Attract gamers to come back
We have entered a more mature era of online gaming, when both providers and consumers of the games have expectations that are informed and in step with the new paradigm of computer science and its marvels (namely mobile technologies). It takes more to entice players, for instance, to stick with a particular community, website or game lineage than ever before.
The qualities that ensure loyalty are not traditional types necessarily, like value driven promotions that surround the gaming experience. Instead, new depths in the game experience itself must carry most of the responsibility for player retention.
New Bars to Meet
Basically, we’re looking at a change in the very consciousness of people who use mobile technologies, and enjoy gaming, and know the emerging language of computer-augmented lifestyles. People’s familiarity and growing warmth toward their connected devices and the new dimensions they access is bound to change them — not exactly in the ways luddites fear — and understanding that is essential for marketing to them.
Without speaking to this fundamental change, strategies at keeping online customers (in a variety of media genres besides gaming) will fall short. Incentives need to fulfill, in some way, the new bottom line for online and mobile gaming: intense direct experiences of adventure, or even extreme experiences like horror.
When people flock to new gaming experiences the expanded consciousness is the draw, the thrill of exploration, of skill acquisition, and, the new world of social ties opened up by the paradigm of computer-generated entertainment. Games have outgrown the concept of game — one of the hottest casino-games studios with an unmistakable cinematic flare is called Internet Entertainment, for example.
Next, the entertainment, the world of each game, is expected to grow and develop the way real life does. We could say that our games have become very human, even in having moods, cycles of health and activity, and mortality. When the providers of games seek to promote to grow as well as hold onto existing players the motive must be for the life of the gaming community — a pure profit motive simply can’t engender the experience, the new consciousness, that the world’s most avid players are coming to expect.
Tickets to Ride
There will be certain costs involved for premium gaming. When a person spends money for entertainment the bar for satisfaction suddenly is far higher. The price must not be exorbitant, unless it is worth it in terms of experiential value — which is different for subjective, interactive content as opposed to objective hardware products (like consoles and controllers). Mobile gaming, especially, highlights the intangible because smartphones and tablets do games so well.
In some ways, mobile gaming is more available and more accessible, with less monetary barriers, than conventional computer gaming (which require arcades or bulky equipment in the home). The online aspect is further influential whenever funds are part of the game, whether in avatar marketplaces or personal stakes during multi-player poker.
Since mobiles are integrated (if not essential) in contemporary computer-augmented lifestyles they offer a living, real-time atmosphere that fixed (mainly offline) gaming environments cannot offer. Again, marketing to these players must acknowledge the unique payoffs of mobile gaming’s mindspace. There is actually a lot of value for game providers and their marketing teams to mine from promotions that are as creative and innovative as the games offered.
Yet, since playing in a mobile casino, for example, necessitates a financial investment however small, cash incentives will be attractive from the player’s consumer consciousness (and scale of value). But how new online casinos include the best offers and promotions to nurture loyalty from the financial point of reference along with the experiential scale of value is key. In other words, incentives that merely focus upon cash savings or bonuses and neglect ways to intensify players’ experiences or communal consciousness may be obsolete.