Few industries have experienced such expansive growth as online gaming. While every sub-sector of this competitive market has shown steady increases in recent years, mobile gaming and eSports, in particular, have soared in popularity. Mobile gaming accounted for over half of the global games market’s total revenues in 2018, taking in more than $70 billion, according to gaming industry research firm Newzoo. Console gaming followed with $35.6 billion, and PC games accounted for $32.9 billion.
While 67% of Americans play video games on at least one type of device, the majority (90%) of gamers are playing on their smartphones, tablets or both, according to the 2018 Gamer Segmentation Report from Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR). The proliferation of mobile devices and easy access to a wide variety of game genres also is attracting a much broader demographic than the outdated stereotype of a basement-dwelling teenage male gamer that has plagued the industry for decades. In fact, recent industry reports reveal that 43% of gamers worldwide are between 36 and 65 years old (Filmora), and 45% of U.S. gamers are female (Entertainment Software Association).
Online gaming’s customer base is not comprised solely of players—eSports tournaments and competitions broadcast on live-streaming video platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming are attracting a massive global audience of spectators who are interested in watching professional gamers compete, similar to traditional sports leagues. According to Newzoo, total revenue for eSports in 2018 reached $906 million, and the analyst firm estimates that, by 2021, 557 million people will be watching eSports.
The rise of digital distribution platforms, such as Steam, iTunes, Nintendo Game Store, Google Play Store, Amazon App Store and others, has accelerated the growth of independent game developers.
To sustain revenue growth, however, video game companies must expand their focus from attracting players to retaining customers and maximizing their lifetime value. The ability to innovate, tap into player feedback, provide real-time support and continuously improve the overall customer experience will enhance the connection companies have with their customers as well as the global gaming community, and will provide a much-needed edge in an intensely competitive landscape.
There is nothing more frustrating to a gamer than to experience some type of glitch or error that forces them to exit the game. If resolving the issue is too slow, frustrating or simply requires too much effort on the player’s part, they will simply switch to another game… but not before leaving a scathing online review or posting about the negative experience on social media. Players, and the gaming community in general, tend to be highly vocal about their experiences with gameplay, video game companies and game developers, good or bad.
Top customer service challenges for online gaming companies include:
As the market expands to embrace newer high-growth segments, video game companies’ business models are likewise evolving away from relying on one-time purchases of new game releases and equipment. Rather, companies are discovering that to achieve long-term growth, they must tap into a recurring revenue stream generated by loyal customers.
When players need help or answers, they want a fast response that resolves their issue and gets them quickly back into the game. Partnering with an experienced outsourcing provider that provides a well-run customer service center staffed by experienced, tech-savvy agents who are knowledgeable about the systems and games they support can be the differentiating factor that gives both established companies and independents an edge over the competition. CustomerServ’s gaming industry call center vendors have deep expertise in: