Week 7 – Audience Influences

We looked today at audiences and how products are constructed around what specific audiences will be looking for. An example of a product that was constructed to a specific audience is the Xbox One. At the E3 preview the Xbox One showcased many home entertainment features that focused on TV features and focusing less on a games-related console. This idea of expanding the features of the Xbox to a more TV-orientated system was targeted towards an audience that would want their Xbox as a home entertainment system. After potential customers saw the announcement they all complained about the unneeded changes. Eventually Microsoft removed the features so their audiences demands would be met leading to higher sales. This is an example of how a product was changed to fit the audiences wants and needs.

Another example of a product that evolved due to consumer demands is DayZ. Originally a mod for ARMA 2, DayZ gained a huge following of open-world zombie survival fans. There were tens of thousands of people playing the ARMA 2 mod so the game was planned to be upgraded to a polished standalone game due to the growing player base and requests for a professionally made game. Unfortunately the finished product ended up being worse than the mod and was buggier and more unstable. The creator Dean Hall has quit the team and development has slowed drastically.

A game that was made for a specific niche audience is The Talos Principle. The game was made by developers of the manic retro shooter Serious Sam. The Talos Principle is a calming and slow paced first-person puzzle game that takes place in a location described as the garden of eden. It is almost the complete opposite of every other game the company has developed and was aimed at a different and more specific audience. Most fans of Serious Sam would not be interested in this kind of game and it would only appeal to a small audience.

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