Why game developers are neglecting their players

Can you imagine going to a restaurant that made it increasingly harder to get through each course of a meal?

Sure, you can have your appetizers, but to eat your entrée you’ll have to cross the street to another location. And don’t forget to bring your spoon with you — otherwise you can forget dessert!

No, I can’t imagine that either.

But that’s exactly what the game industry does to its customers. It makes products that are by their nature progressively more difficult to consume.

It’s the developer’s conundrum: Every gamer is intrinsically different yet they’re all playing the same game. They have various levels of skill and determination, as well as a range of ideas about what constitutes success and brings gaming satisfaction. It’s impossible to make a game that’s a perfect fit for everyone, but you can try to look after your active users and make sure they’re happy.

If a game is too easy, bored players will quickly abandon it. Yet, if it’s too challenging, some will become frustrated, lose interest, and eventually look elsewhere for their fun. Churn happens.

Perhaps that’s why for years game developers focused on new user acquisition. Constantly expanding your pool of players was long crucial to the longevity of any game. Then came the shift to reengaging players after they’ve stopped playing a title. And no wonder: When done right, retargeting can be up to 10 times as effective in producing quality leads than user acquisition efforts.

That’s quite an improvement. But once you’ve actually identified someone who both likes your game and is even potentially willing to pay for benefits and features, why are you letting that person disengage in the first place? You’d be crazy not to try to keep them as happy as absolutely possible — for as long as possible.

“You’ve got to think of your games these days as a service, and you’ve got to offer good service to your customers,” Wright Bagwell, CEO of OutPost Games, said at a recent VB Live event on gaming.

Yet much of the industry continues to neglect active customers only to then try to retarget them after they’ve abandoned a game. Why not try to keep them engaged in the first place?

Our Berlin-based start-up is aiming to do just that with the first peer-to-peer marketing platform for game developers. Launched only in March, Simplaexalready counts many of the game industry’s biggest companies as its clients.

Capturing in-game events of players in real-time, developers can use it to target active customers and tailor marketing campaigns on a granular level. Playing habits such as intensity and frequency, as well as geographic and other demographic data, are just a few of the criteria that can be used to zero in on your desired audience. Simplaex also offers personalization options to engage users throughout the lifecycle of a game.

Say, for example, you know a large chunk of your player base gets frustrated on level six of your latest game. Many end up walking away, leaving you to spend your resources to lure them back into the fold at a later date.

But a superior marketing platform can identify the right players while they’re actually playing your game. This makes it easy to send them a hint on how to crack the level when you see them struggling. Disaster averted! You’ve just held on to a valuable player and built a direct connection to boot.

Mickael Bougis, Marketing Director for flaregames, is a firm believer. “Not only can we have a direct dialogue with our player base, we ensure their gameplay experience is as fun, engaging and intuitive as possible.”

This type of personalized engagement can revolutionize your relationship to your pool of players and help you build it into community. Best of all, rethinking your marketing strategy can really pay off: Engagement has proven to be up to 20 times more effective than user acquisition efforts.

So stop neglecting your players. If you keep them happy and engaged, they might just stick around for dessert.

Learn how to keep your players engaged at: www.simplaex.com

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First-party Data Innovator Simplaex Closes $2.6 Million Funding Round

Simplaex, experts in marketing mobile games, has successfully closed its A-round funding. The Berlin-based company will use the capital to expand into new verticals and deliver its proprietary technology to a broader customer base. Helping to drive this expansion will be Perry Ofir, Simplaex's newly-appointed CRO who was formerly VP of Sales & Business Development at Adgorithms.Simplaex launched in April 2016 as a groundbreaking marketing platform for game developers. In the twelve months since, it has grown into a sophisticated data marketplace with over 300 million unique user profiles. On the back of this impressive growth, the company is now looking to expand beyond the gaming industry.

Simplaex Surpasses 150 Million Players for Game Developer Platform

Simplaex, a revolutionary peer-to-peer platform for game developers, now offers direct access to over 150 million players. The important milestone comes just ten months after the Berlin-based start-up set out to transform game marketing. Developed together with some of the world's leading game companies, Simplaex is laser focused on the two main pillars of the industry's business model: Acquiring players and finding a way to monetize them. The groundbreaking technology completely bypasses the traditional way of game marketing, giving developers immediate access to a transparent and effective player marketplace.

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Why game developers are neglecting their players

Can you imagine going to a restaurant that made it increasingly harder to get through each course of a meal? Sure, you can have your appetizers, but to eat your entrée you’ll have to cross the street to another location. And don’t forget to bring your spoon with you — otherwise you can forget dessert! No, I can’t imagine that either. But that’s exactly what the game industry does to its customers. It makes products that are by their nature progressively more difficult to consume. It’s the developer’s conundrum: Every gamer is intrinsically different yet they’re all playing the same game. They have various levels of skill and determination, as well as a range of ideas about what constitutes success and brings gaming satisfaction. It’s impossible to make a game that’s a perfect fit for everyone, but you can try to look after your active users and make sure they’re happy.

Why game developers should embrace player churn

Churn. It’s an ugly word. Game developers are naturally concerned about player retention. But eventually even the most ardent player loses interest in a game. It’s normal. It’s part of the cycle. And so it’s also normal when developers are inclined to squeeze the absolute maximum revenue out of people before they’re gone forever. However, trying desperately to monetize your players only increases churn, aggravating the problem.

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What if you could go to the movies for free, but every 15 minutes the film would stop for a commercial break? A few very cost-conscious people might tolerate it, but I reckon most would refuse to ruin their cinema experience that way. Similarly, there’s a good reason game developers dislike in-app advertisements: They distract your customers — and frequently discourage them from using your product. “Gamers want to game. So disturbing the gamer’s experience, even if it brings value, isn’t always the way to go,” wrote Avi Hadas, in a recent guest column on in-game advertising for VentureBeat. The stakes are high. In an industry concerned about churn, retention, and monetization of players, in-game ads might save your business — or end up killing it.

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What if you could go to the movies for free, but every 15 minutes the film would stop for a commercial break? A few very cost-conscious people might tolerate it, but I reckon most would refuse to ruin their cinema experience that way. Similarly, there’s a good reason game developers dislike in-app advertisements: They distract your customers — and frequently discourage them from using your product. “Gamers want to game. So disturbing the gamer’s experience, even if it brings value, isn’t always the way to go,” wrote Avi Hadas, in a recent guest column on in-game advertising for VentureBeat. The stakes are high. In an industry concerned about churn, retention, and monetization of players, in-game ads might save your business — or end up killing it.

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What if you could go to the movies for free, but every 15 minutes the film would stop for a commercial break? A few very cost-conscious people might tolerate it, but I reckon most would refuse to ruin their cinema experience that way. Similarly, there’s a good reason game developers dislike in-app advertisements: They distract your customers — and frequently discourage them from using your product. “Gamers want to game. So disturbing the gamer’s experience, even if it brings value, isn’t always the way to go,” wrote Avi Hadas, in a recent guest column on in-game advertising for VentureBeat. The stakes are high. In an industry concerned about churn, retention, and monetization of players, in-game ads might save your business — or end up killing it.