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Critical Game Design I - Market Research

Course Number: DD102

This guide is designed to help you find resources for your Market and Critical Research Paper. This guide includes links to Library and external resources that you might find useful as you being start doing market researching into the gaming industry. 

You will also find a tutorial section to help remind you how to use some of the more business specific databases. Please use this downloadable worksheet to help you work through the market research you need to complete for this assignment. 

Getting Help 
Image of Matt Rohweder, Business Librarian

I'm Matt Rohweder, the Business Librarian for Marketing (and an avid gamer). I'm happy to help you research your Market and Critical Research Paper, as well answer any citation questions. To set up a Zoom or in-person appointment with me, email me at mrohweder@wlu.ca (a new window will open)

I am on campus 2-days a week, so please let me know if you prefer a virtual or in-person meeting.

*Please note: I try to observe email free evening and weekends. 

Doing Market Research 

 Doing market research often requires you to conduct what is called an "environmental analysis", which means looking at all the different components that can impact your industry, market, product, service, etc. 

Important note: Games and gaming is not a massive industry in Canada, you will often need to look at the US as a market to find information. 

Market Share 

Market shares come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. For some, it is simply what share of the market does "X" company hold, but many can help you better understand different parts of your market. (For example, what percentage of card games makes up the gaming market? Or what percentage of the video game market is made up of first person shooter games). 

MarketLine Advantage

Most industry reports in this database will include a traditional market share (company based. But please note, not all industries are represented in MarketLine - if you can't find your industry, look at a similar or comparable one. 

Market Share Reporter 

Has a variety of market shares beyond the more traditional type. Just search for your industry, market, sector, or product. 

Information like key companies and competitors in an industry, barriers to entry, market trends and doing your general environmental analysis can be found in a number of key industry / marketing databases, as well as online. The next section will look at some of those resources. 

Key Business Databases 

Library Resources

IBISWorld

This resources provides an industry outlook, industry SWOT, a examination of the top companies, barriers to entry, and other key resources you might need. 

May not have your exact market/industry, but has very similar industries. 

MarketLine

This resources provides a number of different reports, some of which you might want to explore for this assignment: industry reports, company reports, country reports (PEST), case studies (look to see if your industries or key companies are represented), and news reports.

Note: the PEST report is a key resources when doing an environmental scan. 

Passport 

This resource is one of the most important tools you can use when researching video games. It gives you excellent market statistics and context to see how the market is functioning in real time. Further, it includes industry and market statistics, company examples, tons of consumer data. 

Gartner

This is a technology focused database. While it might not contain board and card games, it does take up video games, as well as the intersection between analog games and AI and VR, which could be useful. 

You can also find some market level research reports in Business Source Complete and ProQuest One Business by searching for "games" or "gaming" or "board games" or "card games" and then selecting "Industry Report" form the list of available resource types. 

Online Resources 

There are a lot of great resources available online that can help you in your research. Note, that many market research reports are often hidden behind paywalls, often for thousands of dollars. But many of these sites will some of the key pieces of information available for free. 

Statista.com

This is an excellent resource for marking information and has tons of freely available reports that should satisfy the needs for this assignment. (e.g., the Card Games Worldwide report) 

Straits Research 

Independant Market Research firm that provides free previews to their reports with excellent insights. 

Board Game Geek 

One of the top resources when researching board games - content on top companies, top genres, top games and so on. 

Video Game Geek   

Article Research 

One of the key resources you'll need to conduct research on games, the gaming industry, card games, gamers, and overall market research will be articles. 

Business and academic articles can help you better understand and analyze the issues surrounding the market and game you're working with. Articles can help you better understand:  

  • External pressures happening in your market/industry​
  • Major innovations or trends in your industry​
  • Information about your company you might not find elsewhere (especially if it is private!) ​
  • Examples from other companies that relate to your problem​
  • Analysis of business issues/cases/problems 
  • An excellent source of consumer information ​
Types of Articles

Three Types of Articles

Popular Publications

Examples include: The Globe & Mail, New York Times, The Economist  
  • Excellent resource to see the public reaction to games and gaming
  • There is always discussion on this topic in the popular media

Trade Publications

Examples include Forbes, Harvard Business Review
  • Commonly written by members working within a given industry and can provide excellent insight into the market and industry. 

Academic Publications

Examples include: Journal of Game Development, Journal Marketing, Game studies: the international journal of computer game research
  • Written by academics and researchers that explore situations similar to issues present in your case. This can include impact, ramifications on a variety of industries, individuals, and bodies, research around marketing, research on consumers and gaming, and so on.
Article Databases

Key Article Databases

These are your best bet for finding business-related articles. You can always start here: Omni Advanced Search (this is the general library search, but will not be limited to business articles. 

Search Tactics and Tips 

Here are some search tactics to help you in finding articles.

What is the tactic?

What does the tactic do?

Examples

Phrase searching

Use quotation marks to find more than one term in a row.

"game development"

Truncation

Use an asterisk* at the end of a term to include multiple endings.

gam*

game, gaming, gamer(s)

Boolean AND

Use AND to ensure that all terms appear in every search result.

"card games" AND "player motivation"

Boolean OR

Use OR to ensure that at least one term appears in every search result.

Kickstarter OR crowdfunding

 Additional Search Tips

  • Peer review limit = check off “peer reviewed” to search for published research literature.
  • Date limit = confine your search to a specific date range.  
  • Save & Pin articles that match your criteria = As you go through your results MOST databases will allow you to Save or Pin those results you want to keep or refer back to.   Remember – you MIGHT have to log into the Database.

Putting it all together

Using some of the tactics above your final search might look like: 

(diabetics OR diabetes) AND "health information" AND ("online message boards" OR Reddit OR online) AND qualitative

One Final Tip

As lovely as your final search might look, I always recommend starting simple. You don't need to use your alternative search terms right away, instead stick with your primary search terms. Don't get too complicated right off the bat, you'd be surprised how much information a simple search can get you. 

 

Citation 

Don't forge to cite any work you quote from or use as part of your literature review and overall study. There are a number of resources you can use to build citations. To get help with citations, you can visit either of these resources: 

 
As well, you can always ask your Librarian

Below you will find a series of videos on creating citations using the Library's various databases. 

Tutorials 

 And don't forget - you can get help with business and market research at any time, by emailing Matt Rohweder (mrohweder@wlu.ca). 

 

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Last Updated: February 26, 2024 4:14pm