Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why players quit games

If not for general information, then certainly for marketing, it's important to understand what makes players walk away from a game. There are several reasons that this happens and mostly it involves finances. The recent economy has been hard on players no doubt. It makes it so they have to be choosy about what they buy and play. Games that require keeping a collection can really suffer when prices go above ability or finances drop below. What are other reasons?

Well, trivially speaking, 1% of any business is lost because the customer dies. That's just trivia, but it's true to marketing so noteworthy.

About 15% of customers are lost because they move away. This holds true for gaming too. Moving to places where there are no players for some games can put a kabosh on that customers buying habits. It can shelf a game fast and for a long time.

I don't know a percentage off hand, but I have seen lots of gamers for both Hero Clix and Magic the Gathering, throw up their hands and walk away over rules changes. Too many rule changes, especially in a short time, can frustrate players. Key note, games are meant to be fun. Frustration is the opposite of fun.

Bad luck. Even if you don't believe in it, some people just aren't meant to play some games, especially in competition. When it comes to games of chance, I can tell you I'm not meant to be a gambler. I lose, it's as simple as that. So I don't gamble. I don't have good luck with Magic the Gathering either except in friendly, non-tournament play. It doesn't matter how well I put my deck together, if I enter a tournament, I lose. I can't tell you how many times I've lost horribly to have the master player across from me tell me to build a better deck. I hand him my cards. He looks through them and takes his harsh words back. Face it, it's no fun when you always lose. And there's no marketing in the world to save from that one.

None of these are avoidable by the market. They're going to happen. Players will come and players will go. Still, there are plenty of bad choices that could be avoided with some forethought. Here's to hoping you don't have to give up your favorite game this year.

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