively.
Global gaming market revenue by region with annual growth rates (2017):
- Europe, Middle East, Africa – $ 26.2 billion, + 8% annual growth
- Latin America – $ 4.4 billion, + 13.9% annual growth
- North America – $ 27 billion, + 4% annual growth
- Asia Pacific – $ 51.2 billion, + 9.2% annual growth:
- China $ 27.5 billion
- US $ 25.1 billion
MMO Games: Trends and Prospects for the Headset Industry
Massively multiplayer online games (MMO) occupy a significant share in the structure of the global video game market today. At the end of 2016, the volume of this segment amounted to $ 19.8 billion, or 60% of the total sales of PC games.
MMO games cover a wide range of genres, including both the famous RPG (role-playing) and FPS (first-person shooters), as well as the relatively recent category of MOBA (strategy with RPG elements), the prominent representatives of which are Dota2 and League of Legends. In 2016, the volume of the F2P market amounted to $ 17.1 billion, of which 65.5% ($ 11.2 billion) fell on the countries of the Asian region.
Based on the data presented, the following conclusions can be drawn:
- Already today gambling market volume surpasses the revenues of the film industry, gradually catching up with the sports market and the revenues of individual companies specializing in the development and sale of video games are in the billions of dollars.
According to analysts, the gaming industry will continue to grow rapidly and steadily in both the short and long term. And this applies as to the growth of company income – market participants and increase the user audience … In terms of investment, it is currently one of the most promising markets in the world.
- The segments will remain one of the most profitable and dynamically growing F2P MMO and mobile games …
Generally the online direction will continue to develop steadily while sales of boxed video games will decline, giving way to online gaming platforms that will become the main players and drivers of the video industry.
- The need for a gaming headset for the next 2-3 years will be proportional to the development of the gaming market. Since we have highlighted the growth trend MMO directions for which the issue of communication of participants with each other is key, then we can say with confidence that the need for a gaming headset in this consumer segment will only increase …
You can order subject visualization of headphones here …
Headphone industrial design trends
Gaming headphones are designed for gaming and esports. Most often they full-size closed type which provides good noise insulation and provides a fully immersive gaming experience. Cups usually made large, covering the ears , but occasionally there are more compact (and inexpensive) overhead models.
Designed for gamers, headsets have a typical frequency response curve with detailed mids and highs and slightly muffled bass so that speech is always transmitted with the highest quality, and the flurry of shots and explosions is felt, but not distracted.
So that gaming headphones can be used outside the home, some models provide the ability to gently press it against the headband so that it remains unnoticed.
Good gaming headphones have soft headband that does not put pressure on the head and does not create a feeling of discomfort.
Top headphone parameters
- Lightweight headset with 90 ° rotating ear cups.
- Directional speakers for accurate sound reproduction.
- Signature memory foam.
- Intuitive controls on the ear cup.
- Noise canceling microphone with rotary mute.
- Cross platform compatibility.
- Additional cable and spare parts.
- Detachable microphone with advanced noise cancellation.
So, the ideal headset for gamers has: light weight, excellent sound quality and ease of use …
The need for gaming headphones
The target audience of a gaming headset are amateur gamers and professionals for whom an important parameter when choosing a headset is high sound characteristics in the gameplay.
Also headsets for gamers should have high-quality microphone for communication in game chat … Microphones for gaming headphones are unidirectional or omnidirectional. The first option is considered more preferable so that the channel does not clog up unnecessary noise and knocking keyboards.
A survey among Internet users shows that the criteria for choosing gaming and everyday headphones differ in the following parameters:
- For both groups of users, the convenience of the device is in the foreground.
- Sound quality is more important for users using a gaming headset.
- Durability comes in 3rd place and is a common parameter.
Although, according to the survey, it becomes obvious that for gambling addicts this parameter is less important than for ordinary users. This means that they purchase a new headset more often … We will also include here “ Warranty duration “. For gamers this figure is slightly below in the assessment than for ordinary users, which again speaks of their higher solvency and the ability to buy new products more often.
