Who’s the customer ?

I feel there is a kind of commonly accepted idea that game developers have about who our customers are. To what extent is that idea based on reality? What opportunities are we missing because of a skewed image of our potential customers and what they want?

Then again, perhaps not everyone is missing those opportunities:

Best-selling PC games for 2002 (Source: NPD Group)

Rank / Title / Publisher / Release Date / Average Price
1 / The Sims: Vacation / EA / Mar ’02 / $28
2 / The Sims: Unleashed / EA / Sept ’02 / $28
3 / Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos / Vivendi / June ’02 / $54
4 / Medal of Honor: Allied Assault / EA / Jan ’02 / $44
5 / The Sims / EA / Feb ’00 / $42
6 / The Sims: Hot Date / EA / Nov ’01 / $29
7 / The Sims Deluxe / EA / Sept ’02 / $41
8 / Zoo Tycoon / Microsoft / Oct ’01 / $27
9 / Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone / EA / Nov ’01 / $26
10 / RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 / Infogrames / Oct ’02 / $27