The video game industry is one sector that is largely unaffected by recession and global events and that’s one of the reasons why it continues to thrive. Projections indicate that the total revenue from gaming may be set to exceed a staggering $300 billion in 2025 and the numbers continue to rise on an annual basis.
Those are astronomical figures and they tend to indicate that there is plenty of room for developers and publishers to grab a sizeable share, but the truth is that this is a very competitive sector. There are new companies coming onto the market but in order to survive and thrive, they need to offer something different to the rest of the crowd. Attracting new customers is key so just how do gaming companies carry this out?
Innovate and thrive
Innovation is one obvious area where gaming companies can gain an edge over the competition. Over the years, we’ve seen the introduction of handheld consoles, wands and mobile gaming and this helps to capture an increased market share – at least until the competing operators start to catch up.
Future innovation is vital for companies and that’s why new avenues are being tested and developed on a consistent basis. Shaping the future is crucial but further techniques need to be adopted in the here and now.
Potential players and purchasers like to be incentive for signing up and remaining loyal to a brand and that’s a need that has been met fully by the gambling sector. It’s important not to forget that online casino and bingo games make up a significant portion of that billion-dollar revenue and it’s fair to say that they lead the way when it comes to rewarding their players.
When signing up with a new online casino or bingo provider, customers now expect to receive some form of promotion. This may come in the form of bonus funds to match their opening deposit or they may receive some free spins to use at the slots. Alternatively, a no deposit bingo bonus might be made available for those who want to try their luck on the bingo cards.
These are offers that are made on a regular basis to new customers and many of those gambling operators continue to reward regular play. Loyalty programs are becoming commonplace while one-off promotions can be picked up at most providers.
The gambling sector leads the way here, but traditional video gaming companies can learn some lessons of their own. In-play purchases can be offered on a BOGOF – buy one, get one free – basis while loyalty rewards can also be provided for ongoing financial transactions. We all like to be rewarded and this is a key area where the gaming industry can attract new customers and retain them on a long-term basis.
Choice is key
Rewards are useful but they are very much a bonus. Gaming companies need to provide stunning titles and a range of games if they are to bring new customers on board and that’s why new titles are being produced on a regular basis.
Occasionally, a new game such as Fortnite or Pokemon Go will come through and become a new best seller and while many titles don’t earn that amount of success, it’s very much a case of ‘more is more’ as far as the video gaming industry is concerned. Additional titles are the lifeblood of all producers and choice is another key element to getting new players on board.
Connecting the community
Creating a sense of community is another area where the gambling industry tends to score more heavily over its competitors. Sign up and log on to a bingo site or a casino operator and you’ll find that chat rooms are rife, and they are used with enthusiasm by a significant proportion of customers.
Those chat rooms may be difficult to replicate by traditional video game providers but there is more than one way of connecting people. Multiplayer versions of most games can reconnect friends and family and they can also help players make new connections from all over the world. This is a way to keep players engaged and while new customers may not look for chat rooms and multiplayer games as a first priority, it will be tough to leave a site once those players have become part of the community that binds it.
Without a physical store, video game providers have a real challenge in terms of attracting new accounts and keeping them on board. There is so much competition in this multi-billion-dollar sector, but these are ways in which operators can stand out. The next question is, what’s coming in the future?
In a sense, the future of the video game industry is already here but it may need a little more development for it to become mainstream. Artificial intelligence is a key driver for many eCommerce sites and it’s one that could hold the key to future success in the gaming sector.
We can see this factor in evidence in certain areas and once again, the gambling industry tends to lead the way. Log on to any bingo or casino site and you will see suggested games which will develop into a more tailored roster as the player continues to visit and select their own favourites.
Virtual Reality is another concept that is already here, but it’s been relatively slow to truly take off. Perhaps it’s the fact that current headsets may be too cumbersome or too expensive. Maybe players in a multiplayer situation would prefer to see the entire battle arena and, more importantly, be able to watch their opponent as the game progresses.
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AI and VR are frequently cited as the future as far as video games are concerned and those are two essential areas for companies to exploit in order to retain and increase their share of a significant market. The future will continue to reveal itself but overall, the video gaming sector will continue to thrive.