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Facebook Casual Game Demographics

In a previous posting we looked at the demographic breakdown of all registered facebook accounts in the US. Now I'd like to present some analysis of a subject close to my heart: Casual Games.

Below is a chart of the demographic profiles of Bejeweled Blitz™ players on facebook (in the US). The vertical axis shows age, with 13 years of age at the top, and 65 and above at the bottom. There is a separate row for each distinct age between these two limits. Female fans are shown on the right with pink bars, and male fans to the left with blue bars.

MALE       FEMALE
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65+
(21.74%) (78.26%)

In the interests of space, subsequent versions of this graph will be shown in thumbnail format, as shown below. The representation is the same – weíve just removed the axis labels and compressed the space between the lines.

   

Each of the charts in this article have been generated from scraping data from facebook based on the number of people (in the USA in this case), who have affinity in some form with the application (such as being a fan or user of the application). Because of the different denominators and sizes of each keyword population, each graph has been normalized so that the Ďareaí under each curve is the same. In this way, the shapes can be compared to contrast the demographic audience of each keyword.

The demographics for Bejeweled Blitz players mirrors the demographics typically seen in the industry for casual download games players, which are typically biased towards the middle-aged female segment. For Bejeweled players on facebook, over 78% are female, with an impressive bulge in the curve between the ages of 25 and 50.

   

Contrast this with players of Call of Duty™, which is adored by teenage boys!

Over 92% of the fans of Call of Duty on facebook are male.

Many of the social games we all know, such as Farmville, Yoville and Treasure Isle follow traditional casual gaming profiles. Itís refreshing for our industry to know that, as players migrate away from deluxe download games onto playing on social networks, itís the same demographic audience.

   

As expected, some games do skew more male biased. Texas Holdíem Poker for instance. Itís not a great shock to find that this application is 67% male biased. Maybe a little more surprising, though not a hugely astonishing is Castle Age, which is 64% male.

 

Whilst Restaurant City skews female with 69%, its audience appears to peak at a younger age. Country Story skews even more female and similarly young, and Happy Pets even more again. This has implications for monetization as, on average, typically a smaller percentage of younger users make payments using microtransactions. Whilst there is a considerable variance, depending on the game, research indicates that the age band that converts the highest percentage of users to paying customers is the 25-35 year old bracket.

   

It's not just games

We donít have to limit ourselves to just games and applications; people become fans of other things on facebook. For instance, below are charts showing the demographic curves for fans of Star Wars™ and Twilight™. The curve for Twilight should be no surprise to anyone who shares a house with a teenage daughter. The curve for Star Wars is interesting because of the Ďdouble humpí. There are distinct peaks for fans of the original trilogy (people now in their late 30ís and 40ís), as well as for the younger crowd groomed on prequel episodes and the Clone Wars.

 

Below are charts for the fans of the Oprah Winfrey Show, and the fans of Ellen Degenerous. At first glance they appear similar at 88-89% female fan base, but if you look closer you can see that Oprahís audience is more mature, peaking in the late 30ís, while Ellen seems to appeal to women in their 20ís.

 

Quiz time

I'll finish this post with a quiz. The graphs below show the demographic curves for three different entities: Barry Manilow, Sex and the City and Howard Stern. Can you work out which is which? Drop me an email if you are having trouble.

   

 

 

 

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