Marketing 3 min read

Analyzing Video Game Player Engagement to Increase Gaming Revenues

Researchers studied video game player engagement to understand the gaming motivations that could increase video game revenues.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Recent research investigates video game player engagement and how they respond to different motivations to increase gameplay.

It’s not surprising that video game companies would want to track gamers’ post-purchase play. Not only does it provide an opportunity to increase gamer engagement and retention, but it could increase video game revenue as well.

By the end of 2019, the United States would have surpassed China as the world’s largest gaming market by revenue. According to projections, the U.S. game market could generate as much as $36.9 billion this year, driven by nearly 14 percent growth in console game revenue.

A recent paper in the INFORMS journal information system explores how to increase gaming revenue even further by focusing on gamers’ behavior. The researchers considered how to match engagement levels with different games to ensure users play more often and for a more extended period.

The Link Between Player Engagement and Game Play Motivation

The researchers wanted to understand the link between player engagement and motivation. So, they looked at data from over 1,300 gamers’ playing history, which spans over 29 months.

After analysis, the result points that gamers with different levels of engagement also had various reasons to continue a specific game.

Challenges in games have a positive impact on gamers with low or medium engagement levels, but a negative effect on players who were already highly engaged. Also, players’ curiosity decreases over time, which leads to low engagement.

This is especially true for less engaged players.

In a statement, one of the researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Yan Huang said:

“We find that high, medium and low engagement state gamers respond differently and have different motivators such as feelings of achievement or the need for a challenge.”

Not only did the researchers learn the player’s engagement state, but they were also able to exploit it to maximize gameplay. “By doing this we see an increase in gameplay between 4 and 8 percent,” said Stefanus Jasin, a professor in the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

And as the study suggests, more gameplay leads to more revenue.

How Player Engagement Increases Revenue

Findings from the study suggest that considering player engagement state and motivation could increase time spent on a game, and as a result, revenue. Here’s the breakdown.

Games With In-Game Purchase Features

According to the researchers, the more rounds a gamer plays, the higher the chance of an in-game purchase. And this could lead to a better revenue generation.

Games With In-Game Display Ads

Players are more likely to see and click on ads when they spend more time playing a specific game. This leads to a higher click-through rate and higher revenue.

Games With No Display Ads or In-Game Purchase

In this type of games, player engagement leads to revenue increase when the player wants to upgrade to the next or premium version of the game.

So, how can you increase player engagement?

The researcher suggests varying the difficulty level. They also recommended introducing surprises to offset a players’ curiosity as they get used to the game. Example of such includes new game modes or maps.

Read More: How Science Can Help You Get Better at Video Games

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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