Developing a gamesite to enhance player engagement
Producing or having communication materials produced represents a significant cost in the marketing budget of a game development studio or a publisher. While commercial platforms like Steam or Epic allow redirecting prospects to a purchase page, the creation of a dedicated website offers numerous advantages.
Indeed, establishing a website allows for the construction of a multi-purpose space, serving as a rich media marketing tool, content aggregator, engaging community platform, and facilitating content management, maintenance, and communication.
Pre-launch, launch, and post-launch
Depending on the game development phase, a website evolves with the game.
Pre-launch: This phase includes pre-registrations, game presentations, blogs, media coverage, videos, and key art of the game. There may also be testing phases such as a technical alpha version or a closed beta version. Increasingly, games offer early access, which can involve monetization through founder packs, for example, and enriching other parts of the site with new content.
Launch phase: During this phase, player support, gathering player feedback, and providing resources are essential to maintaining and transmitting excitement. Players should easily find help and resources for streaming on platforms like Twitch and YouTube to generate engagement. At this moment, a website is crucial for player retention and acquisition.
Post-launch phase: Players generate a lot of data during this phase, and it's the time to make this data visible and tell a story through features such as rankings, player profiles, infographics, etc. Storytelling becomes crucial to maintain player engagement after the initial launch hype.
A rich media support that is 100% customizable
A website, for your audience, is primarily the main visual platform outside of the game. A website or landing page allows you to display videos, animations, key art, and content to establish or convey information along with your unique visual identity.
By its nature, the web is interactive, and it's also possible to build elements with which your audience can interact to discover or learn.
For example, an interactive map of in-game objectives.
The artistic direction of a website can also serve as the foundation for the visual identity of your content on other platforms, thus unifying your communication to make your content easily identifiable across platforms with varied layouts and designs.
Having a web platform allows you to host or aggregate diverse and categorized content. It's a space where both meso and meta content can exist. This includes content about the game, its identity, data, and mechanics, as well as content showing behind-the-scenes of production, community events, etc.
Managing and automating content publication
Blog articles, news, update notes, and all types of content related to a game's news often need cross-platform distribution.
Take the case of a regularly updated free-to-play game; it is preferable to display the latest information about the game, heroes, cards, or powers simultaneously in the dedicated game launcher and on all available communication channels. Implementing a headless Content Management System (CMS) allows content to be written once in the site's back office. This content is then automatically made available via an API request to be displayed on all other platforms.
For example, the latest patch notes displayed in-game, in the game launcher, on the website, and on social media without any copy-pasting.
The advantage of such a content management system also lies in the ability to source data from multiple inputs and perform logical operations on this data.
For instance, if a hero's power cost 20 mana in patch 1.10 and 30 mana in patch 1.11, these data are automatically retrieved and compared to display the variance in a blog article automatically, without any editorial intervention or review.
Implementing a headless CMS, in addition to providing all the functionalities of a traditional CMS (like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.), extends the range of possibilities, automates content management, and optimizes publication time.
Enhancing Player Experience Beyond the Game
Data often forms the core of a game's marketing and evolution strategy. From the user's perspective, in-game statistics and performance are crucial elements that allow players to compare or improve. This data is an excellent engagement and retention element, providing an opportunity to maintain an out-of-game connection and strengthen a player's interactions with the content.
For example, World of Warcraft's armory allows players to view their characters, armors, talent trees, as well as those of other players. Or a player profile page that shows in-game statistics such as victories, rank progression, etc., and compares them to other players in a leaderboard.
These data also have powerful sharing potential while strictly adhering to French, European, and international laws regarding player data. This platform is also capable of hosting various initiatives that increase engagement, such as Twitch drop campaigns, landing pages to support specific events (console launches, promotions, etc.).
An important aspect of a game's life is the efficiency and problem resolution system. A website serves as the primary source of truth for players and the place they turn to when encountering an issue.
Having a platform where support and a knowledge base are directly integrated and linked to their user profile provides clarity and trust advantages as part of an ecosystem. It also offers ticket management advantages for support teams.
Store Outside the Game
Another aspect for microtransaction games, such as free-to-plays, is integrating a store outside the game. This allows players to purchase items without being connected to the game. As you probably know, a website can integrate various analysis tools and a payment system. You can imagine a system recommending items relevant to the player's current level.
An Unbeatable Visibility Channel
The visibility of a video game product online is at the heart of its success. In this regard, a website with dynamic content, which with players or prospects interact regularly, and with a solid construction and domain name, is essential for good online visibility. It often constitutes a significant organic acquisition channel. It is the most powerful tool to implement in SEO strategies: being easy to find on Google.
The more content is highlighted, the more potential players can discover your game. In the world of SEO, there is a keyword battle among competing games. With the rise of free-to-play and game-as-a-service titles, this work must be consistent to maintain good visibility.
Knowing Players Better to Serve Them Better
As you probably know, a website can integrate various analysis tools, A/B tests to optimize player journeys. It is also a place to better understand their habits, such as which social networks they use and which parts of the site they spend the most time on (FAQ, support, game universe, rankings, update notes, etc.).
With the collected data, you can optimize parts of the site and even your game.
In conclusion, having a website for your game is essential regardless of the development phase. It is one of the first things new players will see before playing; it's a personalized pitch and a preview of the player experience. The evolution of the site follows the game's progression: the content created for the game can also be showcased on the internet. At Kangurus, we have over 14 years of experience in websites for video games, and we firmly believe that a content-rich site is an essential conversion tool.