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                  Surprising results of a huge survey
 Ralph Debusmann                                       rade@coli.uni-sb.de
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German games magazine "Amiga Joker" (AJ) has recently made a survey about
their readers' Amigas, and the results of it are pretty surprising.  10000
readers took part in the survey of the world's biggest Amiga magazine.  The
first result of it was the release of "Primal Rage", which had been
postponed by Warner due to considerations that not as many Amiga owners as
necessary have 2 Megs of RAM.

As not all results of the survey are of interest for a international and
non-AJ-reading public I'll only give you the (IMHO) most important and
surprising facts.

- most readers have an A1200 (54%), 12% possess a new Amiga Technologies
  (AT)-A1200.  43% own an A500(+) or A600, 9% have an A2000 and about 10%
  have an A4000.  Dunno where the CD32-owners are, I guess they had to pick
  "A1200 w/CDROM" on the chart ....

- very few readers are interested in buying an AT-A1200 in the near future
  (5%), but 35% are interested in "coming models" like the new Amiga
  announced on the AT-webpages "http://www.amiga.de" - 23% even say they
  are not only interested but *plan* to buy a "coming model".

- Only 7% of the readers also own an PC-clone.  This supports my opinion
  that many Amiga owners only still cling to their Amiga because they have
  not seen and played about with today's PeeCees too much.  If they did,
  many would already have left the Amiga in no time (especially when it
  comes to games) :-(

- another interesting figure is that 67% have their Amiga for over a year.
  But (to my surprise) there are also 33% who have recently bought one.

- 46% of the readers claim themselves to be "advanced", 38% even say they
  are "experienced".  Only 16% are "novices" :) I guess we are lightyears
  ahead of Peecee-people in this aspect.

- 54% claim to have more than 30 originals, 28% have up to 20 originals
  (the rest has up to 5 or up to 10)

- most prefered genres are: strategy (73%), adventures (60%) trading (54%)
  and "3D-dungeons" (D**m-alike, 53%).  I think these are more German
  preferences, as I guess players in the UK prefer footie-sims and arcade
  games.  

The remaining breakdown by category:

Action (47%)
Sports (46%)
Multiplayer (42%)
RPG (37%)
Technical Sims (36%)
Arcade (28%)
Thinking (16%)

- 96% of the readers buy their games after reading the magazine (AJ), 63%
  support their "opinion-building" by reading the reviews in concurring
  magazines.  33% claim their opinion influenced by adverts, 42% also buy
  by "mouth propaganda".  This somewhat implies -> bad reviews -> bad
  sales!  I guess this wouldn't be so drastical if we had more and better
  game demos like the PeeCee-crowd has.  This virtually always sucks on the
  Amiga - we get too few demoversions and if we get them, they are often
  too short, just one level or so to get a real impression.

- 84% buy their software via mailorder, only 56% buy in shops, only 7%
  claim to get pirated games.  This number seems to be not too
  representative IMHO :-(

- To the most important part - the configuration of the readers' Amigas
  ...

42% have a CD-ROM (mostly double-speed), 26% plan to buy one
86% have a HD, 4% plan to buy one
9% own a graphic card, 5% plan to buy one
16% own a HD-floppy, 18% are interested in one and 4% plan to buy one
35% own a joypad
82% have upgraded their memory, 7% plan to do this soon
(50% have 4 Megs, 30% have even more mem)
42% own an accelerator card (mostly 030s), 21% plan to buy one 
88% own a second floppy

So, please make your own conclusions after reading this.  For me it is
astonishing that 86% have a HD and 82% have expanded their memory, and that
not only from 512KB to 1M in their 500 ;)

That's one reason for games like "BIING" being such a huge success in
Germany (it required more than 3 Megs of mem and a HD).  Also please note
that in the near future 68% will have a CD-ROM and 63% an accelerator card.
And please think about how much more people would upgrade if enough great
games would force them to!

My conclusion is that for Germany, probably the biggest market for Amiga
software, you could go along well with games on CD-ROMs or at least
HD-only-games which also require extra mem.  THERE IS A MARKET!  And I
repeat, if for example "Day of the Tentacle" would be ported or TFX the
number of reasonably upgraded Amigas would increase even more.

As a small addition I'd like to add the present game sales-top ten in
Germany:

1. SWOS 96
2. Obsession
3. Gloom Deluxe (020 needed)
4. Breathless (AGA needed)
5. Worms [2 meg CHIP highly recommended]
6. Soccer Stars
7. XTReme Racing (AGA needed)
8. Super Tennis Champs
9. Flight of the Amazon Queen
10. Black Viper

Where at least number 3 and 4 demand a bigger machine than the stock A500.
See you can actually SELL AGA-titles if they are good enough.

In the UK HMV-charts SWOS also is No.1, Worms No.3, followed by a big bunch
of Playstation titles.  So in the UK the situation doesn't seem to be as
good as in Germany.

I wouldn't conclude that this is situation is like paradise.  We all know
that 030s aren't state of the art (to express it carefully).  But hey,
these figures are MUCH BETTER than I supposed and I hope this will change
the minds of game company bosses a bit.  It has already changed Time
Warner's minds :)