Market Analysis

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Target Audience

The game is aimed at gamers from sixteen upwards. It has become evident recently that more gamers are older than society expects, and Warband is trying to reach out to that age group too. As a role playing first person shooter game, it is aimed mostly towards males, but of course females will play as well. Warband can account for that as well, with female character creation. Warband requires a level of maturity to play. It is not a game aimed at the younger generations as it involves violence. The core gameplay is not so much educational as pure entertainment. Whilst anyone would be able to pick up the game rather quickly, Warband would be better received by more veteran gamers. The levelling up system would almost certainly be customised better by a role playing gamer and the reflexes required in aiming are areas FPS gamers would excel. As Warband is somewhat of a mixture of genres, the marketing would have to be concentrated towards both the RPG community, and the FPS community. This however is good news. Due to Warband effectively spanning two genres, it would double its target audience, appealing to both groups of gamers.


This is another RPGFPS. This game is very similar to Warband, in the sense that as you play through, you can fully customise your character, making him/her your own. It is also, obviously an FPS. It does have multiplayer, like Warband (although doesn’t have a Conquest style mode). However, what Borderlands is trying to achieve is a grimy, cartoony style, with cell shading and very over the top animations. Warband is aiming to be a more realistic, elite style. It is also set in a gigantic city with varied environments surrounding it, where Borderlands is a barren wasteland. Warband also supports control of a squad during combat, making the single player and cooperative combat systems far more intuitive. Warband also has magic involved, and other classic fantasy RPG elements, such as traditional fantasy creatures. These additions make Warband stand out by comparison.


Fallout 3
This is our biggest competition: another RPGFPS, but this time, with reviews and awards to back it up. The most prominent of these awards is Game of the Year 2008. Whilst worrying, this is not the end of the world. There are many features in Warband that are different to Fallout 3, magic being an important one. Fallout's FPS also lacks. Fallout has a clunky aiming system (but makes up for this by having an auto-aim feature) and is primarily an RPG, whereas Warband will encompass this with a fast-paced frenzy of bullets and magic. Fallout 3 is also missing multiplayer, this being one of the main features of Warband.


Mass Effect
This game is similar to Warband in that it also combines genres (although it’s third-person rather than first). As with Fallout 3, the shooter gameplay in Mass Effect isn’t as fast-paced as it will be in Warband (it also has no advanced melee combat). The squad system is comparable with Warband, although in Warband the other squad members will either be NPCs or other players, rather than being directly controllable by one player (as Mass Effect has no multiplayer).

Mass Effect’s setting is completely different to that of Warband – Mass Effect is very futuristic, with space travel and planetary exploration as key elements of the game, whereas Warband is much more fantasy-based. It does have a similar skill acquisition system to Warband; although it is more restrictive as it has a class system (the player must choose a specific class, which limits the skills that can be attained). When the player levels up in Mass Effect, he or she chooses to spend points in various attributes, and when a certain amount of points is accrued in an attribute a skill is unlocked. This works in a similar way to the system Warband uses, although in Warband the player has more choice over which skills are gained.


The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
This is yet another first person RPG, with again, awards to back it up. It, like Warband, has magic, but no guns. Guns are what really differentiate the games. Whilst otherwise similar, in terms of role playing elements, guns massively change the pace of the game, as well as the style. Oblivion is a huge game. Some may call this a positive, others, a negative. Whilst huge can lead to more variety, it can also lead quickly to boredom. This is where Warband stands out. With an intuitive story line, and fast-paced action, Warband won't leave the player bored. Oblivion is aimed at very hardcore gamers, where Warband can be played by new and old gamers alike.


All of these games are a threat, but Warband has something else to offer in every case. Whilst there will always be games with similar styles and mechanics, all being driven towards the same target audience, Warband will stand out from the rest.

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