This paper investigates different ways in which players have been categorized in game research literature in order to distinguish relevant customer segments for designing and marketing of game’s value offerings. This paper adopts segmentation and marketing theory as its bases of analysis. The goal is to synthesize the results of various studies and to find the prevailing concepts, combine them, and draw implications to further studies and segmentation of the player base.
The research process for this study proceeded from large literature search, to author- centric (Webster & Watson 2002) identification and categorization of previous works based on the established factors of segmentation (demographic, psychographic, and behavioral variables) in marketing theory. The previous works on player typologies were further analyzed using concept-centric approach and synthesized according to common and repeating factors in the previous studies.
The results indicate that player typologies in previous literature can be synthesized into seven key dimensions: Skill, Achievement, Exploration, Sociability, Killer, Immersion and In-game demographics. The paper highlights for further studies the self-fulfilling and self-validating nature of the current player typologies because their relatively high use in game design practices as well as discusses the role of game design in segmentation of players.