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The future of the gaming industry: brand loyalty and retention, Exclusive Q&A w/ Achille Traore, CEO of White Label Loyalty

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The future of the gaming industry: brand loyalty and retention, Exclusive Q&A w/ Achille Traore, CEO of White Label Loyalty
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The gaming industry is highly competitive. Game developers only have one chance at making a user’s experience memorable. If a gaming company fails to capture user attention, customers will likely move on to another game or platform. Achille Traore, CEO of White Label Loyalty, discusses the opportunities awaiting gaming brands to create more loyal customers. 

 

What are the main goals and objectives of brands in the gaming industry?

Most brands in the gaming industry are striving for the same thing: customer retention. The industry is well known for high engagement rates, but it’s also well known for low retention rates. 

Player retention is important for gaming brands because existing customers are very valuable in the long run. It’s much easier to upsell and cross-sell to loyal users. Plus, the cost of acquiring new customers is becoming more and more expensive. 

 

The gaming industry faces a number of challenges. What are they?

The first challenge is about engaging casual players and persuading them to play more frequently. And while there are many factors that contribute to this, including the quality of a game and the ability to market it effectively, gaming brands ultimately need to have a deep understanding of their customers. 

The second challenge is knowing how to add value to a customer’s gaming experience. Not all users will find value in the same things. For one user, the value of a game may lie in the ability to customize characters with exclusive skins. For others, the value may lie in joining a community to meet other gamers. 

Finally, gaming brands need to know how to break the barriers for people who haven’t gamed in a long time, or have never tried gaming before.

 

When it comes to gaming, how would you define loyalty and engagement?

A user that is truly engaged will spend a significant amount on in-game purchases. 

Another way gamers show their loyalty is by engaging with communities via social media or forums like Reddit. 

Loyal players can also become ambassadors for gaming brands. These players are more likely to engage with a brand outside of the game – they’ll spend money on equipment (such as a new console or PC), merchandise, and event tickets.

 

How does a gamer become loyal?

Loyalty often forms as a result of rewards. Players want to be rewarded. Whether it’s for completing a time-bound challenge, or unlocking different levels in a game, rewards add to a feeling of competition and accomplishment. 

Gaming companies that reward customers for engagement can build real, long-term loyalty. 

 

In order for gaming companies to better understand and engage their customers, what can they do?

Gaming companies must collect detailed data about their users to understand what drives them. Brands can use this data to build specific audience segments, which allows them to personalise and tailor marketing strategies to each customer profile. 

Loyalty programs are an effective way to gather detailed information about user behaviour, needs, and preferences. When a gaming brand understands its customers, they can create customised rewards for each player segment, resulting in higher engagement and retention rates. 

 

What are the best ways to reward players in the gaming industry?

With the right software, gaming brands can reward any kind of activity. For example, rewards could be given to streamers who refer games to others. Rewards could incentivise new customers to pick up their controllers again. Or, rewards can simply be used to show appreciation for those who dedicate their time and attention to a game.

Playstation Stars, a new loyalty program in the industry, rewards players for engaging with specific campaigns. Campaigns range from simply playing a game, to earning specific trophies or getting first place in a league table in your local area. Sony announced that the program uses a new type of reward – digital collectibles: “digital representations of things that Playstation fans enjoy, including figurines of beloved and iconic characters from games”. 

 

What other opportunities await gaming brands?

With rewards, gaming companies can drive whatever specific behaviours they would like to see more of. For example, if a gaming brand wants to focus on new customer acquisition, they can build referrals into a rewards program. A fully-rounded loyalty program boosts acquisition as well as retention. While customers can do this on their own via social media or word of mouth, loyalty technology makes it as easy as possible for them to refer a game to family and friends.

There are so many different ways rewards can be used. From early access to a game, to free in-game currency, rewards help make a user’s experience more memorable and keep them engaged long-term. But rewards won’t be effective if gaming companies don’t understand what their customers actually want. That’s why it’s vital to start with data. Then, build a loyalty program that is based on what gamers find truly valuable. 

Gaming

Kinetix launches world first user-generated AI-powered Emotes for gaming & metaverse

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Kinetix launches world first user-generated AI-powered Emotes for gaming & metaverse
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Kinetix, a pioneering 3D animation and AI tech startup, today proudly launches its revolutionary user-generated emotes for video games and virtual worlds, signifying a vital first step towards true self-expression in gaming and the metaverse.

The Kinetix generative AI-powered platform and no-code editing tools enable users, creators, video game makers, metaverse platforms, and brands to create and edit animated 3D content in seconds. This democratizes the process of creating custom 3D animated content, extending to millions of people a skill set that was previously limited to a few thousand trained artists and animators.

Today, Kinetix launches the first ever user-generated emotes to tackle the challenge of limited self-expression in gaming and metaverse worlds. Emotes are animations that can express emotion in video games and virtual worlds, such as dances, celebrations and gestures. Uniquely, emotes made with Kinetix can work in any avatar-based video game or metaverse, and fit effortlessly into any virtual environment from hyper-realism to voxel blocky worlds.

Yassine Tahi, CEO and Co-founder of Kinetix, commented:

“We want to champion a new standard for self-expression in video games and metaverse worlds by opening up the creation of emotes. Our emotes are live now for anyone to create, marking a true watershed moment for digital self-expression and our mission to humanize the metaverse.”

He added, “A once in a lifetime concert without dancing, or a drag queen show without ‘Death Drop’ are missed opportunities for self-expression, realism, individuality, and human connection. We invite everyone to embrace this new trend by playing with our easy-to-use, no-code platform and trying out their best moves on their favorite character or avatar.”