The most varied answers are in the “Microphone quality” column. Users who use headphones only for listening to music do not prioritize this parameter. Unlike them, gamers , think that a high-quality microphone is one of the most important parameters gaming headphones.
“Soundproofing” important for both groups of consumption, but for gamers this characteristic is still more significant.
“Price” for ordinary users and gamers also plays a different role. It is obvious that for the latter it is not the most significant indicator …
Interesting that “Appearance” is more important for regular users … For gamers, this parameter is in the penultimate place.
The analysis of user responses made it clear that for our target audience, as well as for ordinary users, quality, comfort and durability are important. V unique priorities highlight: microphone quality and sound isolation … The price and duration of the warranty are secondary to our users. How do we conclude that Gamblers buy headphones more often and, first of all, are willing to pay for high-quality sound as it directly affects their performance and gameplay metrics.
Analysis of the target audience of gaming headphones
According to the survey and desk research, the average user changes their gaming headphones every 1-2 years. Note that more than 56% have several pairs of headphones (permanent and spare) in their arsenal. It is also worth mentioning that buyers who use headphones only for listening to music use the headset for more than six months.
Gender of gaming headset users
77% of men between the ages of 18 and 29 play video games (more than any other demographic) compared to 57% women … In addition, one third of young people agree that the term “gamer” describes them well, more than three times the proportion of young women (9%) who describe themselves as players.
Over half of all American homes (63%) have at least one gamer living in them, who spends at least 3 hours a week on video games. On average, a little less than two people with this hobby live in every house with gamers. 67% of American homes have a gaming device, half of the time a stationary console. It turns out that not all Americans prefer to play on consoles …
Women In terms of love of games, they catch up with men, and in some aspects even leave them behind: 31% of girls 18 years old or older play games, while among boys under 18 this figure is only 17%. Even more amazing is the average age of a male gamer is 35 years and at women and even more – 44 years old. Among mature gamers over 35, the situation is the same in terms of the number of gamers.
Bottom line: the stereotype “video games are for kids” no longer stands up to scrutiny.
Age of gaming headphone target audience
The average age of a person who buys games often is 35 years … The average American adult gamer has been playing computer or video games for 15 years. Children and teenagers in the United States make up only 32% of the gaming audience, another 32% are adults from 18 to 35 years old. And 36% of American players are 35 and older. At the same time, women over 18 years old make up a larger percentage of gamers (31%) than boys under 18 years old (19%).
Interests of Gaming Headset Buyers
43% of gamers are convinced that the money spent on purchasing games is more justified than spending on DVDs with films, music or going to the cinema. Computer games drain not only money, but also the time that Americans used to spend on other entertainment. 58% of American gamers note that they recently spent less time on board games than three years ago, 49% – that they watch less TV, 47% – go to the cinema less often, and 44% – watch movies at home.
Game and headset preferences
Most of the respondents buy the game without first getting to know it (reviews, opinions, statistics), a slightly smaller number downloads from the official website of the game, but the smallest group decides to buy after a test drive in a demo or trial version.
When choosing a game to buy, Americans pay attention, first of all, to the quality of graphics, an interesting plot and good reviews from friends. In addition, users often purchase sequels of their favorite games.
The most popular platform for games remains gaming console – 68% of American gamers regularly play on them, but this figure is for personal computers only slightly less – 63%.
43% of Americans often play on smartphones, 37% on handheld gaming gadgets such as the PSP. At the same time, console owners use them not only for games – 42% of console owners use them to watch movies, 22% play music, 19% watch television programs.
Popular genres among American players vary greatly depending on the platform.
On smartphones, casual and social games share the lead with puzzle games, with 35% of the most loved mobile games each.
Action games — fast-paced games that require high responsiveness and quick decision making — account for 22.3% of console games sold in the US this year. Shooters (“shooters”) lag behind them by only 1%. Sports games come in third. The best-selling console games in the US are Call od Duty shooter: Black Ops II, Madden NFL 13, and Halo 4.
