During the past 10-15 years the international gaming industry has evolved beyond anybody’s wildest expectations. According to industry media the global video games market grew from some 75 billion USD in 2017 to an estimated120 billion USD in 2019 and a projected USD 299 billion USD in 2023. By any account it is the largest and fastest growing part of the entertaining economy.
We asked Mikael Nermark, experienced gaming business developer and former CEO of Starbreeze, for an instant insight view.
Hi Mike. How would you compare the online gaming industry to regular online sales, like cars and related services?
“Well, in both cases you need to hook the potential buyer within the first 10 or 15 seconds, and then keep them engaged. Not just by providing the information that they find interesting but also trigger their endorphins. Like, giving them pleasant experiences as mental “happy-pills” every now and then so they don’t get tired of you.
Most people don’t realize this but, like in the car business, it takes a number of years and hundreds of people to develop a best-selling game. The obvious difference is of course that we sell many millions of games at the fraction of the cost of a car.”
And then you’ve got to keep them engaged, so they stay a bit longer, play a bit more …
“Exactly! That is true both when we market our games and when we design them to keep up their interest.
After launching a new game we regularly update them with new DLC (downloadable content).
And when we release these updates we often do it step by step, like … On Wednesday we announce it to all known users, which means millions of registered users around the world. The next day they get some kind of freebie related to that updated version, like a new weapon or new clothes, you name it. Then, on day three we offer the actual product. Step by step we build up the interest.
When it comes to game design, some productions require intense action, virtually non-stop. In more strategic games, the players need time to reflect before the next move. So the designer needs to understand the difference, and the way the players think and operate, but it must never be boring.”
What about community building? How important is the interaction with other players, and with the people who create and develop the games?
“That’s immensely important. It’s an essential part of branding in the global entertainment industry. The followers of a movie star or rock band want to know everything about these idols, and during concerts, the audience is really bonding with both the starts and the audience, though they are complete strangers.
It is virtually impossible to do that with game fans, there are so many people involved in every production. But they get the next best thing: special, frequently updated web pages with news and other stories and offerings.”
Like gaming consumers, car buyers also tend to stay longer with online video ads. Find out more about Phyron.