What makes a Video Game successful?

Headstart Hyderabad’s Startup Saturday for June 2020 on ‘Video Games & Pandemic: A Match Made in Heaven?’ was filled with exciting conversations ranging from the effect of violent games on players to the problem of retention of players in the Indian market. The webinar was divided into 3 segments, you can read about Part 1 and Part 2 here, the epic finale had Mr. Imran Khan, Ms. Eve Chang, and Mr. Kashyap Reddy.

Video Games, Mario, Laptop

The conversation started with some very interesting inputs on the determinants of what makes a video game successful- the downloads or the revenue generated from it? Mr. Khan then delved deeper into how there are different methods of knowing that your game is successful. The trio was in agreement with the previous panel, about the generation of revenue from advertisements in games. Ms. Chang explained how without funding, some firms have reached a break-even point with advertising and are more likely to stop advertising altogether.

Mr. Khan then spoke about how the pandemic has resulted in popular games drawing in crowds, with people trying to check out the hype that surrounds these games. Mr. Reddy highlighted that though the downloads have gone up, the retention rate is fairly low. Engagement amongst the regular gamers, however, has been very high during the lockdown period. 

When it came to the difference in working from home, as opposed to in the office, and the different strategies implemented by them for their employees- Ms. Chang mentioned how even though there were initial issues- they’re all able to work fairly well. Collaboration and spontaneity from a design perspective seem to have taken a hit during these times. 

HSHyd SS Video Games Zoom Call

Speaking about retention and the Indian market, they all seemed to agree on the fact that the Indian market has great potential to develop into a behemoth. Mr. Reddy said that India is a misunderstood market and the issue of retention is a content problem- one that could be solved by the developer being convinced that their game is worth playing. He spoke about how one of the top 10 players of his game (Hit Cricket) is a priest in Somnath temple, that’s how much impact that game has made. 

After continuous discussion on how in-app purchases drive away the Indian crowd, Mr. Khan summed it all up to say, “Free to play is the way to go.” Addressing the audience, the three speakers had to say that the candidates the gaming industry was looking for must have great skills in data analytics, attention to detail, and risk-taking.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Every game is different. Be convinced that your game is one to play.”
  • The Indian market is extremely misunderstood.
  • Don’t study downloads, study user behaviour.

It was an amazing session- perfect for those who were even the slightest bit into video games! 

P.S. Everyone preferred the PS5 over the Xbox X, so now you know which one to buy. 😉

Contributed by:
Sanskriti Bhatnagar
Ecosystem Development Intern
Headstart Network Foundation