There’s no getting away from the fact that the global gaming industry is huge. According to statistics, in 2021 it was worth a staggering $195.65 billion worldwide. It’s also set to increase in size by around 13% a year going forward.
It’s also estimated that there are an equally incredible 3.2 billion video games players around the world, that’s well over 33% of the global population.
So it also comes as no surprise that there is huge competition amongst games developers of every kind to get a share of this highly lucrative market. But, like all sectors where there’s no shortage of supply, standing out from the crowd can be testing to say the least.
That means that, apart from the blockbuster games like the Call of Duty and the Grand Theft Auto franchises which have big marketing budgets behind them, other developers need to box clever.
An essential starting point is to have a gaming website that entices and keeps players involved. To do this there are a number of essential ingredients.
Make it look good
We’ve come a long, long way from the early days of video games and the pixelated figures of Super Mario Bros and Co. Today’s games can even be described as being hyper-real with a level of detailing that takes hundreds of hours to render.
As a result, a gaming website, while not quite needing to be this sophisticated, does need to look good.
So everything from the colours used to the typefaces on display need to be carefully considered if it’s going to be a dynamic and engaging experience.
Focus on User Experience
And it’s never going to be enough just to make it easy on the eye. Visitors to the site are also going demand that it’s easy to navigate and intuitive too.
A badly-structured website which makes it hard for users to move round and find what they are looking for is set to fail. So a great deal of care and attention need to go into the UX, with plenty of testing and refinement along the way.
The many benefits of adding multimedia
The age of the static website is well and truly over. Today the importance of adding multimedia elements to a site can’t be over-stated.
Video games are, by their very definition, visual experiences. So including clips of the action is by far the best way of demonstrating what the game is actually like. In just a matter of seconds it can show what would take several hundreds of words to describe.
It’s also been shown that multimedia engages with visitors more, encouraging them to stay longer on a site. It can also have very positive effects on SEO to help them find the site in the first place.
Above all, it makes a site a far more memorable experience than one which has no multimedia content at all.
Create a community
Online gaming has created player communities like never before. So including this element on a gaming website is certain to pay dividends very quickly. Not only does it make players feel like they “belong”, it also introduces the opportunity to incorporate a “friend get friend” mechanic.
For a good idea of how to build up a welcoming and all encompassing community, you only need to look at a site like Jackpotjoy. As well as the many bingo slots and games that it features, there’s also a friendly chat room where players can mix and mingle while they play.
Make sure that the community is motivated
Once the community is established it’s also important to motivate them to keep coming back to the site. A lot of the heavy lifting’s going to be done by paying attention to all the features that we’ve mentioned already. Plus, if you overlay these with the frequent addition of new features as well as elements like blogs and other useful content there will be plenty to encourage repeat visit.
Don’t forget the importance of mobile
When you’re developing a gaming site it can be too easy to focus on the fact that people will be visiting via their PC. But the world has changed and many more people now go online using their mobile device, whether it’s a tablet or a smartphone, instead of a PC.
So it’s vital to ensure that the site is also optimized for mobile access. This makes paying close attention to the user-experience even more essential. Adapting for the smaller screen sizes, and different controls doesn’t have to be as challenging as it sounds, though. It just needs a little responsive web design to make it happen.
Follow the core gameplay principles
Even if a game is not actually being played on the site in question, it’s still useful to follow the basic principle that lies behind every one ever designed.
This has three key stages: objective, challenge and reward. So you can be confident that visitors to the site will have a specific aim in mind and there will be some barriers, however minor, that get in their way. It’s simply a question of ensuring that the reward they achieve for overcoming these is reward enough for their efforts.
So hopefully this has given you a few guiding principles to help you start developing a gaming website. And the more compelling, and the more closely that it can stick to the basic principles, the more successful it will prove to be.