Gaming has proven to be an extremely successful way to attract and retain users online. And recent industry activity indicates that its popularity will continue among online and mobile communities.
Earning money off gaming used to be simply a matter of publishing banner adverts across your gaming site or within the games. These tended to convert well and ensured pretty good revenues. Unfortunately, this no longer works as well as it used to. Site owners now need to look at more sophisticated means to monetise their games sites. This includes pre-roll videos – often with incentives to encourage a call to action; in-game purchasing to unlock levels, power-ups and special features; and other means like skilled gaming fees.
You need the right gaming platform
To get maximum benefit from these revenue streams, it’s crucial that you find the perfect-fit gaming platform and partner with the right gaming provider.
You need to ensure that your gaming provider can help you offer an enticing experience to your users. Find out if they can provide the following features and services:
• White label platform structure – the ability to relatively easily skin the solution with your own unique brand identity, allowing you to stand out from the crowd.
• Fully responsive – the platform needs to be fully responsive to ensure users across all devices experience the best possible gaming experience.
• Single Sign-on (SSO) solution – the last thing users want to have to do is register multiple times on the same site. It is a non-negotiable that a platform should allow you to fully integrate it with your own user registration process.
• Comprehensive games catalogue – services and features are one thing, but a great catalogue of game titles across all genres is without doubt the single biggest factor in long-term gaming site success. The ideal mix is a blend between typical causal, MMO and HTML5 titles – this allows for content segmentation based on the device the users access the games site with.
• Adaptable business model – offer multiple revenue streams that can be tailored to the demographics of the sites user base, incl. display banner ads, pre-roll ads, including video ads, micro transactions, in-game purchasing and incentivised campaigns.
• Localisation ability – in most cases English will suffice as the primary language on a gaming site, but users are starting to demand content in their own languages. The platform and games content must be able to be fully translated and localised. This includes reformatting for non-Western alphabets (e.g. Arabic being read from right to left).
• Social integration – the opportunity to leverage the power of your audiences network across the social ecosystem, should never be ignored. Tap into human nature, to brag when they achieve – make sure you reward them for sharing, at the end of the day it’s a powerful medium to drive users to your site and gain much needed exposure.
• Micro-transactions and billing solutions – while display ads do still generate revenue, it is imperative to choose a platform that offers opportunities to generate revenues from micro-transactions. It should be fully integrated with a reputable payment provider, offering multiple payment solutions and options.
• APIs for developers and publishers – the strength of any platform lies in its ability to seamlessly pull and push content to and from various predetermined sources, including content feeds to the primary site to promote special events and new titles. It is vital that APIs for game developers can be quickly and easily integrated with the platform’s SSO, billing and interactive features.
• Feature-rich gaming modules – there are some non-negotiable features of a gaming platform. The following need to be part of the bouquet: secure high score logging, user registration (incl. Facebook Connect and Google), live leader boards, friends, messaging, avatar tools, tournaments, prizes, contests and challenges.
• Comprehensive back end management – this is another non-negotiable. You need to manage your content and special promotions, review performance, communicate with your users and keep an eye on overall performance linked to your predefined key metrics.
• Cross platform ability – with the widespread adoption of mobile devices and the inevitability of IP TV, it is vital that a gaming platform be compatible with these. It also needs to be configurable so that you can format your content on the fly and deliver it to multiple devices.
• Multiple deployments – many publishers have sites that serve multiple geographic locations and languages. Your gaming platform should support these multiple deployments, and allow you to make the necessary design and content changes to suit each market.
Content is the key to success
It’s all very well having a brilliant design with all the bells and whistles, but if your content doesn’t interest users and entice them to return, you’ll be faced with an ongoing uphill battle. You will constantly have to acquire new users, because you won’t be retaining them in sufficient numbers to build a regular user base. Building a community is crucial to online success, and you won’t be able to do that. And of course we all know that it costs far more to acquire new users than to retain existing ones.
The mistake that many game sites make is to simply use one of the many game content providers that allow you to either grab an XML feed or generate a script to publish their titles on your own site. The downside of this is that these are generally standalone games that don’t allow for proper user engagement. Players can’t post scores, view live leader boards, or play in tournaments, challenges and contests.
