An independent game production company, Zenna Games released a competitive brief to designers to introduce them into the mobile and tablet market with a game concept for this platform. I created a sci-fi, mystery narrative and did research to allow me to plan style, themes and other aspects of the game. In order to enable myself to design the game to be marketable, audience profiling was important.
I already had a rough idea of my story in a post-apocalyptic world that the player would be introduced to through a colourful cast of colours. In order to properly expend on on my idea I think of prior research that determined the gender split for gaming was almost evenly split with 58% male and 42% females ratio, which was recorded by the UK games industry (ukie.org.uk). Though when observing the platform, women are more likely to be playing with 52% of females (emarketer.com) using tablet devices. The UK also has 71% of adults owning a smartphone with 59% of households having a tablet with the top ten activities games at 47% (ukie.org.uk).
Breaking down age, one of the higher demographics was for the ages of 8 to 17-year-olds with 22% (statista.com), however, I didn’t think that the lower end of this age range would suit the premise I had chosen even if I censored the darker themes I could otherwise implement. 18 to 24 year-olds had a lower number of respondents at 16% but in terms of mobile games, there is a greater percentage of older people playing (realitymine.com).
Identifying sexuality is far more complicated but in 2015, there was a study whereby 1.7% of the UK populace recognised themselves as part of the LGB (lesbian, gay or Bisexual) with 2.0% more males then females. Of that, there are 16 to 24 year-olds (who are fair more likely to identify as LGB to other age groups) 3.3% considered themselves as LGB (ons.gov.uk). Howbeit, sexuality is complicated and finding an accurate study of the percentage of gamers that are apart of the LGBT was difficult. The is a definite underrepresented or negatively representation of gender and sexuality in games, with an obvious heteronormative bias (pastemagazine.com).
There isn’t any prevalent research I could find that verified that sci-fi was a popular genre among not only games but media outside high grossing products, however, I have found that a number of science fiction in video games has helped cultivate the industry. For example, F.E.A.R (First Encounter Assault Recon) a survival, horror game first released in 2005. It was well received and scored a 88.94% (gamerankings.com). One of the most notable features of that came from the game, however was its advanced AI which is considered one of the best of its kind and has been used in a number of other games (youtube/DXFan619).
The questionnaire I posted online for numbers of its vast community to fill out aided in reinforcing the information I had already collected with 78% playing Apps, and of that 78% 17 to 29 year-olds and 45% of players male and 44% female. Most of the people who responded, 68%, identified as heterosexual with 78% liking sci-fi (Google Docs).
This research enables me to formalise ideas that had been under consideration; knowing that I can successful aim for a older age range allows me to use a darker tone, and more mature themes. I would aim for a 12+ rating (bewebsmart.com). As for gender and sexuality, I don’t expect those specifiers of the audience to effect my content. I have a balanced cast of two main male characters and two female characters and a sophisticated plot for any player to take something from.
Results from questionnaire:
Do you play Apps?
Do you like sci-fi?
 http://ukie.org.uk/sites/default/files/UK%20Games%20Industry%20Fact%20Sheet%2020%20March%202017.pdf – page 27, “UK Players Demographics”
 https://www.emarketer.com/Article/UK-Women-Take-Lead-on-Tablets/1010010 – last paragraph of article
 https://ukie.org.uk/research#mobile – under “UK mobile games”
 http://www.realitymine.com/myth-busting-mobile-gaming-demographics/ – under “Generation Game”
 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/sexuality/bulletins/sexualidentityuk/2015 – under “1. Main Points” and “2. Statistician’s quote”
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUYL35hwe64 – timestamp: 16:19
 http://www.bewebsmart.com/ipod-ipad-iphone/how-to-restrict-apps-by-rating/ – “What Are The Ratings”