Why Gamer Fatigue is a Big Issue and How Can Games Avoid ItJul 15, 2020 | 1 Votes by Mikhail 10 rate Gamer fatigue is a real issue today and it affects even the most devoted of gamers. How can developers keep players from getting tired of their titles?
Imagine this: let’s say you’ve played a game for a dozen hours. You feel like you’ve unlocked and played everything it had to offer. For some reason, playing it is starting to feel like a repetitive chore, and there is no fun in continuing any longer. Once you put it down, you’re never returning to it and right away, you start looking for another game to play. Anyone who has played a game before has definitely experienced this.
Gamer fatigue is a real issue and it’s bad for online games, particularly free-to-play MMOs whose revenue relies on microtransactions. All things considered, there’s a need for developers and community managers to keep things fresh and updated to prevent that player chart line to dive-bomb. However, some companies have done a great job in making their players happy and entertained, filling them to the brim with anticipation and excitement in every update and season.
So, how have certain developers manage to prevent their fanbase from experiencing gamer fatigue?
Constant updates, new mechanics, and new DLCs
The most well-known tactic is, of course, introducing new gameplay mechanics and downloadable content. There’s a reason why older games like Warframe and even Europa Universalis IV maintained a loyal and devoted player-base. They constantly make tweaks and add new gameplay mechanics. This enables players to experience something new and fresh. In turn, this makes them dive deeper and invest more time into the game because hey, there’s something new to do.
For example in EUIV, the recent Emperor update added in new mechanics for the Holy Roman Empire, as well as a slew of new features that dramatically make the entire empire-building strategy game more immersive. As for Warframe, the devs never fail to release regular updates and provide new content and gameplay elements for their loyal fanbase (and new players) to enjoy.
There’s a huge reason why Fortnite’s Battle Pass became a staple in many free-to-play games. New cosmetic rewards give gamers new goals and something new to play for and achieve. In addition to this, seasonal events also provide something for players to look forward to.
Other games can implement this by adding in seasonal leaderboards and by making minor changes and even creating a storyline as the season progresses. By doing so, players will continue to drop in and see if there are changes and, of course, increase their ranks and scores to gain more rewards.
Tournaments and competitions
Whether against the AI or real players, gamers love to compete. After all, who wouldn’t want to prove a point and showcase their skills to the entire community? By putting up seasonal tournaments and by providing rewards for winners, developers will give gamers a lot of reasons to continue playing. There’s something in it for players, so it would make sense for them to dive in and play.
One good example would be Tetris 99’s Maximus Cup where players try to earn as many points as they can. The top 999 players will earn 999 Nintendo Gold Coins which is equivalent to $9.99 and can be redeemed on the Switch store for new games. The same can be said about mobile games with seasonal rankings and tournaments.
Marketing and new tie-ups
To keep players interested - and gain new ones - a fair amount of marketing is warranted. Developers need to continue nurturing their player-base on forums and on their social media pages.
In addition, tie-ups and collaborations are also extremely effective. In a way, this brings new audiences and fanbases into the game.
One good example of a successful and intriguing collaboration would be between Fortnite, DC Comics, and Marvel. In the recent season, players were able to unlock the Aquaman skin while the Captain America one could be purchased. The previous season saw the introduction of the Deadpool skin which was a big thing. In turn, this leads to interesting team-ups. Imagine fighting a team of players with Captain America, Deadpool, Aquaman, and John Wick skins.
Bug fixes and listening to player feedback
Another way to reduce and even eliminate gamer fatigue is to make sure to listen to player feedback. Gamers are an outspoken bunch and will undoubtedly let developers know of bugs and issues they encounter.
Of course, not all player feedback is necessarily good, but it helps to listen to what they’re saying. One good example would be Star Wars Battlefront II’s shaky launch. Apparently, the $60 game was full of microtransactions and according to reports, it’ll take players hundreds of hours just to unlock high-tier characters and rewards. The response was widespread condemnation: fans of the franchise protested and let their ire known to the developers who backtracked and made tweaks. Today, the game’s rewards system is much more balanced and enjoys a fair amount of players due to the tweaks devs have made.
Gamer fatigue affects everyone. Sometimes, it just feels like a game has nothing new to offer and you just want to put it down for a bit. In a way, this can become a bit of a problem since gamers may need to spend money and time to invest in a new title. Fortunately, developers have countered this by introducing new gameplay mechanics, DLCs, and seasonal events. Moreover, by encouraging and fostering competition and dishing out rewards, players will have something to work towards. Finally, marketing and collaborations can spice up the experience and listening to player feedback will give developers insights on what to improve.
So, in your case, what do you think are some of the best ways to ensure that gamer fatigue won’t be an issue for developers?