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Google report on game searches: Understanding the Modern Gamer


Scientific studies have a way of making well-rounded, conscientious people feel as if their lives are contrived, noting how their habits are shared by millions of other people and probably aren't that special in the long run.

In the study "Understanding the Modern Gamer," Google does this with "millions of gamers," but knows how to make us feel special while we're being scrutinized: "Gamers are incredibly savvy Internet users whose searches reveal an extraordinarily high level of intention." Google notes that the gaming industry has "significantly transformed" in recent years and has studied our online search habits – desktop and mobile – for insight into purchasing processes and levels of engagement.

Google finds that gamers are researching games before buying more often, with desktop searches in 2011 up 20 percent year-over-year; searches for marquee titles are up 29 percent. Pre-launch searches are up 37 percent and most gamers consider two different games before deciding on one.

Despite protestations to sequels, gamers get involved in major franchises more heavily with each new game, becoming "active members of growing communities that are interested in year-round interaction with franchise content." Search volume for franchise titles increases significantly with each iteration, as shown in the above desktop and mobile graphs.

Reviews remain relevant up to four months following a game's launch week. Search volume correlates with game sales: A game that accrues 250,000 AdWords clicks in the 10 months around launch is expected to sell 2 - 4 million units in its first four months.

Major games now involve year-round digital interaction from consumers, Google finds. Aiding that year-round boost may be mobile searches, which are up 168 percent year-over-year.

Read the full report after the break.

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