By juegoadmin | Game Development | October 4th, 2021
In the past, a game’s post-release cycle followed this pattern:
The game hits the stores. If the game is terrible, then it is forgotten within weeks. But if it is good, it becomes popular, and the developers start to earn money from the game.
For a while, the revenue and the number of users start to climb. And due to the popularity, more people try the game, and the developers continue to earn even more revenue.
But all this growth in players and revenue only lasts for a time. Because after a while, both popularity and revenue hit a plateau.
The sales start dropping. And so does the revenue.
Then, the growth reverses. The game starts to lose players. And it stops selling completely.
And after some more time passes, people forget the game.
Your game, however, does not have to suffer this fate. Because you can do LiveOps.
LiveOps is the process where you add additional content to your game without altering your game’s core gameplay mechanics or features. These additional content can be new game modes, promotional events, new features, etc.
Many of today’s top developers do LiveOps for their games. On the mobile side, we have Supercell (Clash of Clans) and King (Candy Crush). Meanwhile, on the PC and Console side, we have Ubisoft (Rainbow Six Siege) and Rare (Sea of Thieves.)
There are a few good reasons why these top developers, and why you too should do LiveOps for your game. Below, we list 3 of them:
The main reasons players stop playing your game and start another one are boredom and lack of engagement. Because no matter how good your game is, it will get boring after a while. It will stop challenging and satisfying your players.
However, it is not easy for your players to abandon your game because finding another good game is hard. And often, your players will have to try many games before they find a game they like.
So your players would instead continue playing your game than play a new one.
By doing LiveOps, you can capitalize on this. You can add new content to your game and keep your players engaged. Instead of leaving your game, your players will stick around, and your game will stay relevant for longer.
Take Finnish developers SuperCell as an example. SuperCell released their most famous game, ‘Clash of Clans’, back in 2012. Post-release, SuperCell has added new content to Clash of Clans regularly, a practice they continue even now.
As a result of regular content updates, the number of active users in Clash of Clans has climbed from 29 million in 2014 to 55 million in 2016, with the current number of users estimated to be far higher.
By doing LiveOps, you can stop relying on meager post-release revenue and instead monetize your players throughout your game’s life-cycle. Because the longer you keep adding new content, the longer your players play your game, and the longer you can monetize them for.
For example, look at the developers King. King released their famous match 3 game Candy Crush back in 2012 with 100 levels.
However, after release, King continued to add new levels to Candy Crush. And in 2020, the game hit 8900 levels.
And just how the number of levels has increased, so has King’s revenue from the game. King’s revenue from Candy Crush stood at $77 million in 2012. While in 2020, it stood at $1.1 billion.
No matter how hard you try during your game’s initial development process, later on, you will always find things you can improve and mistakes you can fix.
By doing LiveOps, you can not only fix these mistakes but improve your game based on what your players like.
There are two ways you can learn what your players like: from their words and from their actions.
Learning from players’ words means learning about your players’ preferences from your interactions with them in real life and online. These can be the things they communicate with you directly, like complaints and requests they make in-game, or they can be the things they write about your game online, like social media posts and app store reviews.
Learning from your players’ actions, on the other hand, means finding out what your players like using their behavioral data. To do this, you can use game analytics software to find out what your players like and what they don’t from their behavior.
Once you learn what your players like with both these methods, you can do LiveOps to improve your game. You can add more types of content your players like and remove or iterate the kind of content they don’t. You can find out bugs and errors you had previously not detected and remove them. You can even test out new types of content and iterate your approach based on their response.
And by doing LiveOps like this, you can slowly make your game better engaging with each update.
You do not have to stop developing your game after you release it. Instead, you can do LiveOps and continue to develop it for years to come.
Because by doing LiveOps, you can extend your game’s life-cycle, turn it into a long-term revenue source, and make it more engaging to your players.
In short, you can turn your game’s release day into a new beginning for your game rather than its end.