Market Research for Dreams of Darkness


Jaguar Games, an indie gaming company, sought to understand the core needs and preferences of their current player base for their flagship title, Dream of Darkness. The main objective was to gather insights that would help the team identify an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) feature set and align the game better with their existing players. The market research aimed to address two main issues: the lack of player engagement and uncertainty about the game’s positioning among the player base.

Defining the Research Scope:

Before initiating the market research, Jaguar Games set clear goals to understand what had been built so far and how it related to the player base’s preferences. The research aimed to gain a deep understanding of the player base’s gaming preferences, gaming habits, and expectations from Dream of Darkness.

Identifying the Core Problems:

Two primary issues were identified:

Issue One: Current player base is not overly engaged: Jaguar Games noticed a decline in player engagement with Dream of Darkness, which raised concerns about the game’s appeal to its existing audience.

Issue Two: Unsure what the current player base thinks the game is: The team realized that there was confusion among players about the game’s genre and concept, indicating a potential misalignment between the game’s marketing and actual gameplay experience.

Formulating the Hypothesis:

Based on the identified issues, the research team hypothesized that the current player base did not align with the game’s current product. They believed that understanding the players’ preferences and expectations would be crucial in improving the game’s appeal and enhancing player engagement.

Conducting the Market Research:

To validate the hypothesis and address the core problems, Jaguar Games conducted comprehensive market research. The research included qualitative and quantitative methods:

  • Surveys: Jaguar Games designed and distributed surveys to the current player base to gather quantitative data on gaming preferences and satisfaction levels.
  • Focus Groups: The research team organized focus groups with a diverse sample of players to facilitate in-depth discussions and gain qualitative insights.
  • Game Usage Analysis: Data on player behavior and game usage was collected and analyzed to identify patterns and trends.

Analyzing the Results:

After collecting and analyzing the data, the research team uncovered significant insights:

  • Most of the current players preferred first-person shooter style games rather than story-driven horror games like Dream of Darkness.
  • The players’ confusion about the game’s genre and concept indicated a lack of clarity in the game’s marketing messaging and communication.

Conclusions and Recommendations:

Based on the research results, Jaguar Games drew the following conclusions:

  • Dream of Darkness did not align with the preferences of its current player base, leading to a decline in engagement.
  • The game’s marketing messaging needed to be reevaluated and refined to better convey its unique genre and appeal to the right audience.

Action Plan:

To address the identified issues and align Dream of Darkness with its player base, Jaguar Games formulated an action plan:

  • Redefine the game’s marketing strategy to clearly communicate its genre and gameplay experience.
  • Based on player preferences and feedback, identify and prioritize MVP features that resonate with the target audience.
  • Conduct playtesting sessions with the existing player base to validate and refine the new features.


Following the implementation of the action plan, Jaguar Games witnessed a notable increase in player engagement with Dream of Darkness. The game’s updated marketing messaging and aligned features attracted a more relevant player base, resulting in higher player retention and satisfaction levels.


By conducting thorough market research, Jaguar Games successfully identified the core needs and preferences of their current player base for Dream of Darkness. This research-driven approach enabled the team to align the game better with the target audience, resulting in improved engagement and overall player satisfaction. The insights gained from the market research played a crucial role in refining the game’s marketing and feature set, creating a more successful and appealing flagship title for Jaguar Games.


Conducting market research for Jaguar Games' flagship title "Dream of Darkness" to understand the core needs of current players. The goal was to identify areas for improvement and determine an MVP feature set. Through user research, interviews, stakeholder engagement, and subject matter expert consultations, valuable insights were gained. The research revealed that the current player base's preferences did not align with the game's positioning, resulting in low engagement. The findings informed the team's decision-making and paved the way for enhancing the game's appeal to the target audience.