Predict the future of online game design
The gaming industry is on the move of rapid change and that makes it hard to predict how the game design will change.
By looking at the game player model and studying the basic business principles behind the products. It is still difficult to accurately predict, but we will still grasp something of the future.
1. Reducing costs will be a top priority
Cost reduction is likely to be the biggest factor in improving innovation. Currently, the cost to produce a game has skyrocketed, up to tens of millions, even hundreds of millions for a high-quality product. The fate of a game or its features and scenarios are all tied to the cost of production more than anything else. When a game needs a huge expense to develop, it will face many risks such as premature death due to insufficient investment capital, or the number of players who spend money to buy products too little to recover capital.
Independent developers have helped solve this problem. In their games, the value of production is often separated from the game design development stage, and low production costs are not necessarily the cause of product death. However, the types of games that can be made with a very small amount of self-investment will inevitably limit. What is needed now is the leap forward in lowering manufacturing costs, and we will need a wave of good quality reusable products at a low cost. Innovation and creativity often exert the best power on a well-built, not accidental platform but there have been many revolutionary creations coming from game mods like DotA or Counter-Strike.
2. Design innovation will not work well for business anymore
Design innovations have been used as an effective lever to boost the gaming industry. Creating a new method means you will overcome the noisy competition in the market, build more brand loyalty, all of which will help the business be more favorable. It is driven by new technologies that enable the creation of new worlds and mechanisms, as well as the ability to use real-world-based themes. But the ability to innovate is becoming increasingly difficult as ideas are running out.
Many people blame reasons like stingy publishers, unimaginative development teams, stupid consumers, tight budgets, hardware constraints, etc. But these are just contributing factors. part rather than the root cause of things. If those are the only reasons, why doesn’t design innovation happen in companies that don’t have these problems? For example, Nintendo has still made great efforts in research and development, using the industry’s top talent, keeping costs reasonable, but has been unable to come up with a new product line over time.
Blizzard can continue to spend nearly a decade just to release a new MMO product. Valve’s two most-played products were invented by the mod community, not by their internal research and development team. The success rate of new game research and development is getting smaller year by year and is becoming a poor business proposition. Currently, the focus on innovation and new game design research is being diverted to things like community management, new methods to attract players all things that make the service better.