Recent studies have shown that games are now one of the leading electronic arts digital revenue generators. For instance, DFC Intelligence conducted research in an Australian live gaming company, Activision Blizzard, to track down the progress of income realized from games. The results were terrific. In 2010, an average of $10billion was earned from games, and the figures grew to $30billion and $60billion in 2012 and 2020, respectively. Apparently, the rise is exponential, especially now that the trend has shifted from the traditional pay-to-play games to games as a service (GaaS), otherwise called live gaming. Unlike the pay-to-play games that would be short-lived, live gaming allows users to play games online, anywhere, and anytime. Let’s see how GaaS is changing the industry.
a. In- Games App purchases are making the process worthwhile
The traditional pay-to-play games would sell games to customers who would play them for days, a week, or so. Once the stipulated period ended, there was no option but to repeat playing the game, which would become monotonous after some time. However, GaaS has amazingly changed its operations. Games are released for free, but the client has to pay some money to use the additional features that make the game more enjoyable. This method is called In-App purchasing and is such a game-changer in the gaming industry. Everyone is happy, both the company and the user. The user will want to enjoy more and more features while the company will keep earning more cash as the user pays for the features. A gamer can omit unwanted features and purchase desired ones or grind characters, all at the benefit of the gaming company that receives payment. While making payments to buy a particular game feature sometimes brings an unfriendly experience, it is among the many methods GaaS has used to transform the industry.
b. Subscription Games is holding on customer loyalty
Another tool that the GaaS industry is applying to change the industry is the subscription. A subscription allows users to pay a certain fixed amount of money at fixed intervals to enjoy the game. For instance, to enjoy the TempleRun game, a user may need to subscribe to a monthly fee of $5. Companies vary, and even the terms for subscription also vary. One company may allow gamers to enjoy all the features they have at the moment after paying the subscription fee. In contrast, another company may enable users to enjoy a limited number of features and enjoy the rest as they pay for them. Whichever terms and conditions a company apply on subscription, customer trust is cared for. And because the games are interesting, the users remain loyal to the company.
c. Seasonal digital passes are retaining clients
GaaS is upping the game and coming up with updates regularly. Because some money, energy, and resources went into the whole process of updates, they can’t come for free; some charges have to be levied. That’s what the GaaS industry does. However, the experience is made better through digital passes that allow gamers to pay way in advance before the add-ons and the new downloadable contents (DLC) are out. Some companies have customized their games. Payments are made at the year start, and gamers are given passes for all the DLCs and add-ons released throughout the year. For companies that charge for the passes semi-annually or quarterly, discounts are offered to customers to access the DLCs and other exclusive features just released.
d. CRM software is working miracles
In seeing a business succeed, feedback from the clients is essential. The same applies to the GaaS industry that is now doing great courtesy of customer involvement. The sector uses Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to foster strong customer relationships and improve sales and customer retention. Such software enables companies to have quality conversations with prospects and customers. The CRM software has not failed the industry either. A diversification has occurred in the monetization methods because of the quality conversation companies have with clients. This has seen the rise of various methods that meet gamers’ specific needs and include PayPal, Visa cards, GlobalCollect, Xsolla, and Digital River. These processors choose which method and platform they would like to use for payment. In case the experience was unfriendly, the gamers can report that through the CRM software-provided platform.
e. In-game advertising is adding batter to the bread
Another method the live gaming industry is using to retain customers is in-game advertising. Admittedly, too many ads as you play or watch a game are such a nuisance; sometimes, you even feel like stopping the game when an ad causes your phone to log-jam. The GaaS industry is trying a new technique where small ads are aired occasionally. So the open secret is a striking balance between length and frequency. A recent study by Ipson revealed that this method can work and actually draws the user’s attention to other games that they may like. In the research, 47% of those interviewed said they could remember what they saw in the ads, meaning they paid attention! 50% of those who could remember the ads’ contents said they found watching ads a pleasant and informative activity. Remember the many times we have downloaded games we learnt about through ads? In-game advertising can yield fruits, especially if it’s done moderately.
f. Loot boxes are making clients trust the process
Remember a moment when you failed a game level and could not keep playing because of time out. Then alas, you recalled the coins you collected moments before and used them to pass the level. Those coins and gold were loot boxes, i.e., treasures you redeem after purchasing them or earning them when you achieve a game level. This is a strategy that the live gaming industry has used to make the games trust the process. The experience is so pleasant; I mean, you are stuck, and then you get instant relief. Moreover, the loot boxes’ gems contain unique features that a game uses to customize a character and boost its ability. It could be special attire, skin, accessories, speed, or anything that makes the character immune to the game’s obstacles.
Over the past few decades, the gaming industry has seen a significant shift from pay-to-play games to games as a service. In GaaS, several features are used to enhance the gamer’s experience after freely accessing the games. Such methods include in-app purchases, subscriptions, seasonal digital passes, CRM for monetization methods and customer feedback, in-game ads, and loot boxes. These features have led to a magnificent transformation in the gaming industry, as revealed by the income from GaaS,