Critical Research, partners in gaming research

As an SME consisting of research nerds, we love to research, well, what we love.

So as our face to face socialising became restricted during 2020, and opportunities to stay in touch with friends through online games exploded, we thought what better time to ramp up our offer to partner companies in the gaming industry and also have a great excuse to bring our personal love of games into our workday.

Ellen, aka Yellow, plays a wide range of games, with a lot of her free time spent on SMITE, Garry’s Mod, Animal Crossing New Horizons, Overwatch, Among Us & Sea of Thieves – as well as many horror games (that she forces her friends to play for her, as she is too scared!), indie games & online board games. 

Ellen has worked on several gaming projects at Critical Research, including helping a major gaming company playtest a new game, conduct research into their microtransactions, and delve into the hobbies and interests of their player base and target market.  She also has an interest in gamification in research and is experienced in making surveys as engaging as possible, encouraging quality responses, and make research exciting for all involved.

Phil, aka Xaph, joined the gamer ranks predominantly through PC gaming and the Source engine, mostly the Counterstrike and Day of Defeat series, and later Team Fortress 2. Nowadays he’s much more of a console gamer, playing “big-world” titles like The Witcher and Assassin’s Creed. In 2020, with much of the world in some version of lockdown and sporting activities disrupted, his expertise in researching sport participation turned to researching e-sports participation. 

Phil followed the impact of the pandemic on gamer behaviours and the social connection as the crisis wore on, using desk research to keep apace of habit changes in various gaming communities. As a result, Phil is thinking more broadly about the “what ifs” in response to these trends – has a more fundamental adjustment of our understanding of “activity” taken place than our recovering organisations realise? How well equipped are today’s institutions to meet the challenges of a more online, more expectant, and more community-focused consumer base coming through in Gen Z? And what implications could such a shift have for title producers relying on staple revenue generators, such as MTX?

Steven, aka ste_nick, is an old-school gamer, his greatest gaming achievement was 100%’ing vice city c.2002, since then he has enjoyed watching the evolution of retro games such as Doom by id Software and San Andres by Rockstar Games moving to mobile platforms. As well as PC classics like The Sims by Maxis and Chris Sawyer’s Roller Coaster Tycoon becoming available on Steam. 

As a mixed-methods researcher Steven recently worked with a major gaming company to conduct depth interviews with US and UK gamers around gaming merchandise and in-game brand partnerships. He also works with the Ofcom team at Critical Research who regularly track gaming habits, and game time amongst UK adults and kids.

For more information on how we partner with companies in the gaming industry click here.

Or get in touch with Ellen, Phil, or Ste