Understanding the trends and demographics of gamers is a massive business. EEDAR (Electronic Entertainment Design and Research) is one of the goto sources for this information, with over 130,000 products observed and 176 million points of data to reference, these people know how things are changing. During a panel at GDC last week, Geoffrey Zatkin, the founder of EEDAR, took to the stage to share some of the most interesting data surrounding mobile, PC, and console gaming. We've rounded up some of the most interesting slides from his Awesome Video Game Data talk in this gallery.
Marketing vs. game quality
Zatkin was quick to dismiss the notion that good games sell well based on being good alone. He's able to show a strong correlation between how marketing budgets make well-reviewed games even more successful versus games that are reviewed well but have next to no marketing.
Average review score
Despite what sandwich-board wearing doomsayers might suggest, video games are actually getting better over time, at least according to critics. Then again, it could also be that how we rate games is changing.
Successfully funded Kickstarter projects
While Kickstarter has traditionally been a platform to fund ideas, Zatkin suggests that a new trend is emerging where games that are already well on their way to being completed launch Kickstarter campaigns to either spread the word, attract investors, or help add smaller features instead of funding the entire development.
Success rate of Kickstarter projects
Coming in as no surprise to anyone, Zatkin was able to give specific numbers to show that the vast majority of Kickstarter projects will never be successfully funded.
Steam off-season sales
One of the bigger accomplishments for Steam is how it has managed to turn traditional slow seasons into some of its busiest. By using April, Steam's slowest month, as a benchmark, it's evident that holiday Steam sales have a huge impact on purchasing trends.
PC market game revenues
As retail PC game sales continue to vanish, free-to-play is quickly taking its place and beginning to command an ever larger portion of total PC sales.
PC F2P spend segmentation
Though it's no surprise that those who tend to spend the most on a single game also make up the majority of its profit, it's still interesting to see just how much of that revenue they account for. While the idea of catering to the 'whales' is kind of gross, the numbers back it up as a legitimate tactic.
Games released by percentage of market
While both the PS4 and the Xbox One continue to sell strong relative to previous generations, Steam has quickly risen to command a huge portion of the total share of video games that are sold.
Quality of Steam games released per year
It's amazing to see how much Steam has exploded over the last few years, especially in 2015 when Early Access, Greenlight, and the practice of dumping entire back catalogues on Steam were really taking off.
Quantity of games released by platform
Another great graph showing how Steam has massively outgrown any other platform in terms of the size of its library.
Total quantity of games released
Once again, 2015 has seen an unprecedented amount of games being launched just on traditional platforms alone. With mobile platforms being taken into account, the numbers would likely reach well into the hundreds of thousands.
Average age of game players in the USA
While it's certainly no secret that the average gamer is worrying about grey hair and mortgage payments, what's interesting is the recent dip when the figures began to include data from mobile platforms, which seem to suggest that mobile caters to a younger demographic.
With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.