The Nursery Gaming Team

The Nursery Gaming team (previously Arkenford) has delivered the Gold Standard of European Games Research since 2003.

We were a founding partner of GameVision, an ongoing syndicated tracker that provides the video gaming Industry with robust market insight. Added to this we conduct numerous bespoke projects for a range of organisations in the sector to help support product development, marketing strategies, pricing and demand models and brand tracking and engagement.

The insights we have delivered have helped drive transformation change; we have anticipated, measured and advised a range of players in the sector on every major innovation within the industry since our foundation.

No matter how big or small you are as an organisation, or whether you’re a marketeer, brand manager, developer or analyst, our team will adapt their language, approach and output format to best inform your commercial challenges.

Don’t be afraid to ask about marketing channels, mere-exposure effects, sampling methodology, model assumptions or collision detection. We’re business-aware professionals as much as we are gamers, able to deliver expert and concise advice through to extensive data-driven and evidence-based surveys tailored to your specific needs and backed up with market context.

What we cover

New Product Development

New Product Development

We have supported clients in the sector at all stages of the development cycle offering evidence-based support with;

  • Concept Design & development
  • Alpha / Beta Testing
  • Marketing
  • Release
  • Content planning (sequels, expansions, DLCs)

We can adopt a range of techniques to test and rate game concepts and help you identify your target audience based on what we know aspects of games they enjoy most.

Audience Profiling

Audience Profiling

Interested in a specific gamer audience?

Select the audience you wish to know about and we can deliver a report focusing on this group of gamers.

How many of them are there, how much do they spend and on what, which systems do they prefer to use, which games do they play, how do they divide their time between multi-player and solo gaming.

We have 34 audience reports to choose from based on the most popular breaks of our data (demographics / spend and gaming behaviour / favourite games). These cover platforms they play on, commitment to gaming, country, age and gender or the type of game play they prefer.

The insights we provide allow you to explore the volume, value, characteristics, games behaviour and attitudes of your selected audience.

Brand Engagement and Benchmarking

Brand Engagement and Benchmarking

Games are all about gameplay and in-game systems. Whilst this seems an obvious statement it is sometimes forgotten, as people focus on features, payment systems, even graphics when measuring brand engagement.

However great all the above are, if the gameplay is lacking there will be little lasting motivation to play the game and however good the marketing, interest in the game will wain fast.

We have found the best way to discover what motivates gamers to play a game (engage with your brand) is to ask them what they enjoy about playing it. Over many years we have refined this research into 22 ways to enjoy a game.

Having located all these motivations we can then place any game on the map based on what players enjoy about the game and benchmark your game against others in the market.

Title Tracking

Title Tracking

We have been tracking game brands since 2003. Over time we have asked nearly a million gamers for their opinions on every title from Skyrim to Candy Crush.

Each month we track around 200 game brands. We provide a comprehensive brand map on the people aware of and/or playing each of these brands and what they think about the games. For some titles the maps include trend data going back 15 years.

Purchasers buy individual maps, competitive sets of brands or a market cross section. You are free to choose the brands that best meets your needs, or we can advise you based on your requirements. If the brand you want to track isn't on our current list, we can discuss adding it, something that more and more clients are doing pre and post game launch.

Live service games

Live service games

Live service games, be it MMOs or simple co-op games, historically have always had difficulties in defining their identity, this includes mostly putting focus where it matters the most and how to tackle complex relationships between in-game systems and groups of players. Some examples below:

Assessment of in-game economy - developing sustainability and stabilising currency purchasing power, building supply and demand equilibrium

Assessment and diagnosis of needs in terms of in-game systems - group finder or creation sharing tools, need for other systems enhancing gameplay experience and lowering player retention

Analysis of in-game social networks - interactions between key segments of the in-game audience and their effect on conversion rates and purchasing habits

Evidence-based community management - identifying key groups and their unique in-game functions - from leading social and competitive play to spreading word of mouth and creating in-game content. Keeping healthy distribution of different types of players and how to attract them to the game.

Custom-built tools and advanced analytics

Custom-built tools and advanced analytics

Got too much data and don’t know what to do with it? Let us tap on to your API, SQL database or Spark cluster and produce live online reporting tool. Be it sales figures, number of players in a specific area of the game or in-game player behaviours. Everything subject to the depth of analysis required. From simple reporting to regression modelling, simulating outputs and decision trees. Tell us what you need!


Case Studies

GameVision Tracker

Syndicated tracking study

2020 will be Game Vision’s 18th year of operation. The study is based on a unique combination of face to face and online research amongst over 30,000 gamers each year to deliver the most robust data set in the marketplace. It provides our clients with comprehensive view of Gamer behaviour in 5 core European markets, and combines robust tracking data with valuable and up-to-date market insights.

Since 2018 we have been running the fieldwork monthly to ensure that the research is constantly in-field, continually collecting data on the size of the gaming market and of the behaviour of Gamers, and allowing us to identify trends in any given period of time (e.g. pre/ post game launch or pre/ post global pandemics!).

The study delivers quarterly updates (and trend data) on the size and value of the games market in Europe, (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy), gamers attitudes and behaviour, and the brand strength of 200 of the top game titles from all genre.

In addition, we include quarterly topic reports helping us better understand emerging trends in the market as they happen, e.g. VR, eSports, and more currently streaming of games and competition between leading online stores.

There are a number of ways clients can access the data, from full subscription packages through to access to a specific game brand maps and bespoke reports.

Our clients are using this service to track changes in awareness and levels of play across different markets, to benchmark their titles against the titles of their competitors, to evaluate the market as a whole, to identify new emerging trends and to stay on top of the newest developments within video gaming industry.


New product development - market simulation and competitor analysis

An extensive piece of work to support the development and marketing of a sequel title for an award-winning developer. Initial work helped us understand market fit, and the size of the potential audience for their new title, through the delivery of a custom-built simulation tool. This helped to diagnose key marketing pillars based around the elements of the game the target audience enjoy most, as well as identify its direct competitors. Our robust knowledge of the market, access to industry data, and application of statistical algorithms allowed us to predict the most efficient marketing approach, as well as provide development direction towards key gameplay elements that needed additional work in order to outclass the competition and bring in something new to the market.

We then provided a more detailed profile of the identified audience to inform the marketing and communication of the new game, helping our client to deliver the right message on the right channel to the right audience.

This evidence-led approach will ensure that the new game will reach their target audience more effectively, use the right communications to hook that audience in, and ultimately deliver a game experience they know the Gamers will enjoy.

Developer and Publisher

Bespoke data collection and market evaluation

An ongoing series of ad hoc studies providing data on highly refined and strictly specified set of industry-relevant topics. Main goals of this ongoing service are as follows:

  1. to provide our clients with access to industry data based on nationally representative sample for each of several European countries;
  2. to collect data on topics defined by our clients, through an online measurement tool;
  3. to provide methodologically sound market sizing, thus allowing to report total volumes in relation to questions about specified topics;
  4. to support our clients’ analyses whenever it is necessary.

This service allows our clients to make informed decisions about sequel developments, marketing of specific titles, product awareness gaps in certain subgroups and most importantly, provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the video gaming market in relation to commercial problems unique for our clients.