Despite the rise of the digital space gaming, companies still have a lot to do before they manage to create a sustainable relationship with their own players, according to one developer that specializes in social experiences.
Kristian Segerstrale, who is the executive vice president of digital strategy at Electronic Arts
and who previously founded Playfish, told an audience at the 2012 Game Marketing Summit in San Francisco that, “The games industry isn’t alone in this transformation we're seeing - music and movies have also made the digital switch. Sure, the business models have changed, but the consumer experience is vastly superior.”
Despite the increasing pace of the digital switch, the executive believes that publishers and developers are still too interested in the relationships they have with the various retail channels than in the relationship they maintain with the actual players.
This kind of connection is crucial to making sure that players stick with one franchise or one game experience in the long term, the only strategy towards success in the modern free-to-play dominated marketplace.
Segerstrale added, “No longer is the event of picking up a game tied to monetization. We're going to see a decoupling of those things. You need to think of it like a consumer internet business, where acquisition is just the beginning.”
developed and Electronic Arts published The Sims Social, which is available for free on Facebook, and the two companies have made sure that they constantly talk to gamers about the new content added to the game while also listening to their input when it comes to gameplay changes.
Electronic Arts has given a big push for the social space in the last few years, launching games like Dragon Age: Legends and The Sims Social, but it is still trailing behind Zynga when it comes to revenue derived from them.