Live game operations help games grow according to the users’ needs by making constant changes to the game so it feels alive to the audience.
Does this sound familiar? I’m sure it does, considering most of the games now are live games that constantly introduce changes to improve them and more aligned to what the audience needs. These changes usually apply to the parameters that contain the game rules, not to the general game code that defines what you can do in the game.
With some examples you’ll clearly see the difference between live operations and the rest.
What are Live Game Operations
You choose to drop more loot during a period of time, add cosmetic items, make a monthly in-game event, launch a user acquisition (or retention) campaign via in-game messaging, and so on. These are all changes game ops can make with a few parameter adjustments.
What aren’t live game ops? New attack mechanic, new play mode, new character behavior, and more, are not game ops because they would require important game code changes.
Why Live Game Operations rule today
The process of making a video game is no longer: develop, then launch.
After every update, developers crunch numbers based on the behavior of users and decide what kind of changes should be made to the next version of the game to keep users engaged, or to get a bigger player base.
What can I do with Live Game Operations
Track all the actions in your game, those are your key performance indicators. This way you’ll be able to use more powerful targeting and segmentation of the users in order to foster the actions you know give them more value.
Now you have a way to analyze what’s going on with users in your game, you can paint a clearer picture of what is it that players like to do and what works best for your business. Set up a special weekend event that reinforces the behaviors that lead to more players having fun, and that ultimately mean more revenue for the game.
Send a notification to all users that haven’t been playing the game lately, and offer them a bonus if they come back to play. Or, what about cross-promoting another of your games to a subset of users data reveals might enjoy playing it?
How can I run Live Game Operations
To take full advantage of live ops there are a few key things you should be able to cover:
- You need means to analyze player behavior
- You need means to set up events
- You need means to communicate with your players
- You need means to modify game parameters
- You need means to gift items to players
If these seem like a lot to do, you’d be right!
Most studios simply can’t afford to build in-house all the tools for the operation team in top of all the infrastructure it requires, that is: backend and server deployment.
But what if you could do all that without having to pour money at coder hourly rates every time you need to make changes for future versions of your games?
What if you could avoid servers crashing to a sudden peak of traffic?
That’s why a live ops platform beat do-it-yourself if you’re in a small development team.