The games industry is incredibly lucrative, and a Newzoo study, written on the subject by GamesIndustry.biz, reveals that the sector as a whole was worth around $134.9 billion in 2018 alone. Given current trends, it’s likely that several billion dollars of further worth will be added in 2019.
This value means that there are also many more game developers trying to carve out a section of the market for themselves and find the next big hit. This follows the likes of Fortnite and, going further back, World of Warcraft. Finding that success and entering the games market isn’t easy though, and for many developers, the biggest challenge will be creating a game that offers players variety. But it is here that problems begin to arise.
The trouble with quantity
Variety is undoubtedly important to both gamers and developers mainly because there are so many apps to choose from and, in order for any product to succeed, it needs to maintain consumer engagement. An article by Born2Invest reveals that the average attention span is now just eight seconds, which is down from the 12-second average attention span from 10 years earlier.
The availability of apps makes it easy and convenient to switch between games or pick and choose between other alternatives if we conclude that we aren’t being entertained. Fast internet speeds mean that it’s easy to play new games on computers and newer consoles too. So, to keep the attention on their games, developers may have to provide more variety within their already-existing products, such as add-ons and packs.
The trouble with quality
There are currently two million apps that are available to download from Google Play and 1.83 million from the App Store. With App Store Optimization or ASO, you can quickly type in the game genre, feature, or mode that you’re looking for and it will pull up dozens of results. There are also gaming platforms, such as online bingo and casino site Booty Bingo, which provide several game types in one place. On that site, players can find slots, as well as a variety of online bingo games and tabletop casino games, such as roulette. Sites like this mean that players don’t have to divert their custom elsewhere to find a game that engages them.
For game developers who’ve created products or platforms that deliver limited functionalities or only provide a restricted number of gaming possibilities, this can be a huge problem. It reduces their target audience and also their prospective customer base, resulting in an obvious decline in usage and sales.
It’s also understandably difficult to create effective gameplay that players would happily return to. Games like League of Legends, which has one main game map and also eight million concurrent players, according to PCGamesN, are a rarity. However, the game also has more than 100 playable characters who all possess different skills and provide different avenues of gameplay.
Developers may need to mix it up, offering several different game modes, characters, and special events. If not, players can and will quickly find something that provides them with a more varied experience without looking back. Although, there also lies the risk of the player being overwhelmed with choice within a singular gaming narrative or package.
Creating a new starting position
For those making new strides into the gaming arena, this can necessitate a different approach from the traditional. While having a central focus or premise is still desirable, many developers are also taking into account the current, much more varied, state of the market.
Sometimes these extra modes of access can fall by the wayside, other times, they take off. As an example, Fortnite offered its battle-royale mode originally as an optional game type. Despite these beginnings, this mode saw success far greater than anything the starting player-versus-environment game-type would accomplish.
The level at which this adoption will eventually take in the greater market still remains in question, though the direction is undoubtedly one in which the industry will strive. Variety caters to where we are socially and technologically, though it is not without its hurdles.