Gaming as a live service is all the rage right now in the video game industry and has impacted games of all shapes and sizes. Players are promised that each and every time they log into the game, new content will be available for them. This continual novelty, in theory, creates a game that never gets old and instead has an extremely long lifespan when compared to other games.
However, the question then becomes not whether there will be new content, but whether the new content will be any good and worth coming back to for more. In this brief article, we will break down exactly what live service gaming is, how it has impacted other industries, and how the video game industry as a whole is changing.
What is live service gaming?
Live service gaming is a term that can encompass a number of different ideas and business models. That being said, most live service video games involve an aspect of built-in novelty that is continual and reoccurring to ensure that players keep coming back for more.
It is a risky choice for game development companies to opt for live service models because the companies will also need to commit to control updates, new content development, and innovation in order to develop a loyal player base. The games will change and evolve over time, and often a live service game will look entirely different after a few years on the market.
Fortnite is an example of one of the most successful live service games. Fortnite was launched in 2017 as a free-to-play game that no one thought would go anywhere. A few years later and the game exploded in popularity, becoming one of the most widely played games around the world. One aspect that led to its massive amount of success was that the company was very good at developing a community and engaging with its fan base.
Live service gaming and interactions with players
One of the most important aspects of live service gaming is the interaction between the game and the players and how gamers themselves are able to shape and change the games. The communities that build up around the games are incredibly important to helping games thrive in the market, as is feedback. To understand just how important community feedback is, all you have to do is look at the disastrous launch of Star Wars Battlefront II, which led to fans boycotting EA until the entire game was revamped.
Gamers are quick to ferret out the inherent flaws and issues in every game – and also quick to talk about them. Many of the biggest video game production companies have their ear to the ground and are keenly aware of what the community is saying. Games such as No Man’s Sky have been completely redesigned and reworked following feedback from players.
There have also been smaller changes and adjustments that have been implemented as a result of community feedback. The game Destiny originally featured the voice acting of Peter Dinklage. However, fans took a disliking to his voice acting and created volumes of content mocking the voice acting of the game. This led to the game creators quickly taking action and changing all of the voice acting.
Although these changes may seem somewhat insignificant, it actually signals a huge change. In the past, fan feedback and community dialogue was fairly limited and had a very small impact on the choices of the large game production companies. Now, fans can have direct dialogue and advocate for changes and adjustments to some of the largest games on the market today.
A reaching influence
The move towards gaming as a live service has had far-reaching effects that have extended beyond the video game industry itself. Other industries have taken note and realized that gamers appreciate the novelty, fun and excitement presented by the games-as-a-service model.
One industry that has adopted a similar model is the online gambling industry. The online gambling and digital casino industry has exploded in popularity over the course of the last few years and become highly competitive as hundreds of different online casinos compete for the attention of prospective players. This level of competition breeds innovation, so it is perhaps no surprise that the online casino industry has adopted new tech such as the games-as-a-service model and competitive offers such as online casino bonus no deposit offers.
As in the video game industry, the online gambling industry has adopted the games-as-a-service model and, depending on the online casino, players can find and play new games every single time they log onto the platform. This generates excitement and also keeps users coming back to the platform to see what else is new.
How the video game industry is changing
The video game industry is changing in many ways, not only through the introduction of live service technology, but also how games themselves are monetized and bought and sold. In the past, games were extremely expensive to produce and were priced accordingly. Gamers also had to buy expensive consoles if they wanted to play the pricey console games, or they had to purchase PC games.
Understandably, the high cost of games and game consoles means that console and PC games are much less accessible and many potential gamers are not able to play. New payment methods and monetization strategies are starting to revolutionize the gaming industry and have opened up video games to millions of people who otherwise would struggle to afford them.
Game developers are using in-game purchases and subscription-based gaming models instead of traditional one-off purchase models to open up gaming to more people. Many of the most popular massively multiplayer online games are free to play. These games generate revenue based on the purchases that players make inside the game itself for additional bonuses and benefits.
Although the upfront profits are not as high as with traditional game sales, games with subscriptions and in-game purchase models are still generating massive profits and also developing a loyal fan base.