Creators can own their emotes by taking up the option to ‘mint’ them on the Kinetix platform: transforming them into digital assets called ‘Emote NFTs’. With the Kinetix marketplace, creators can then promote and monetize their work and receive 95% of the sale price, creating a fairer revenue model. Brands and IP owners can also use Kinetix tech to make custom emotes. In November 2022, Kinetix teamed up with TF1 and BBC Studios to launch an exclusive collection for international TV hit ‘Dancing With The Stars’.

Founded in Paris in 2020 by CEO Yassine Tahi and CTO Henri Mirande, Kinetix has a team of 45 and was recently named by WIRED as one of the hottest startups in Paris. Earlier this year, Kinetix raised $11 million in seed funding in a round led by Adam Ghobarah, founder of Top Harvest Capital, with participation from Sparkle Ventures, and multiple virtual world platforms and successful entrepreneurs. Kinetix already has established partnerships with leading and emerging virtual worlds including Roblox, The Sandbox, ZEPETO, Decentraland, and PolyLand.

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Gaming

Hamburg Games Conference announces first speakers for 2023 edition

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Hamburg Games Conference
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Under the main topic “Invest in Games”, the Hamburg Games Conference will bring together participants from the international games industry at the Altonaer Museum in Hamburg on March 1 and 2, 2023. Further talks, keynotes and panel discussions will focus on funding, dev and start-up topics. The first games industry experts contributing to the program with talks and presentations are already confirmed. Tickets for the Hamburg Games Conference are available at a reduced early bird rate until January 12, 2023.

For the main conference track “Invest in Games”, multiple talks are already confirmed, providing insights and best practices on investments and M&A deals from the perspective of founders as well as investing companies and M&A advisors:

  • Janosch Kühn and Daniel Stammler (founders of Kolibri Games / BLN Capital) recap building up their studio and their successful exit in their talk “Kolibri Story – From student dorm to multi-million dollar exit in 4 years”.
  • Maarten de Koning (Executive Vice President at DDM, an investment consulting firm specializing in games) will outline the most important principles for successful deals in his talk “10 Golden Rules to Avoid Investment and M&A Disasters”.
  • Arnd Benninghof (Executive Vice President of Gaming at Modern Times Group) will provide insights into MTG’s M&A strategy, with which the Swedish company continues to successfully build an international portfolio of investments in the games sector (including for example InnoGames, Kongregate, Hutch and PlaySimple).
  • Michael Schade (CEO and Co-Founder of Hamburg-based studio Rockfish Games) looks back on the successful self-financing of Everspace 2 through crowdfunding, early access and licensing deals in his talk “How to Self-fund a 20 Million Euro Space Looter-Shooter”.
  • Frank Zahn (Delivery Director & Managing Director at the technology consultancy / software company Endava) shares his experiences selling his digital agency Exozet to Endava in his talk “Lessons Learned on Selling my Company”.
  • Christof Wegmann (Founder & CTO at Exit Games / Photon Engine) will look back on success factors and lessons learned in the development of the mobile hit Stumble Guys in his post-mortem talk “Stumbling into a Global Hit Downloaded 2 Million Times per Day”.

 

First confirmed speakers for the further conference tracks covering funding, dev and start-up topics are:

  • Linda Rendel (Production Director and founder of FemDevMeetup) will present her talk “Production Leadership – How to be an authentic lead and build trusting relationships with your team” and share insights as well as tools for authentic leadership in the context of game productions.
  • René Habermann (founder and developer at Bippinbits) will share his learnings from the development and successful marketing of the indie hit Dome Keeper, which generated over a million euros in revenue within just one day after its release.
  • In a post-mortem talk, Jan and Paul Taaks (founders of Hamburg-based indie studio Overhype Studios) will give insights into the development and marketing of their indie hit Battle Brothers.

 

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Gaming

Web3 Card Game The Lost Glitches Launches Exclusively on ImmutableX

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Web3 Card Game The Lost Glitches Launches Exclusively on ImmutableX
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Immutable, the leading web3 gaming company, and Honig Studios, a game developer known for highly acclaimed titles such as El Hijo – A Wild West Tale, have announced that upcoming Web3-native trading card game (TCG) The Lost Glitches is launching exclusively on ImmutableX.

The Lost Glitches card game combines extensive role-playing elements with physical trading cards, with an emphasis on fun, replayability, immersive storytelling, and full digital ownership of collectibles.

In selecting ImmutableX, a gas-free Ethereum Layer-2 scaling platform for their infrastructure and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Honig Studios can offer players unparalleled usability and engaging experiences while retaining Ethereum-grade security.

The Immutable ecosystem now boasts some of the most popular NFT card trading games in the industry, including Gods Unchained, CryptoSpells, Goons of Balatroon, Cross the Ages, Deviants’ Factions, which are proving to be one of the most resilient pockets of the NFT market at the moment.

“The demand for NFT trading card games on Immutable is exceptionally high at the moment. We’re delighted to be adding another high-quality title to our line up. We are not only able to offer the widest range of TCGs, but we can provide a premium experience for players, delivering a versatile, engaging, and rewarding ecosystem full of fun and entertainment,” Andrew Sorokovsky, VP of Global Business Development for ImmutableX, said.

Lost Glitches offers a player-versus-player multiplayer mode, together with beginner-friendly tutorials, single-player campaigns, quests and other competitive events.

As well as collecting cards to use in combat, players will also be able to level-up their characters with each battle and choose how to upgrade their skills tree to customise the gameplay.

“Beyond creating and immersing players in the unique and rich cyberpunk atmosphere of The Lost Glitches world, we also want to make education and onboarding of new players to web3 a fun and easy-to-understand experience. This is why we’re excited to be partnering with IMX, a platform fully dedicated to gaming, as ImmutableX will help us to easily integrate these aspects,” said The Lost Glitches founder  Alexey Ivanov.

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