In a bid to drum up metrics on gamers that are comparable to those kept on users of other more traditional media, Nielson Games recently conducted a study of Xbox 360 owners that play the game 1 vs 100.
Working with Microsoft for the pilot study, the company placed watermarks in Season 2 of the game, which allowed the researcher to retrieve specific audience data over a 13 week period from November 2009 through February 2010. The study utilized two versions of 1 vs 100; the live form of the game and an Extended Play version that allows players to brush up on the game.
The average length of play for both versions of the game was over 70 minutes, while the average session for the live version was 87 minutes. Noting that 1 vs. 100 allows for advertising integration during “game breaks,” Nielson’s Gerardo Guzman offered that, “Advertisers should be very interested to see the amount of time consumers spend interacting with these games – especially during those appointment-based ‘1 vs 100 Live’ sessions.”
While previously Nielson was able to report that 18-34 year olds made up 45% of all Xbox 360 console usage minutes, the new research method allowed them to see that that same age group contributed to 55% of 1 vs 100 players. Nielson stated, “These specific metrics help to provide the type of insights advertisers and media planners need to compare video game platforms to other types of media.”
Guzman also stated, “What makes this pilot study so important is the potential for precise audience segmenting. As more game companies and advertisers participate in studies like these, we’re able to define and refine an efficient set of metrics for gaming that can be compared against other media.”
Nielson also reported that gaming has a “prime time” just like television; peak gaming time during the week is between 7PM and 11PM.