If we talk about the genres of computer games, then here American gamers most often buy RPG, or role-playing games (28%), casual games and strategies. Americans buy shooters and action games for computers much less often than for consoles: their sales in the United States are 2.1% and 6.2%, respectively. The top three include Diablo III, Guild Wars 2 and Mists of Pandaria, an addition to the popular RPG World of Warcraft.
Marital status and income level of the target audience of gaming headphones
A significant part of the respondents were at the age of 20 (26%) or 30 years (22%); 12% are adolescents (14-17 years old). Among the survey participants, there were 52% of men and 47% of women. Many of them were married and lived with a spouse (42%) or with a partner (15%), and half had children (52%).
Americans on average spend about 6 hours a week (if it is an online game) and a little more than 4 in single projects. About half of the players play multiplayer at least once a week, and also believe that games help them stay in touch with friends and spend more time with their family. 75% of gamers believe that games stimulate their cognitive abilities.
About 95% of American parents closely follow what their child is playing. 68% believe that games have a positive effect on children, and 65% play with them at least once a week. Among the reasons for doing this, they cite the following:
- It’s fun (86%);
- They asked me (76%);
- This is a good opportunity to chat with them (76%);
- To understand what the child is playing (59%);
- They love video games no less than their children (57%).
The sphere of employment of the target audience of headphones
The survey results confirmed that today’s gamer Is far from the stereotypical lonely teenager who plays in the basement of his parents’ house. Rather, it will an adult who has children, a job, he or she goes to the gym and is quite sociable.
These are most often men (more than 60% of all gamers are men), playing more than twice a week, working in the commercial sector with average and above average income (computer games put forward ever higher system requirements for equipment, so gamers have to improve their computer, which requires significant costs and dictates the need to find a high-paying job); about students and students are equally represented among gamers, who together make up more than half of the entire population (they study and often do not work on a permanent basis, as a rule, there is no marriage relationship yet, which creates favorable conditions for using free time at their own discretion); 46% are specialists (among them – 23.2% are persons with technical education), 6% are managers and 13% are employees; % of specialists significantly exceeds the percentage of managers and employees.
In general, one can note the complexity and heterogeneity of the studied group, dynamism and the desire to acquire new knowledge and master new skills.
Linking users to a specific brand when choosing gaming headphones
Gamers are not tied to a specific brand when choosing headphones, but there are established leaders on the market that are heard by users. Therefore, when choosing a quality headset for an average price, experienced players are likely to give preference to an already well-known and proven brand and models. Considered as such: HyperX Cloud, Razer, Sennheiser, Logitech, SteelSeries.
Additionally: who is the average UK player today?
The age group of those who play games has increased in the past few years, and the average playing age is now 23+.
Games are held by gender, age and grade, and their distribution is now almost universal:
- 38.2% of the UK population are active computer gamers.
- 51.2% of British men and 25.1% of British women between the ages of 10 and 35 play games regularly.
- The average PC gamer has been playing for over 10 years, roughly since the launch of the Sony PlayStation, and younger gamers have spent proportionately more of their lives on interactive entertainment.
- On average, players play 11 hours a week.
- British women spend more on games than any demographic in Western Europe (other than British men).
- 27.2% of all active players in the UK are women.
- The average age for a female player in Britain is 30-35.
As can be seen from statistics and surveys, video games now serve not only as entertainment for children and adolescents, but also for adults and respectable men and women who want to relax after a hard day at work. This may be partly due to the fact that the lion’s share of modern games is done with the expectation of adult solvent audience as they require constant sources of income. Interestingly, American parents see interactive entertainment not as a “terrible enemy” of their child, but as an opportunity to spend more time with them and communicate.
You can find an analysis of the market for gaming headsets and trends in the development of headphone cases here.
You can order current market research, as well as further industrial design and development of headphone electronics at KLONA.