There are more than 2.5 billion gamers worldwide and the market for gaming is expected to be worth over $90 billion this year alone. To stay competitive, developers and publishers must do more than create immersive content--they need to create world-class player experiences.
But how can gaming companies differentiate themselves in an overcrowded market? From Microsoft to Sony to Ubisoft, these companies are shifting the gaming CX paradigm with subscription services. The industry is moving away from hardware to cloud-based, on-demand solutions that empower players with the freedom to game anywhere.
Lights, Camera, Action: The Subscription Model
Most gaming subscription models work just like other Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings: users pay a monthly fee to access a library of games that they can either stream or download. PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass are two industry giants who are leading the way.
But even free-to-play games are getting on the subscription bandwagon by offering access to premium experiences. These offerings celebrate the games VIPs, and provides them with incentives while simultaneously doubling their spending on in-game content.
Subscription-based gaming models improve the player experience by augmenting playing options, increasing convenience, and providing exclusive value for subscribers. In turn, these player benefits drive brand loyalty, create feedback loops, and increase monthly purchases. Richard Jolly from ACI points out that, “Subscription-based services encourage longer-term relationships, improving customer lifetime value through better retention and encouraging customers to broaden their range of interactions.”
The model is growing. According to a Stanford study, the subscription market has grown by more than 100% every year and increased from $57 million in sales in 2011 to $2.6 billion in 2016. There are no signs it will slow down in 2020 and beyond.
4 Ways to Develop a CX Concierge
A concierge at a top-of-the-line hotel provides guests with an amazing experience by anticipating needs, making recommendations, and offering ‘random acts of kindness.’ Gaming companies should mirror this experience to differentiate their services and increase revenue in 2020 and beyond.
Here are 4 ways gaming companies can create a concierge-like service for gamers:
The WoW Factor
Gaming companies should regularly update their content experiences to keep players engaged. For example, World of Warcraft (WoW), one of the longest standing and most successful subscription-based games hosts seasonal in-game events and continuously works on the quality of their expansion packs. In 2017 the company yielded $10 billion in revenue and continues to be one of the most profitable games in the world. By keeping player engagement at the center of your strategy, it can generate brand loyalty and break the ceiling on your revenue.
1-up Your Perks
One of the core pillars in any winning CX strategy is to surprise and delight customers. Kindra Cooper from CCW Digital writes, “Unexpected amenities and perks are the quickest way to a customer’s heart.” For gaming companies, this can be as simple as a free skin, a new badge, or exclusive access to a sequel’s beta release. These simple add ons add a new level of excitement for gamers and keeps them on your platform longer.
Don’t Leave a Player Hanging
Beyond FAQs and customer support forums, a true player concierge should offer in-game customer support to maintain immersion and preserve a seamless player experience. Riot Games is leading the way with Blitzcrank Bot, an integrated AI solution within League of Legends. It works to identify and answer inquiries to help players get back into the game sooner while also empowering support staff to tackle more complex issues.
Gaming companies need to do more than just convince players to sign up—they need to keep player longevity front and center. One of the best ways to generate loyalty and longevity is through tangible benefits with perks like VIP status, reducing the amount of grinding that has to be done in a game, and cosmetic upgrades for the ultimate visual adventure.
The video gaming industry may have taken longer to adopt subscription models, but all indicators show that they’re here to stay. Driven by a desire for experience over ownership, today’s consumers look for on-demand subscription services backed by a great CX. By providing a ridiculously good player experience, gaming companies can generate brand loyalty, increase revenue, and create a positive gaming community that keeps players coming back for more.
Are you ready to create an out of this world player experience? Let’s keep your competition away together. Drop me a note here: Sally.Stromme@taskus.com