What makes a video game fun: An investigation into the expectations of playing First Person Shooter video games.
There are over 20,000 new video games created each year, so it is therefore important for video game developers to fully comprehend the video game market before they undergo the production of new offerings in order to stand out from their competitors. Understanding gamer wants and expectations will help developers to better produce an offering which satisfies these customer needs resulting in enhanced financial success for the developer. This study investigates the expectations of gamers in the First Person Shooter (FPS) genre of video games and endeavours to understand what components make up a good FPS from the perspective of both ‘hardcore’ and ‘casual’ gamers. Through the use of an online discussion, this study collected the detailed perspectives of 29 ‘hardcore’ and ‘casual’ gamers, regarding the topic of FPS video games. It investigates what the gamers want in a FPS by means of an online discussion which builds on the benefits of both ethnography and focus group methodologies. Since the study’s main goal was exploratory, a qualitative approach was considered the most appropriate; in addition to this, the method used to collect the data was done within a grounded theory framework. This study finds that, though graphics have historically been a major factor in driving the success of a FPS video game, this is no longer the case. Gamers expect there to be a balance between the different components, with a more holistic gaming experience desired, and that too much focus on one component at the expense of another will result in an unsatisfactory video game experience. This can be seen in comments given by the participants indicating too much emphasis of the graphics quality in a FPS and not enough on story or the multiplayer aspects results in a video game which is neither fun nor praiseworthy. The latter is perceived significant as with such an oversaturation in the video game market, developers rely heavily on positive word of mouth to advertise their games. This study’s main goal was to develop a better understanding of the expectations of gamers regarding FPS; in doing so, it has laid out the basis for producing a ‘magic formula’ for a great FPS video game. It has also highlighted several other areas which need further investigation in order to better understand the behavioural motives and actions of gamers from both ‘hardcore’ and ‘casual’ communities.
Advisor: Aitken, Robert
Degree Name: Master of Business
Degree Discipline: Marketing
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Video Game marketing; first person shooter; video game expectations
Research Type: Thesis