In 2018, mobile games accounted for 74 percent of all consumer spending in app stores. With exciting developments in the space — from hardware changes such as folding phones to infrastructure overhauls such as the rise of 5G — the industry shows no signs of slowing down in 2020.
However, as gamers increasingly flock to mobile devices, their expectations shift as well. Mobile gamers now expect 24/7 availability, rapid response time, and highly reactive gaming experiences. And they expect this same level of access and responsiveness from every aspect of the game — including customer service, onboarding, knowledge base resources, etc.
Now, three trends will push expectations for mobile gaming experiences even further. In particular, these trends will make in-game support (via messaging and AI-powered self-service) not just an added bonus, but a necessary feature for ensuring player loyalty and game success.
As we approach GamesCom 2019, be on the lookout for gaming companies addressing these landscape ‘gamechangers’:
1. Demographics – the rise of millennial purchasing power
The average gamer today is 34, the same age as the average millennial. Millennials have been the largest workforce generation since 2016, and as of 2019 are the largest population in North America. Currently millennials, on average, are just hitting the sweet spot in their careers, meaning their buying power is strong — so attracting this demographic is key to gaming companies.
You may ask, what does this have to do with customer service? Well, millennials are the first digitally-native generation. They grew up with cell phones in middle school and internet access from early ages. They’ve been using smartphones since high school, and are intimately acquainted with what good and bad technology-based experiences look like. Because of this familiarity from an early age, this generation expects seamless, simple, and accessible help when a mobile experience goes awry. Rather than pushing your millennial players to an email or a Twitter account, make accessing help as intuitive as playing the game is. This means letting players find what they need through in-game support in the form of in-app messaging and AI-powered self-service.
2. Cloud gaming and 5G
As we recently wrote, 5G and cloud gaming are poised to hit the mainstream (and those of you attending GamesCom 2019 will surely see this in action). The global cloud gaming market is expected to grow from $765 million in 2017, to $6.226 billion in 2026 — a shift that will bring about numerous changes to every aspect of mobile gaming.
One such change will be that as players become accustomed to untethered VR/AR gaming and reduced latency, they will also expect speed and convenience from in-game support. Immediate response times and ease-of-access will become givens. To meet these expectations, support teams will need to leverage a combination of automation and human support to create scalable in-game support.
3. The increasing popularity of hyper casual games
Hyper-casual games — or, instantly playable games such as CandyCrush — have become increasingly popular over the past five years or so. Indeed, Daily Active User (DAU) stats show that players have increased by over 50 percent in the last year alone.
This is important to note, even for gaming companies that don’t offer hyper casual games or don’t see these games as a primary source of revenue. Most players will dabble in hyper-casual games, and because the genre is so ubiquitous, these players will become accustomed to the benefits it offers. As the blog AppLovin aptly noted, “because the majority of monetization in hyper-casual games is through ads, quality is important. It’s crucial to maintain a good user experience”. These games have an easy-come-easy-go element to them. When the game becomes too difficult to use, players drop off — which means offering support that is simple and immediate is crucial to keeping players in the game. As more and more players start engaging with hyper casual games, brands will need to offer in-game support that is rapidly accessible and intuitive to use.
See These Trends in Action
These trends will shape every aspect of mobile gaming over the next few years, and will contribute to the sector’s continued growth. Brands that invest early in support infrastructure that supports these trends will see high ROI and significant player loyalty.
To see in-game support and scalable, frustration-free automation in action, stop by the Helpshift booth (A-060) at GamesCom 2019. Through our partnership with 5CA, we will be demonstrating what truly seamless in-game support actually looks like, and how brands including FoxNext and Zynga use Helpshift to level up their player support.
Want to learn more?
- Additional Product Information: Helpshift for Gaming
- Customer Service Glossary Article: What is In-Game Support?
- Blog Post: 3 Reasons Mobile Gaming Companies Need Bots and AI Built into In-Game Support