Results for the survey of gamer motivations I mentioned last month are starting to come in, and they're pretty interesting. Compiled by Quantic Foundry, an analytics consultancy co-founded by my colleague Nick Yee, who did some landmark academic research on MMO player behavior (such as this study) at Stanford, over 100,000 gamers took Quantic's survey, a huge data sample. Here's the most popular games by gaming motivations along a number of categories we often write about on New World Notes:
Design (Expression & Customization)
The Sims Series, City of Heroes, Animal Crossing, Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy XIV, Dragon Age Series/Origins, Mass Effect Series, Monster Hunter, Pokemon, Elder Scrolls Series/Oblivion/Skyrim [pictured above]
Discovery (Experiment, Explore, Tinker)
Elder Scrolls Series/Oblivion/ Morrowind/Skyrim, Fallout Series/3/New Vegas, Fable, Legend of Zelda Series/Ocarina of Time, GTA Series/V, Minecraft, Earthbound, Kerbal Space Program, Metal Gear Solid 3, Metroid Prime
Fantasy (Being Someone/Somewhere Else)
Dragon Age Series/Inquisition/Origins, Elder Scrolls Series/Morrowind, Dishonored, Mass Effect Series/2/3, Skyrim, Fable, Fallout New Vegas, Knights of the Old Republic, Journey, Legend of Zelda
Community (Teaming Up & Social Interaction)
Final Fantasy XIV, Battlefield Series/4, Destiny, Guild Wars Series/2, EverQuest, League of Legends, Monster Hunter, World of Warcraft, Counter Strike, DoTA Series/2
Read the full breakdown here. Notable that hardcore multiplayer action games like Battlefield and League of Legends ended up in the "Community" motivation category. Some might be surprised that Grand Theft Auto is in the Experiment, Explore, Tinker category, but seeing as how a large group of GTA players created an amazing group effort simply to discover obscure but rewarding Easter eggs like this, I'm not.
As for what surprised Nick and his co-founder most about these results: "That fairly niche games showed up where they belonged, such as Europa Universalis IV and Kerbal Space Program," Nick tells me. "That's when we knew that our algorithm was parsing through the text input meaningfully... Also [surprised] that fairly recent games also showed up, such as Heroes of the Storm. We were worried that people's lists would lean too historical."
For statistics/survey geeks, more surprises from Nick: