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The grey gold.

A new and growing segment in gaming. The old gamers, the ones who were teens when online gaming began, and who today are still active gamers - just now with jobs, families, massive experience and money to spend.

Author: Sinatrasun

Contributor: ChubToadSUN

The grey gold.

Posted by Sinatrasun Tuesday March 2 2010 at 8:33AM
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In my country we have a saying which directly translates to the term "the grey gold".   This refers to the old people retiring from their jobs,  with a life full of experience and money to spend due to no longer working and the pensions kicking in. The grey obvoiusly refers to the haircolor of those people :).

It occured to me that gaming has the exact same thing, and noone really puts a lot of focus on it - but that is a pretty big mistake.

Today we have a growing segment of gamers who have grown up to a life of gaming, but who also have kept being gamers even though they are now adults with jobs,families, a lot of gaming experience - and not to forget a lot more money to spend compared to when they were teenagers.

This blog will be about mmo's,  from the view of the above mentioned segment of gamers.  I think the grey gold gamers are the most underestimated group of gamers, and this is possibly the worst mistake you can make since this segment grows with the same speed today, as the youth segment - only with the twist that this segment has somewhat less time to play, but they also got a totally different amount of money to spend.

I represent a segment of gamers who would gladly pay a lot more money, if i find the game interesting. 

I play Darkfall as my main game, and Heroes of newerth on the side.

Both games are very cheap, and Darkfall uses the classic payment method of a few Euros/dollars a month.

And here is a thought:  Why is online gaming so cheap - and where could the games go if we payed a more decent amount of money to play.

Some rough example numbers from my household to visualise:

  1. Household (diapers,food,Cocacola) 1000$
  2. Fitness membership (rarely used)       100$
  3. Cable tv                                                         80$
  4. Darkfall Subscription                                 15$
  5. Volleyball 1*week                                       90$
  6. Internet connection                                    70$

I spend more time playing Darkfall than anything else (not  counting my job),  but its also the smallestpart of my budget by far.

I would gladly pay 100$ a month, for a game with massive content and lots of new content coming in every month/quarter.  I know that we might not represent the majority of gamers but we are there with money ready to be used - but how come noone wants our money ?.

Personally i just support the mmo market by spending money on stuff i dont need.  Ive played darkfall since release,  but ive also bought Champions online and Star trek online withotu ever playing the games just to support the making of the games in general.

My kind of gamer is growing,  i can feel and see the differences in the games and in the guild im leading.  We are in the thirties or maybe fourties,  and we might have families, jobs and our old parents still dont understand why that gaming "Thing" didnt stop when we stopped being teens.

But we know who we are,  we are the old gamers - the grey gold, and the growth of our segment will have a MUCH bigger impact on gaming than most people have realised by now.

This blog will consist of entrys by this segment of players,  and beleive me - we have a lot to say about  gaming.

Thanks for reading.













Wobwka writes:

Paying $100 a month even for greater comment would'nt be that worthwhile. First off you honestly don't need that much money to pour in because the industry easily makes millions based off of large subscriptions. With the additional money if anything there would be graphical enhancements added on, and any expansion would take a longer amount of time as well. You stated that you would pay for monthly/quarterly upgrades which even with a large gaming staff would'nt really work out. For an effective expansion you need story which takes time, than you need the actual programming, testing etc. The problem with taking to much time for an expansion is games would begin to lose there thunder. That's why for example blizzard even with there large income, come out with an expansion every roughly 2 years. But the expansions are large, as you wish.

Secondary, the majority of the gaming industry tends to fall into an age range from 10-30ish. No insults to the older gamers, but the recent trend in years has shown an increase in younger age ranged games. I guarantee that roughly 10 years ago you wouldnt have a hello kitty mmo, or a female teenage demographic vampire based mmo.  So i'm led to believe so, plus considering videogames have been around since 1947 (Missle Simulator); so roughly 63 years. Yet i i've yet to run into anyone who played anything commonly pre-atari.

Myself i'm pretty young, only turning 22 in may, but i've played most atari games, nes and etc. Many of my friends are the same age, and though i won't call us "hardcore" gamers. We've played most games that are out, MMO wise personally i've played most things out. I even tried out darkfall when it first came out, but it was far to glitchy and broken at the time, and did'nt hold my interest.

I support the fact that your supporting the gaming industry, but i believe realistically charging $100 per month, would ONLY allow the Grey Gold to play, and it would damage younger gamers. Yourself as a gamer who's been playing since youth should realize this. Would you have been able to pay $100/month say for ultima when it first came out? I bet you'd pass. Also by paying for games that are coming out not fully developed, and lacking - Champions Online for example, compare it to CoH/CoV and you'll see what i'm saying. You may actually be harming the industry. It's like having a dog bite you, and you giving them a treat so they stay happy. As to opposed to not subscribing, or subscribing for a month and when you de-activate your account leaving a substantial reason as to what was wrong with the game. So they learn and improve.

Again this is purely my opinion and view on it, and i mean no offense to your post.

Tue Mar 02 2010 10:37AM Report
Sinatrasun writes:

I agree that the amount is obviously too high and mostly also to give an idea of what i mean.

My main point however is that there is a growing amount of mmo gamers on the market, with way more money than a highschool student - who used to be the main tagets.

Having the older gamers with money, also makes way for more nichebased games, with a smaller playerbase who just pays a bit more.

Look at all the microtransactions and stuff like that.  Asian style mmo where you buy stuff for cash - that you basically sell to the young gamers for ingame cash - effectively making you abe able to compete in the game while maybe only play 4-5 hours a day.




Tue Mar 02 2010 2:35PM Report
Mr.Orange writes:

 Frank: Good point, I would love to pay more money for things that actually works. Like experienced GMs, dynamic events, support center without automatic dull answers ...

Gaming industry is losing money this way, I'm not buying new games while playing good MMO, my Steam account is covered in dust thanks to Darkfall ;]

Wobwka: I don't how was internet in your country back in the days of Ultima Online, but in my country we were actually paying $100+ just for playing the game and I'm not talking about how was the macroing expensive ;]

Fri Mar 05 2010 9:57AM Report writes:
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