Game as a service model: The new marketing model to develop and sell a video game
The Game as a service is a new model to create and develop a video game. Instead of launching a game after a development of two or three years, the game as a service offers a system allowing long-term development. But what does it mean in practice?
This new system is based on the concept of involving players in the game development by acknowledging their suggestions and developing the project while keeping in mind of the initial idea of the creators.
The basic idea is to create a game and deliver future content for the community afterwards.
In this model, the income is essentially generated after the launch of the game.
Why using this model?
Actually, the game as a service is used by the small game studios who do not have the same marketing budget than the big companies such as Ubisoft or Electronics Arts.
The Idea behind this model is to create a genuine interaction between players and developers in order to generate maximum feedback before launching the different patches or downloadable contents (DLC) added in the game.
The video game must be designed as a service and not a product. The Service Marketing is a different way of doing marketing as the game should be considered as a proper service provider rather than a physical product, like in traditional game marketing. Thus, the elements to be considered in marketing service are all those which gravitate around the service itself (human relationship, accessibility) to finally build customer loyalty at the end of the process. The game as a service uses entirely the marketing service concept instead of product marketing and this makes all the differences.
This model also make it possible to realise the original/authentic vision of the game without major producing companies distorting their choices – a real opportunity for developers and players to enjoy the efforts put in the game.
But the game as a service requires some rigour thoughts. To succeed, it must be able to build long term customer loyalty with players otherwise the whole model will fall apart from a marketing point of view. It needs equally to find a way to generate income from the engaged players. And finally, it is essential to significantly expand the existing content.
Crowdfunding is another idea to fund a game.
In the game as a service, when an established community is already existing, the crowdfunding idea is a really good solution to keep gamers enthusiastic over the long term while contributing to the development of the game they enjoy (create link to principle Community for those who involved in crowdfunding). If you are interested in, here is a game that gathered 553% more than what the development studio asked for initially.
In most cases, the game as a service format is only distributed on the online video game platforms (as Steam, or…) because it is easier to develop a game on these platforms and to get better visibility compared to console game.
Adopting a long-term vision in game as a service is all the stake and the objective of this model. This is one of the reasons of why studios have integrated this method into their game marketing and this is why we see more and more game developments over the years.
To conclude, the game as a service can provide a steady income to the studio that knows how to organize and manage it. Even if the game is not a hit at launch, game as a service may be able to save it in the long run. Always think carefully of which strategy of game as a service you want to set up before going out the game and do everything at the last moment – which is already proved to be not really effective). Learning how to communicate with the community is the key to the success of the game as a service.