The success of games most notably depends upon the engagement of the players on a continuous basis. But for most games that remains to be the biggest challenge. Leaving game after the first experience is a common problem experienced by majority of games on any platform and experts agree to that. Less than 40% of gamers return to games after their first gaming experience, as expressed by Marc Robinson in GDC 2013. Considering the reasons that impel players in leaving your game means putting yourself in their shoes and considering the game from gamer’s point of view rather than the developers.
There can be plenty of reasons that possibly make a gamer leave the game. Boredom is the most important area that make majority of players make up their mind in a negative way. Frustration in completing game levels is another reason that makes countless players decide in favor of leaving the game and try other games. All in all, it is the sheer absence of enjoyment in playing games that makes gamers leave in majority of cases. A good flow of game steps or gaming architecture is what absorbs the gamers into its fold and helps retaining them. The positive and interesting progression of game is what every game designer aim for retaining players and engaging them at every now and then.
Here below we would provide a comprehensive list of 8 key reasons why majority of players tend to leave a game.
- Failing to make a convincing first impression
As soon as a player enters your game app he must have an idea of the game and what is there ahead. Many games simply lose a majority of first time audience just because they fail to make a good impression. The gamer however inexperienced he is, must know what promise of enjoyment is in store inside the gaming app and this would only make a positive influence in his decision to stay in the game. The title page, game loading speed and first level gaming experience all of these together would help making a good impression that can compel the gamer to play on or return to the game in other times.
- Too long game sessions
In mobile age most of us are gamers to some extent and for some time. On the way to our workplace or just at a meeting break we can play a game that gives us a challenging satisfaction within a span of few minutes. For most adult gamers small gaming sessions means quick fun and getting back to the game in small breaks between busy schedules. Our life tends to busier every single day and naturally we do not have time for games with long sessions that we are forced to leave just because of time constraint.
- Not targeting right audience with right game niche
When developing games we are bound to consider the gaming experience of players. The game designer cannot satisfy all types of gamers with his game design and so he must design his game for a target audience. Secondly, when targeting the audience choosing the right game niche is also important. If you design a game that is common or similar to too many games in a particular niche the players may only come to experience your game at a random basis and leave in the same manner. Moreover, a niche which is already too crowded with similar type of games may be a tough one for a new game to make an appealing presence and retain players.
- Games released full of bugs
There are too many games which make a negative impact on the players just because of their faulty performance and in most cases it happens because they are released without proper testing. Releasing bug free games is not just a necessity. It is the important prerequisite to make any impression on the gamers. Even after testing the game and making sure that the game is bug free you must concentrate on optimizing the game performance and visual aspects. You need to address all the prominent and less prominent defects on continuous basis.
- Hard to play games without option for customizing difficulty level
A great majority of players simply leave a game just because of the too hard first gaming experience. It is utter frustration to play a game that seems simply to be untamable and it is pretty obvious that any new player would like to leave it and try a different game. He would like to try another game with an enjoyable difficulty level. Offering sessions with step by step increase in difficulty level is what makes an engaging experience. Furthermore, offering choices of 3 or 4 difficulty levels in each sessions would make the experience more player friendly and customized. In this way the player according to his skill and appetite for challenge can choose difficulty level in each game session.
- Smooth rise in difficulty level and immersion
Many players feel nervous with sudden rise in difficulty level in the middle of the game and that makes them leave the game with frustration. This happens due to poor flow in game design. On the other hand, smooth rise in playing difficulty continuously makes the game enjoyable. A complete lack of difficulty also makes a negative impact on gaming experience. When you no longer feel the challenge in playing the game and wining level, it is nothing but a poor immersion element in game designing.
- Lacks a proper balance between grinding and intrinsic rewards
Without rewarding your players you cannot offer their gaming actions any worth. Rewards are motivation to play on and progress in the game sessions and in absence of them they are likely to lose appetite for wining a level or session and progress further. Grinding is one way to motivate them but that is not enough. Intrinsic reward within the game is also one important factor to let them stay motivated and enjoy the game. Making a balance between grinding and intrinsic game rewards is the key to let the gamers stay at the spur of motivation.
- The game is not updated for a long time
Why a gamer would feel to come back to the game app even after successfully completing all the stages and difficulty levels of the game? This is a question that game designers should ask themselves to retain their players on the long run. A game app which is updated regularly with the inclusion of new interesting elements is kept alive for the gamers and naturally never actually loses appeal. If the game is not updated for a long time, the players may forget it altogether even when they have not uninstalled it.
Last But Not The Least
Boredom and frustration in game experience are the two most deadly factors that make majority of gamers leave a game app. For a game designer a good flow is just the absolute and adjacent positive side of these factors. A game designer more than anything else, must concentrate on offering a perfect flow of game that makes an enjoyable experience preventing boredom and frustration from creeping in.
Image Source: Game Over Boy Flat Illustration