How To Maintain Audience Engagement With Your Game Over Time

September 20, 2023
September 13, 2023

Consumers spent over $56 billion on video games in 2022. However, only a fraction of that total represents profit for developers. In addition to paying the cost of developing a game, gaming companies must also spend money to attract customers to their products.

To increase profits, developers must either increase revenue or reduce costs. One of the most effective ways to boost profits is to keep existing players playing longer. Audience engagement is the key to achieving this goal.

Key Takeaways:

  • The longer players play your game, the more chances you have to earn revenue. Ongoing engagement is the key to increasing your game’s lifespan.
  • To identify how to keep your audience engaged, you must study your target market through demographic information, feedback, and analysis.
  • Accommodate the widest possible audience of gamers by ensuring your game is accessible and providing a variety of ways to play it.
  • Offer players something the competition doesn’t by including customization options, unique experiences, and compelling narratives.
  • Reward loyal players and keep them interested with fresh content updates, but avoid changing your game too much.

10 Strategies To Maintain Audience Engagement

Depending on the genre, the lifespan of an average game can be as short as a few weeks and as long as multiple years. The longer you can keep players playing your game, the more chances you have to earn revenue without the acquisition costs associated with new players. These strategies can help you maintain your audience’s engagement over the long term.

1. Know Your Target Audience

If you want to keep your audience interested in your game, you first need to know your audience's interests. Demographic research, such as gender, age, location, and gaming habits, is a good starting place.

Use the demographic information you gather to create buyer personas to help you understand your target audience. Analyze how players play your game and interact with your monetization features to determine what works and what doesn't and identify what types of things players may be willing to spend money on.

Boost your audience engagement by asking players what they like and don't like about your game and monetization features. Get them to tell you why they do or don’t buy certain offerings and what they want to buy that you aren't currently offering. Offer players an incentive, such as a small amount of in-game currency, to provide their feedback.

2. Cater To Different Player Types

The people who play your game probably share some interests but aren’t all the same. Some may prefer fast-paced action, while others enjoy a more leisurely pace, even if it means slower progression.

Add options, such as multiple difficulty levels, that allow players to choose the experience they prefer when playing your game. Provide a constant stream of fresh content to keep dedicated players engaged and offer people who play occasionally the chance to catch up on what they missed while they were away so they don’t quit because they feel the game has passed them by.

A graph illustrating the four player types according to Dr. Richard Bartle.

3. Create Accessible Games

Advances in technology have made it easier than ever to accommodate people of all ages and abilities, increasing the potential user base for all types of games. Incorporate universal design principles to eliminate barriers that may make it difficult for people with disabilities to enjoy your game.

4. Enable Player Expression

Simply adding new content is not enough to maintain audience engagement. Players need to feel a sense of ownership and community. Foster this by including personalization options that allow players to express themselves uniquely in your game world.

5. Create Unique Experiences

Developers release new games every day, and if you don’t give your players something they can’t get anywhere else, they may leave to try the latest thing. Your game should have an immersive story, challenging and satisfying progression, multiplayer modes, and variety.

Keep players interested by regularly adding new features and fresh content. Encourage players to participate in events by offering exclusive rewards and in-game items.

6. Incorporate Compelling Narratives

Story-rich games tend to keep players playing longer because a compelling narrative helps draw players into the game world and gets them invested in sticking around to find out what happens. Your game’s narrative should give players a sense of connection to their characters, and the gameplay should offer them the chance to affect the game world in meaningful ways with their decisions.

7. Avoid Drastic Changes

Fresh content is necessary to maintain audience engagement. However, the content should enhance your core gameplay rather than completely change it.

If updates to your game change it too much, your loyal players may leave. Focus on expanding on what players already like about your game rather than chasing trends.

8. Encourage Player Interaction

When players feel a sense of community in their games, they are likelier to continue playing. Encourage audience engagement by making it easy for players to interact through chat features, forums, and social media.

Include features in your game that allow for collaboration and competition among players. Offer cooperative challenges that require multiple players to complete.

Host events and tournaments that feature leaderboard competitions. Offer players rewards for participating in events.

9. Reward Loyalty

Give players something to work toward, such as rewards or achievements. Make the rewards fair, meaningful, and appealing, and give better rewards for the goals that take longer to achieve to encourage long-term play. Communicate the available rewards to players clearly and offer shorter-term goals to keep them from becoming fatigued while pursuing long-term goals.

10. Monitor Performance Metrics

Monitor your key performance indicators (KPIs) for changes that indicate a shift in engagement. When the numbers are trending the wrong way, make changes to your game. Avoid unexpected shifts in engagement by A/B testing new features before you roll them out.

Enhance Audience Engagement With Sonamine

Sonamine offers audience engagement services that help you tailor your game to your player’s interests and keep them playing as long as possible. Examples of our services include time-limited live-ops events, streaks and challenges, and dynamic player rewards. Contact us today to get started.

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