I just read this interesting MediaPost article about consumer trends for consumer packaged goods and wondered how these food trends translate to the games space?
Players are looking for game publishers they can trust! Of course, they can always go with the tried-and-true, but they may also be open to trying out new publishers and indie games, especially if the price is right! For existing big players, now is the time to solidify your relationship with your dedicated and hard core fans. Find ways to make them feel like a VIP. And, for indie developers, now is the time to launch those innovative games at the right price…which brings me to the next point…
As the MediaPost article states,”People are continuing — and in some cases, intensifying — their efforts to save money and cut costs.” Players are looking much more closely at getting the biggest bang for their buck. So, it’s up to game developers and publishers to deliver this promise! Find ways for your players to feel like they’re getting a true bargain!
As part of the trend to control costs, people are looking to simplify their lives. This recession may, in fact, provide a great opportunity for online and mobile games. These games can be much simpler (and cheaper to develop) than their console counterparts. They are also much easier to distribute and deliver. There you have it, simplicity in game development, game-play, as well as delivery. Who’da thunk?! Start thinking about what you can do in these markets. If you don’t, you risk the chance of losing traction in players’ minds, especially in some of these emerging (North American ) markets.
Do not focus on simplicity at the cost of game-play! Players still want compelling and fun games! As the MediaPost article states, “People are looking to up the fun factor in their lives”. So, give them more fun! And, be creative in how you increase the fun factor! It can’t simply be more of the same. Playfulness should include finding fun and entertaining things in unexpected ways. Right now, creativity is more than King, it’s God!
Trading down, up and over
To make every dollar go further, players are accepting trade-offs. Whether it’s “tricking” themselves into thinking that spending smaller amounts makes a purchase more attractive or just realizing that they really don’t need to buy only AAA titles, players are now exploring and willing to try out new (and cheaper) titles. Make it worth their while to try your game and surprise them! If you do want them to pay more for your game, make sure there is a premium experience to go along with the premium price tag!
If you can successfully translate the above trends into your game, you just might have a recession winner! No guarantees, but you’ll definitely be closer to aligning yourself with those consumer purchase behaviors we’re seeing at ALL levels.