Perhaps some of the answers surrounding EA's quest for numbers are to be found in current marketing trends associated with the gaming industry and its consumers (there's obviously been a lot of money to be made).
Anyway, some might find the following limited study of interest:
Concerning gamer identity: An examination of individual factors associated with accepting the label of gamer
by William T. Howe, Dalaki Jym Livingston, and Sun Kyong Lee
This study examined characteristics of players that self-identified as gamers. Participants (N=476) were asked to complete an online survey and provide information about their video game play. Analyses of the survey responses found support for gamers being younger, men, and playing more. We also found that some of the genres of play and technology used diverged from previous research. The two most surprising findings were that gamers preferred to play on consoles more than on computers, and massive-multiplayer online games were not the most played genre. This paper contributed to research in three ways: previous assumptions surrounding gamer identity and demographics were tested, the genre of games and method of play were examined to refine the definition of a gamer, and the implications of gamer identity were discussed.
Recently there has been an outcry against Electronic Arts’ (EA) Battlefield V’s new trailer for featuring too many female characters. The hashtag #NotMyBattlefield was trending on Twitter and many gamers were asking for change (Buckley, 2018). This study sought to identify factors that corresponded with an individual’s desire to identify as a gamer. The findings and implications of this study may help understand why some individuals felt EA was wrong to release such a trailer as it did not align with traditional gamer identity. Video games provide unique communication situations and relational quandaries that create unique research opportunities. People who play video games are actively engaged in computer-mediated communication (CMC) that can move beyond geographical borders, social strata, and nationality (Hiltz and Turoff, 1978; Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). Video games also provide a means of communication between players and non-players. Whether facilitated within the game, or discussed outside the game itself, communication about video games is as varied as the types of games played. Because of the impact of video games, understanding who has access to these technological resources and what affordances they provide would be worthwhile. In this paper we examine what demographic, genre preferences, and technological devices used are associated with individuals that self-identify as gamers.
From lengthy role-playing adventure games to battling in a first-person shooter, the label ‘gamer’ is often used. Sometimes this term is used in jest, or with pride, but other times with stigmatizing intent. We seek to understand associations of gameplay and gamer label acceptance. Accepting, or identifying with, the label of a gamer is timely due to recent increases in video game production and consumption. In this paper we provide an overview of literature concerning video game use, gamer identity, and social identity theory. This research contributes to game research in three ways. First, we test previous assumptions surrounding gamer identity and demographics. Second, we examine the genre of games and method of play to further understand gamer identity. Finally, we discuss the implications of the changing, as well as unchanging, aspects of gamer identity.