Raptr, a popular social network for gamers, recently released a report that examines the impact of community initiatives on new user acquisition, deeper engagement, and retention, and reveals the importance of a player-first strategy in the Games As a Service era.
The report examines the impact of community activities for games including Portal 2, ArmA II, League of Legends, Lost Saga, and Backlight: Retribution, based on actual playtime behavior of Raptr’s 15 million members. Key findings include:
- Valve’s official mod tools for Portal 2 revitalized the player community: The mod tools and resulting user-generated content brought in 23x new users, 11x returning players (defined by players who had lapsed by two weeks or more) and increased the average playtime per user by almost 36%.
- DayZ, a popular user-generated mod for ArmA II, put the game on the map: The mod brought in 14x more new players and increased reengagement of lapsed users by more than 2x within a month of release. Bohemia Interactive reported that sales for ArmA II spiked 40x within 4 months.
- League of Legends by Riot Games experiences 7.6% user growth each month on average, in part due to frequent community engagement activities. New players join at a 10% rate on average after eSport events.
- OG Planet’s implementation of Raptr Rewards, a loyalty program that incentivizes gamers to play more, increased weekly playtime of Lost Saga per user by 185 percent and drove more than 5x new players and 180 percent returning users to the game within one week.
- Perfect World’s use of Raptr Community Platform activities for its title Blacklight: Retribution, including Raptr Rewards and a developer/community Q&A, increased daily active users (DAU) by 4x over the course of several months.
Conclusion: Approaching Games As a Service from a primarily transactional (monetization-centric) framework is flawed. The real shift in games is from commodity to community, and the focus should be on the lifecycle of the player — call it Community As a Service