With the gaming industry rapidly growing and evolving, there are new modifications and better ways of meeting gamers’ needs. If you are a game fanatic, you might have previously bought games and completed them in a matter of days. You would then repeat them over and over. However, recently, some games are updated and served to you. This shift in the industry is a result of the introduction of games as a service. What is it and what are its benefits? Read on to find out more about Gaas.
What is Games as a Service (Gaas)
Games as a service (Gaas) is a monetization model in the video gaming industry. You may refer to Gaas as live services or living games. It monetizes video games after they are released, or support the free to play game models. The games under games as a service are published once and then frequently updated and the game developers offer new experiences to gamers who are required to subscribe. Additionally, the updates can be offered as in-game purchases. Therefore, the video games in games as a service are not sold at once to the players rather, they are served once there are new updates. The new updates may include new modes or events. Since the model relies on microtransactions, players do not finish the game at once but have to regularly come back to it to pass other levels when it is updated.
Features of Games as a Service
This Gaas monetization model has the following features;
• Uses cloud computing technology to build and serve the games.
• Employs anti-privacy law.
• A gamer only clicks and plays.
• Facilitates gaming at the convenience of a gamer.
Game Companies Employing Games as a Service
There is a trend of gaming companies employing games as a service in their video games. According to one survey, games as a service have led to a massive growth of the video game industry in recent years. Interestingly, back in 2004 Blizzard Entertainment released World of Warcraft as games of service. In recent years, there have been companies that employ games as a service in their games. Examples of such companies include Electronic Arts which experienced good results in their games such as Origin Access, Sims4, Pogo, and others. Additionally, Activision Blizzard has increased sales in games such as Overwatch. Besides, Candy Crush and Destiny among others are other examples of Gaas-based games. Therefore, the Gaas model proves to be very beneficial to game companies.
The Gaas Game Development Cycle
There are steps involved in the development of Gaas-powered games. This development process is a cycle consisting of the steps below;
1. The developer releases the game initially.
2. The monetization and behavior of the gamers toward the games being analyzed to get their feedback.
3. Change and adjustments to the mechanisms employed in the game depending on the gamers’ reaction.
4. Adjustments of the offers in the game.
5. Creating new game content.
6. Getting customer views on the updated content through question and answer.
7. Publish the updates.
This cycle is fast and game developers release the updates weekly at times. Therefore, there should be collaboration to meet the timeline.
Types of Gaas Monetization
This business model applies the following types of monetization;
- In-App purchases- the games are released by publishers for free but other content is sold within the games. Therefore, gamers can enjoy the gaming experience by paying for other added features. Also, players win when they buy the newly added features. In this way, game companies can make money.
- Advertising inside games- there are added ads within the games that earn game developers revenue. Interestingly, some players view watching the ad as interesting. However, game developers shouldn’t put too many advertisements in their games.
- Subscriptions- there a certain amount paid recurrently after a specific interval. It can be done every month or any other. When the players subscribe, they access the game fully and get engaged completely.
Benefits to Players
If you are a video gamer and are playing a Gaas-powered game you can enjoy the following benefits;
1. You get to enjoy your gaming experience since you can play wherever you are and whenever you want. Your convenience is guaranteed.
2. You can play multiple titles at ago and don’t have to install them on your device.
3. Games as a service allow a player to enjoy playing a game without necessarily purchasing the tangible disc or installing it on your device.
4. Games as a service relieve players of the hassle of purchasing expensive hardware or upgrading their devices.
5. With Gaas, players pay a fair price.
6. Games as a service use cloud technology to allow players access to games and they can stream other game consoles without purchasing specific hardware.
7. the gamers are engaged constantly since the games are updated regularly such as weekly or monthly.
Advantages of Games as a Service
• The games are released earlier since the developers don’t spend years developing the games fully and launching them.
• The developers get earlier feedback from gamers and make adjustments where need be.
• The games are consumed by players for a longer duration since there are new updates on a scheduled time which makes the game fun and not boring.
• The games can be accessed at any time anywhere.
Disadvantages of Games as a Service
• The games need to be updated frequently hence needs keenness to ensure the content is unchanged.
• There are many stakeholders involved in the game development process. Therefore, managing such a number may not be easy.
• There are common errors experienced.
• Games as a service need a team to get feedback from their users. Building such a team may not be easy.
If you love games, your gaming experience is made easier with games as a service. Enjoy games from your favorite developers and get the updates regularly. Having some knowledge on how games as a service monetization works are beneficial and may as well make you appreciate the experience.