Gaming expected to grow 20%, what brands can do to engage
Whether on social networks, mobile apps or gaming hubs, consumers around the globe are engaging with games. But, unlike the past, most gamers aren’t playing solitary games, they are playing branded games in social atmospheres. Not all games are created equally, however, so brands need to know what works and what doesn’t before they log on.
by Kristina Knight
Casual games brings in more than $2 billion each year with an expected annual growth rate of 20%.
“I think that more people are comfortable with game dynamics, the engagement with Facebook and the social games inside is building that comfort level even more,” said Kelly Perdew, CEO of Fastpoint Games. “Game mechanics are applicable over more than just games. We’re looking at more sophisticated rewards programs, educational elements, training programs. Gamer mechanics drive behavior and large organizations are seeing that now. Content hooks [consumers] and once they see the fun factor, they become even more involved.”
What’s more the theory behind gaming can be translated to work within a number of other revenue streams by sending branded messages through a game to engaged consumers.
Fastpoint Games is the leader in fantasy sports games with users averaging 9:40 and just over 10 pageviews per visit. The company has launched 57 games for 15 clients across 21 sports/entertainment seasons over the past 14 months.
“Right now people are becoming very comfortable using micro-payments to play games,” said Perdew. “We have seen that ‘freemium’ models actually generate more revenue than revenue from people playing premium models. Even though [gamers] are making payments that are 1/20th the amount [of premium players], over the course of the game play, we are getting more revenue.”
So, allowing gamers to play for free is one thing brands need to consider while they are in the game creation phase. Another tip, think about where consumers will play, and make allowances based on screen size.
“A lot of people think that Brand A can create the same feel from a desktop [ game] in a mobile device, but mobile is a different place,” said Perdew. “Efforts need to be focused on the things that mobile users want to do on their mobile device - not on the whole game, because putting an entire game on a mobile screen isn’t feasible and won’t transfer.”
Perdew suggests that mobile will become a bigger playing on the gaming front as smartphones become more widespread.
“Users want what they want when they want it. If they want to play a game, they want to play at that moment and not later on,” said Perdew.