How Creating a Personalized User Experience Benefits Game Developers

July 20, 2023
July 21, 2023

The days when the biggest decision gamers had to make was Nintendo or Sega are gone. Modern gamers can choose from thousands of games on a variety of platforms ranging from powerful gaming PCs to smartphones. With over 50,000 games on the Steam platform alone, competition for players is fierce. To beat out the competition, developers must deliver the personalized gaming experience that players demand.

Key Takeaways:

  • Developers tailor personalized games to individual users’ preferences and interests to create unique playing experiences.
  • Personalization helps developers stand out in a highly competitive industry where players expect to receive unique gaming experiences.
  • Personalizing games boosts player engagement and retention, which leads to more successful monetization and higher profits for developers.
  • Data analysis is critical for successful personalization but also poses challenges due to the increased demands on developer resources and the need to protect sensitive player data.
  • Sonamine can help developers overcome the challenges of creating personalized gaming experiences.

Understanding Personalized User Experience

Developers tailor personalized games to individual users’ preferences and interests so that each player’s experience is unique. For example, the game Clash of Clans offers players a variety of ways to play, such as customizing villages, fighting other villages, or joining clans for cooperative play. The in-game bonuses and achievements players receive reflect their playing style, making their experiences unique.

Screenshot of the Clash of Clans achievements introduced in 2023

Personalization encompasses more than just gameplay. Developers incorporate personalized user interfaces that provide players with recommendations on games they may like and give players the option to adjust various settings and difficulty levels to suit their playing style.

Benefits of a Personalized User Experience

Personalizing users' experiences has multiple benefits for developers.

Improves Player Engagement

Player engagement is the foundation that every other aspect of a successful game builds on. Gamers are more likely to interact with games that are tailored to their interests. They also tend to play these games for longer periods, which leads to improved retention and monetization.

The ability to customize avatars and characters helps players feel more immersed in the games they play and contributes to the perception that the player’s experience is unique. Tailored in-game rewards and achievements encourage players to play more frequently and for longer sessions.

Storylines that include branching narratives that adapt to how the player plays help keep players interested and increase the replay value of games because each playthrough is different. This extends the life of your game and increases the lifetime value of players.

Increases Player Retention

Player engagement and retention go hand-in-hand because better engagement usually leads to better retention. In addition to the increased levels of player immersion and satisfaction that the personalized user experience creates, personalization also enhances the player’s experience outside the game. Players who play personalized games tend to build communities around the characters and games they play, which reduces player churn and increases player loyalty.

Drives Monetization and Revenue

Studies show that 36% of customers crave customized products. Customization leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Personalization also benefits marketers by allowing them to better target ads to the players most likely to be receptive to those ads.

Graph showing customer interest in customized products.

Items that allow players to customize and personalize their characters and gameplay experience are among the most popular in-game purchases. Offering these types of microtransactions increases customer satisfaction and improves conversion rates and purchase frequency.

Creating a personalized user experience better positions your game in a competitive market and helps you create a unique brand so you can better stand out among the competition. All of these factors together drive up customer lifetime value, which leads to a more profitable game.

Role of Data and Analytics in Creating Personalized User Experiences

Analytics and data are critical for personalization. Every player interaction with the game generates more data developers can use to create unique experiences based on how individual players play the game.

Additionally, developers can use machine learning and artificial intelligence to create games that automatically adapt to players. Developers can also use AI-driven systems to emulate the recommendation algorithms of popular streaming services, allowing developers to better point gamers toward other games they may like to play.

Challenges of Implementing a Personalized User Experience

Personalizing games comes with a variety of benefits and some challenges.

Maintaining Game Balance

Unfortunately, developers can’t just hand the reins over to players and let them dictate the entire gameplay experience. Too much uncontrolled customization can break mechanics or upset game balance. This is why customization options are often limited to pre-set skill trees or cosmetic changes.

If developers were to allow players too much freedom to design characters, some players would likely create uber-powerful characters that quickly advance to the end of the game or dominate all the leaderboards, ruining the fun for everyone else and putting more pressure on developers to keep creating new content to keep pace. Developers must test and monitor customization options and rebalance the game through updates when unintended or unexpected results occur.

Protecting Customer Data

Because creating a personalized user experience requires data collection, gaming companies must comply with data privacy and security laws and protect sensitive user data from misuse. Additionally, they must inform players about how they collect and use data and give players the chance to opt out.

Managing Costs

Personalization requires developers to implement complex game mechanics, utilize cutting-edge tools, and hire skilled game designers and coders. It also consumes significant resources in terms of storage space, bandwidth, server capacity, and computing power.

All this adds up to higher development costs. Developers must estimate the potential financial benefits of personalization features and compare the potential revenue to the estimated costs of implementation.

How Sonamine Can Help You Create a Personalized User Experience

Sonamine’s monetization, retention, and engagement packages include features such as tailored hints and tips, targeted retention, and customized engagement and monetization. Hiring Sonamine to help create your personalized user experience allows you to do more without hiring more staff or investing in more technology. Contact us today to get started.

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