When you want to play a new video game, be it a mobile title, an indie on PC, or a console-based blockbuster, where do you go? If you’d have responded to that question ten or more years ago, your answer would have likely been ‘visit your local games store’ or to ‘contact the developer or publisher itself’ e.g. through their official website or their official store.
But, in the year 2018, the games industry has changed and the typical way to access a game on any device is to access an online platform. So important are these platforms to the way we get new games that they could well be the future of the games industry.
Why Do People Like Games Platforms So Much?
To understand why game platforms could be the next big battleground for the industry, you must first understand why people like them so much. Surely there’s more to it than just big name brand support as the likes of EA (which runs the Origin platform), Ubisoft (which runs Uplay) and Valve (which runs Steam) have major recognition?
One key reason is that games platforms give players access to all of their favorite games at once. William Hill games include popular slots such as Worms Reloaded, Inspector Gadget, and Starburst but there are also dozens of other slot games to test out too. Plus, because there are new games being added regularly, players don’t have to go searching the web if they feel like playing something different. It takes the legwork out of having fun, which is all anyone really wants from an entertainment experience.
Why More Developers Are Launching Their Own Platforms
But it’s not just the players who love games platforms; many developers and publishers are fond of them too. This is predominantly because it allows them to keep most of the profits. Although platforms like Google Play offer massive exposure, Google also takes a 30% cut of every sale or microtransaction. Epic Games revealed that this is why Fortnite is available through the Android Epic Games launcher instead of the Google Play marketplace.
It also helps developers coordinate their marketing efforts. For instance, Destiny 2 is available through Blizzard Entertainment’s Battle.net despite not being a Blizzard game. However, Destiny 2 does have the same parent company. It means that that parent company (Activision) is able to promote games from across its product family at no extra cost.
Why Games Platforms Are the Future
There are already several compelling reasons for companies to begin hosting their own platforms but there are also growing issues – particularly that of discoverability – that will make it more of a pressing need. In 2017, 7,672 games were released on Steam alone – now just imagine how hard those games would be to find if they were not on the biggest PC marketplace?
There is a great opportunity for developers and publishers to capitalize, with developers becoming publishers in their own right and publishers becoming content curators known for delivering certain types of experiences. So watch this space because game platforms could well be the future.