(This post is the first in a two-part series that recaps our GDC 2020 talk.)

While the underlying math can get complicated and there are many different algorithms for player segmentation, in the simplest terms, segment analysis identifies the distinct subgroups within an audience. So members of each segment share similar traits, but they are different from members of the other segments.

Presented in this way, it seems natural to conduct a player segment analysis on our data set of over half a million gamers who have taken the Gamer Motivation Profile. Intuitively, doing so would provide a taxonomy of gamers, as well as actionable segments for tailoring game design and marketing messaging.

But you may have noticed that in the 5 years that we had enough data to do this, we’ve never presented something like this for the full data set. So if this is so obvious to do, why haven’t we done it sooner? We’ll come back to this and the unexpected problems that emerge after walking through the player segments we uncovered.

The Gamer Motivation Profile

The Gamer Motivation Profile is a 5-minute survey that allows gamers to get a personalized report of their gaming motivations, and see how they compare with other gamers. Over 500,000 gamers worldwide have taken this survey. The 12 motivations that are measured in our model were identified via statistical analysis of how gaming motivations cluster together. You can get a more detailed description of our gamer sample here.

See how you compare with other gamers. Take a 5-minute survey and get your Gamer Motivation Profile