How Can Product Managers Get Adults To Play Games?

The goal is to find a way to capture the adults who never stopped playing
The goal is to find a way to capture the adults who never stopped playing
Image Credit: manuel | MC

Game product managers are always looking for new markets that they can enter. It turns out that they may have been overlooking one of the biggest ones. Game product managers have only recently started to consider how they might go about convincing adult gamers to start playing more games. This is a huge market and if they can come up with a solution, then they just might have found the next source of revenue that they need.

Winning Back Customers

Gamming product managers have one goal: they would like to be able to sell more of their products to adults who have never stopped gaming. At Hasbro, their product managers are in the process of trying to broaden the company’s focus beyond younger children who play with Nerf blasters, Play-Doh, and My Little Pony dolls. They think that there may be growth opportunities in older consumers who are fans of classic games like Dungeons & Dragons and who also collect retro toys like G.I. Joe.

What the Hasbro product managers are trying to do is to transform how their company is viewed. They no longer want people to think about Hasbro as a toy company for kids. Instead, they want people to start to think of it as an entertainment company for people of all ages. However, this is not going to be an easy thing to do. The toy industry is bracing for a slowdown after two years of surging demand from American families who were stuck at home because of the pandemic. The good news for the Hasbro product managers is that they are not lacking for funding right now. However, what they do need is help in finding the right talent to add to their team.

In the past the product managers have been guided by what they call the Brand Blueprint. This strategy focuses on developing engaging stories behind Hasbro brands, which is designed to spur the sales of toys, digital games or other merchandise like shirts and backpacks. The product managers believe that the blueprint has been responsible for the production of both the Transformers and the My Little Pony movies and has created a rise in sales tied to those franchises.

Getting More Gamers To Buy More Products

The Hasbro product managers want to try to create more customers for their existing games. On possible game that can be extended is Dungeons & Dragons, a fantasy board game that was introduced nearly 50 years ago. While customers start playing the game around age 11 or 12, there could be opportunities to introduce even younger kids to the game using toys like action figures. The Hasbro product managers also could develop movies or shows based on the game for older consumers who played it when they were younger.

The product managers have studied Coca-Cola who was able to redefine its market, expanding beyond sugary drinks to include any consumable liquid, including tap water. The product managers want to start to think of age limits in the same way. One of the key realizations that the product managers have had is that older G.I. Joe products that have been dug out from storage are being bought by customers in their 30s and 40s. The key is that the customer for this type of product is not the traditional eight- to 10-year-old.

The Hasbro product managers are currently flying high as the toy industry has finished up two strong years of double-digit percent growth. This was caused by homebound Americans splurging on toys and games. The stimulus payments that customers received from the government added juice to customer’s wallets. However, the product managers are preparing for a slowdown this year, with sales up at a low-single digit rate overall.

What All Of This Means For You

The world of gaming is big and getting bigger. Game product managers want to find ways to expand their market. They believe that if they can get older customers who are still game players to become interested in buying more games, they can increase their market. The challenge is to find ways to make this happen. One approach that the product managers are considering is trying to extend their existing games so that they can reach younger players.

The Hasbro product managers want to sell to adults who never stopped gaming. The goal is to get customers to start to view Hasbro as being an entertainment company for people of all ages. In the past the product managers have used Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint to manage how they promoted their toy products. They have discovered that many of their toy products are now being purchased by older customers. The Hasbro product managers must get ready for slower sales as the effects of the pandemic wear off.

The good news is that just about everyone like to play games. The Hasbro product managers have a number of titles that customers both recognize and know that they enjoy playing. Now the challenge will be to see how the product managers can find ways to reach out beyond their standard age groups and once again capture the older customers who are still gamers. At Hasbro, it’s game on!

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that the Hasbro product managers should focus on getting more younger or older players?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

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