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A game could be deemed “successful” when people could play it over and over without getting bored. How can we lable a product “successful” if even people think it good, but don’t want to play it for a second or third time? Just like a foreign dishes could be praised for its new taste, but it could never replace rice, bread… as daily meals, which people could never grow tired of.
In order to do this, the game itself must have a simple gameplay, and at the same time, having something to addict the players for hours. Take Tetris for example: it was first released in the 70s, and even nowadays it could still be deemed as an amazing game that you can’t be fed of.
All the examples above point at one thing: in order to succeed, you have to create a phenomenon – and this phenomenon must have an attracting effect to lure the players into it, regardless the ages, the genders, the gaming levels of theirs.
There was a philosopher who said this: “The effort to achieve something is actually the best reward there is, not the result itself”. Although almost everyone says that they just want an easy life – but deep down inside, all wants to meet something really challenging, to prove themselves worthy.
It might sound contrary at first, when saying that a game aiming toward the mass must have challenges. But think again, it’s the truth – because the players won’t be satisfied by winning something too easy. They’re not idiots to be hoaxed by parlor tricks.
Take Angry Birds for the example: when you passed a level with 1 star, you always want to pass again with 3 stars – and Flappy Bird: when you passed the first pole without falling down, you always thrive for more. The thing to do is to make the players have the feeling as long as they try hard and long enough, they can achieve success.
In the old days of videogames, most of the titles only focus on single playing modes. And at that time, playing games itself could be considered as a luxury entertainment, without real attention from the mass. And so, old-school gaming only favors into single joy – or we could say, “emo”.
Gradually, with the rise of technologies and culture, an omnipresent being arose: internet. It brought people together easily, thanks to their natural instinct of flocking together. And when the term of “social network” became widely popular, the world was truly connected seamlessly.
Playing for free
It’s common sense for people to like… free stuffs. Even if they fully awared that free stuffs could never be good – but the attraction from getting something without paying is very… interesting. I’ve met a lot of ladies who could go crazy when let loose in a shopping mall, buying stuffs that they would never need to use, just to get extra useless stuffs.
Back to the gaming market, there’re many methods of selling a game, one is lifetile purchase. This method is common with PC/console games when you buy a whole package of the game without paying any extra fee (called microtransaction). However, this method came with a big risk: you couldn’t know the game you bought is good or bad, until you play it.
And so, a successful game must be free – because having to pay, even by the smallest amount, could build up a mental hesitation in the players. A good game could be a bad one if people feel hesistated to buy it. Just give it away for free, and if it’s really good, you can gain unlimited profit later.