Developers of online games have been urged to follow the example set by those in the social and casual gaming market if they are to retain players.
During an ICE Totally Gaming session on social, gamification and multi-screen techniques, figures from leading companies in both the online gaming and social games markets told delegates that the two sectors could draw on each other’s expertise to strengthen the overall product offering.
Simon Collins, founder of Gaming Realms, highlighted the story-telling and journey feature of social gaming that could prove popular in online games. He said that players who spend money on rewards that offer no real-money or cash incentives, and instead just provide visual content, is an “exciting aspect”.
“Some casual games have an interesting journey they put the user through that makes these games much more interesting than real-money casino gaming,” Collins told delegates at London’s ExCeL. “We need to learn from this, utilise the tricks and engage users in new and exciting ways.”
Estelle Fumé, head of platform partnerships at Facebook, Israel, also picked up on this point and cited story-telling as one of the key features that boosts player retention levels in social gaming. She said: “We have seen some interesting initiatives around story-telling. The more you play, then the more you see of the story or unlock a new story. This is a really interesting take on this form of gaming.”
Hussein Chahine, the chief executive of Yazino, agreed that players want to be entertained when playing games and developers should establish what they are trying to achieve with their game. Chahine said: “A player is looking for visual consumption and they want to be entertained. There are different ways to define entertainment and you have to consider whether you are building for entertainment or player retention.
“You have to think about creating the best tools to build games that are entertaining.” His viewpoint was supported by Bruce Bale, head of social gaming and development at Sky Bet, who said adding similar ‘hooks’ that feature in casual games can help real-money games to become more established on social platforms.
“Lot of social platforms are hesitant to open up to real-money gaming, but there is definitely space to catch up that respect,” Bale said. “Adding the same hooks that are in casual game is what developers should be looking to achieve. “The current generation is growing up on social media, whereas the older generation did not. People playing games together is where the opportunities are.”