The paper published by the Entertainment Software Association gives a lot of useful insight into the demographics of gaming audiences in the USA. This should help me gleam some useful information regarding my target audience research.
The paper tells me that there is clearly a very large audience of gamers in the US, with 65% of US households owning a device that can be used to play games and 48% owning a dedicated games console. I would like my game to be available on as many platforms as possible as this will allow me to reach the largest possible audience. Unreal Engine 4 makes porting games to other platforms rather easy, so my engine choice is appropriate for my project. The largest age groups of gamers are in the ranges of under 18 years (27%) and 18-35 (29%), clearly showing that my intended target audience is a rather large.
The most frequent device used by gamers is the PC at 56%, followed by any dedicated games console at 53%, and a smartphone at 36%. This tells me that I should develop my game primarily for PC, and attempt to port it to a console or smartphone to reach the largest possible target audience. The data also tells me that 54% of frequent gamers play with others, so I should consider including some form of multiplayer to my project to make it more attractive to this audience.
The best-selling video game genres are Shooters (24.5%) and Action (22.9%), followed by Sports games (13.2%) and Adventure games (7.7%). I should consider adding features from these genres of games in to my project in order to attract an audience from these demographics. Although the best-selling computer game genres are Strategy games (36.4%) followed by Casual games (25.8%), showing that there is a large potential audience in my project in the Casual game market.