Humans are competitive by nature. They strive to have their names up in lights; to feature on leader boards. They want the bragging rights of having beaten a friend or a rival. They want to broadcast these achievements to the world by posting them on their walls and profiles across the various social networks.
So you need a gaming platform that will allow you to build an active, regularly engaged community.
Seamless integration is the key to revenue
Typically, publishers looking to offer games on their sites or launch standalone games sites, have wish lists of basic requirements and additional features. These are the most common:
• White label structure
• Multiple language support for content
• Seamless interfacing with the user registration platform (SSO)
• Ability to deploy multiple versions of the games site
• Ability to monetise
• Ability to add custom content
• Ability to manage events and featured content
• Accurate reporting capability
An additional challenge facing publishers, when they opt to partner with multiple game developers, is that they have to interface with each developer’s proprietary user registration and billing platforms.
Gaming platform providers like GameZBoost have addressed this by offering a number of APIs to game developers. These allow them to integrate with the GameZBoost SSO and Billing APIs, thus dramatically simplifying the integration for publishers. All integration elements are handled by the GameZBoost tech team and the gaming platform itself.
Benefits for game developers too
A number of premium game developers have integrated with the GameZBoost platform. Besides the integration benefits, they also receive targeted traffic from our established network of publisher sites. This increases their ability to monetise their game titles.
These game developers include: BigPoint, Inno Games, XS Software, Blue Frog Gaming, Plinga, LeKool, Game Spree and Synapse Gaming.
Benefits for game developers include:
• Global reach for their game titles
• Exposure and alignment for their titles on a network of some of the largest publishers across the globe.
• Increased game traffic, leading to increased revenues
Putting it all together
Choosing the right gaming solution provider is vital when you consider the scope of the offering that is required to satisfy the needs of gamers and generate revenue. It is critical that your offering is commercially viable and can stand on its own feet and generate revenues for you.
So don’t take this decision lightly. Choose a partner that has a proven track record with a tried and tested platform. A proven track record of providing solutions to some of the world’s best known brands. And that has shown the ability to keep up with the ever-evolving online market.
GameZBoost is a gaming industry enabler, offering localised white label platforms and 3rd party premium games content and solutions to publishers and game developers across the globe. The GameZBoost white label games platform has been used by many of the top publishers across the globe.
More info and examples of white label gaming deployments:
• SkillPod Media White Label Games Platform Provider: www.GameZBoost.com
• NBC / Universal SyFy Games Portal: www.syfygames.com
• RTL Netherlands Games Portal: www.spelsalon.nl
• Network 18 / In.com Games Portal: www.in.com/games
• Sony Pictures Entertainment Gaming Portals: Click for more info
Why publishers have chosen to work with GameZBoost:
• 13 years of online casual gaming experience; business established in 2012
• Knowledge, professionalism and ability to deliver
• Platform extensively used by reputable publishers across the globe
• Multiple innovative advertising and revenue stream opportunities for advertisers and publishers
• Ability to respond quickly to opportunities and requests – an invaluable asset to clients and partners
• Ongoing research and development of new modules and services
• A highly-skilled and passionate team that is respected by top international publishers, partners and clients
Jeff Li – Corporate Development at NBC Universal
“Mark is a highly capable individual with excellent attention to detail. His company, GameZBoost, has consistently provided reliable support to NBC Universal. We continue to be very impressed with the responsiveness of Mark and his team, and we enthusiastically recommend Mark to other big media companies worldwide.”
Ian McClelland – RTL Group Luxembourg
“Mark and the team were great to work with and exceeded our expectations. We look forward to expanding and developing the relationship for years to come.”
About Mark van Diggelen:
Mark has been involved in the online world since 1996. He has set up multiple businesses and had the privilege of working for some of the top Internet start-ups in South Africa. He has a passion for everything digital, with a special emphasis on the world of gaming.
Links to Mark’s personal and social media sites:
• Personal Blog: http://www.wobalong.com
• Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/markvandiggelen
• LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markvandiggelen
• Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/MarkvanDiggelen