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A huge level of competition in the game market creates new tasks for the developers. In addition to the basic need to create an exceptional game, the development companies have to come up with ideas on attracting players and retaining them.
Often, it’s not enough to make a quality gaming product with interesting gameplay. Players need to have a special reason to return to a game - otherwise there are so many other games to distract the user’s attention. Digital collectibles may become an effective tool to increase player retention and monetize gaming products. Some substantial improvements can boost the whole section of in-game collectibles to a new level.
Caer Sidi opens new possibilities for game developers - phygital in-game collectibles have advantages of their physical and digital analogs.
According to GameAnalytics, mobile games have an average index of 25% day 1 retention, 6% for day 7, and only 1,5 for day 28. In simple words, this means, players prefer starting something new than progress in one particular game universe. The situation with PC and console games may be slightly different - but the pattern remains the same.
In-game collectibles give an additional reason to return to a game - “One more match, and I’ll get that precious thing”. Physical souvenirs remind about a game beyond the playing sessions. They bring a piece of in-game atmosphere to the real world and “invite” players to revisit this particular gaming adventure. Phygital collectibles combine the power of both physical and digital.
There are a few games to learn from - they offer players something so amazing that the temptation to play this one game again and again becomes irresistible.
Fortnite - this game is phenomenally successful. The secret here has many components, such as an excellent iteration of the Battle Royale genre with unusual innovations of building and fun dances. Also, an addictive system of rewards perfectly complements the general excitement of shooting matches. Players accomplish various quests to get nice skins and make their characters look cool. Cosmetic items give a powerful reason to return to Fortnite - to win them or to show off to others. Of course, digital cosmetics of Fortnite is a good source of multi-million revenue for Epic Games.
Dota 2 - the situation with this popular MOBA is slightly different. It also offers cosmetic items for the players, and in addition, these skins are tradeable. As with their other games, developers from Valve have built a thriving economy. A chance to get an arcana from the random drop is quite a motivation to delve into harsh multiplayer battles. And having beautiful items in the digital inventory is quite a reason to spend money.
Marvel's Spider-Man - here we have a paid game that succeeded very well in retaining players by its great gameplay and visuals, but still, the developers added digital collectibles to this product. So many players swing around virtual New York for hours just to get those incredible backpacks.
These games are just examples. Many other products have collectibles as part of the gameplay. Even story-driven games use them to reward players and give goals in the internal progress. For endless games as a service, digital collectibles may become a primary force for increasing user retention and monetizing the whole project.
Merchandise enhances gaming experience - we talked on this topic in a dedicated post, and it would be nice to highlight some basic things here. Probably the best way to do so is to describe a few examples of successful implementation.
The Pokémon franchise - players adore these fantastic creatures and love to spend many hours with them in the core RPGs and multiple spin-offs. Also, players are ready to surround themselves with various Pokémon merchandise. The total revenue of this franchise is $95 Bln, and $64 Bln is from licensed merchandise.
The Pop! figures by Funko - many popular characters got their physical incarnation as these a bit weird toys, and many fans are glad to have such versions of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and Disney heroes. The company has lots of licenses with partners, and the figurines are a culture phenomenon themselves.
Various merchandise of esports organizations - popular esports athletes are modern role-models for many gamers, so purchasing their official clothes and souvenirs is a common practice for fans. This Newzoo report expects the total audience growth for esports events to the level of 645M people in 2022.
The area of in-game collectibles and gaming souvenirs is in pretty good condition, and still, the companies face new challenges. We can highlight the following problems:
Caer Sidi offers a solution for both sectors. It’s a technology that unites digital collectibles and physical souvenirs in one product. We call this technology phygital. It wasn’t invented by Caer Sidi but we plan to bring it to a new level and make benefits of producing phygital assets available for everyone in the gaming industry.
Here are some examples of phygital products. In more detail, they have been described in the article “History of Phygital technology (in gaming and beyond)”.
Nintendo amiibo - the Japanese company sells millions of figurines and cards that have digital features. amiibo unlock content in the connected games.
Hot Wheels id - these super-popular toy cars have built-in tags that connect physical autos to their digital copies. Mattel sells racing tracks in addition to the cars and gives customers lots of interesting features.
Skylanders - Activision offers physical figurines that turn into digital heroes in the environment of a few games.
The current phygital products have quite a significant limitation - all of them are connected to specific franchises or ecosystems. They are proprietary solutions and can’t be adopted by other companies.
Caer Sidi offers a service of producing phygital products of various physical forms and with various digital features. The game industry is the best area for implementing the phygital technology.
Imagine having a physical figurine of a game character that opens digital collectibles in the player’s inventory. This physical souvenir has a bigger value in money equivalent and emotional context. It reminds the owners about the game in the real world, inviting players to launch it and enjoy the adventure. It is especially a good tool to monetize games as a service and increase the retention index.
Imagine bringing a smartphone close to this figurine and having its special page open automatically. The detailed in-game statistics, player’s details, game history, and other interesting data can be available on this page. Digital features of physical souvenirs give space for creative freedom - they can be woven in the gameplay and give players a new exciting experience.
Imagine any collectible asset that exists in both realities: physical and digital. Such technology increases sales of any merchandise, makes it unique, and gives effective user data analysis tools.
Imagine having no need to manage many processes of manufacturing the physical part and developing the digital features of physical assets. Caer Sidi offers the full cycle of producing in-game collectibles of the next generation. Please, check out info on this page for developers and contact our business development team to discuss details of the potential cooperation.