How to increase player retention with great CX | 5CA

How to increase player retention with great CX

With so many new games, streaming services, and opportunities out there, how can you expand the player lifecycle and keep your players playing? Well, your secret ingredient is great CX.

How to improve player retention

How to increase player retention with great CX


Words by Shanika Ofori
Reading time 8 min

The gaming revolution is underway. But with so many new games, streaming services, and opportunities out there, how can you expand the player lifecycle and boost player retention? Well, your secret ingredient is great CX.

We’re now in a world where gaming is king. With the mobile gaming boom in full swing and rapid advancements in the metaverse, cloud, and web3 gaming, more people are playing video games than ever before — even those who wouldn’t call themselves gamers.

This upswing has been incredible for the gaming market. In 2021, the video game market is worth $314.6 billion and is forecast to grow to $521.57 billion by 2027. But if this is the case, gaming companies need to start taking player retention more seriously.

The gaming (r)evolution

Such an expanding market is rampant with competition. Whether game developers compete for players or titles compete for their attention, player retention strategies are one of the most crucial things to set into motion.

With so many games to choose from and ways to play, it’s become more challenging for games to retain their player base. These days, with free-to-play (F2P) games and their battle pass systems, developers have a lot to live up to. So your games must appeal to your players if you want to keep them. Not only that — they need to know you care.

Why player retention matters

Player retention isn’t just an ego boost for developers. It’s the difference between a good game and one forgotten to time. (Great example: Bust A Groove.)

If your game holds a player’s attention, they’ll play it. So, the longer it has their interest, the more committed they’ll be. Why else is Elder Scrolls Online so popular a decade after its release? Because Bethesda struck gold: players love the game because they always have something to do.

Continuing to give your players something to invest in gives them a reason to play it. As a result, they’ll be more inclined to make purchases or join online communities. They’ll also recommend the game to their friends or talk about it on social media, attracting new players or returning old ones to the fray.

And what’s the best way to give players a reason to play your game? A great customer experience provided by people who know and love those same games.

How to retain players with great CX

One essential tip for retaining players—as true for a casual game as a AAA title—is to know why they started playing in the first place.

You need to know your audience. Gamers are no longer all teenage boys; mothers, grandpas, and even little sisters are playing your games, which is where CX and knowledgeable gamer agents for customer support come in handy — because it takes a gamer to know a gamer. And if your players have a great customer experience, they’re more inclined to play and keep playing.

Let’s look at some of the best practices gaming companies are implementing to improve player retention with better CX.

First-Time User Experience (FTUE)

Many games already have established communities, but what about the first-time players picking up your games in a seasonal sale or on the release of a new DLC?

As gaming evolves into a free-to-play (F2P) monopoly, player experience has to come first. deltaDNA findings show that day-one player retention rates are extremely low, even for some of the biggest games on the market. As a result, implementing a First Time User Experience (FTUE) could be a make-or-break for your game.

As developers, you know your game inside-out, but issues, such as those relating to game mechanics, core gameplay, or a certain level, can arise that even QA didn’t pick up on. Often, player drop-off rates increase due to complicated tutorials that require help to get through. And as deltaDNA also found that retention rates steady between days two and seven, increasing your video game support services on release can help players overcome that hurdle.

Learn how 5CA increased player retention by 7% for CCP’s EVE Online in our CCP case study ➜

Personalized Player Support

Personalized player support should be a primary goal in your player retention strategy.

Gamers—perhaps more than any other type of customer—seek personalized support that caters to them. Whether providing support in their native language, having an active social media manager, enabling and listening to user feedback, or offering self-service options like knowledge bases, they want their favorite studios to see them as individuals — not numbers.

It all comes back to knowing your audience. Player segmentation is an excellent way of figuring out who’s playing your games, so you can target the right audience and identify the support they’d prefer. By using dashboards and automation to analyze player data, you’ll know your users and be able to support them accordingly.

You also want agents who understand your players — agents who have played your games and know enough about them to resolve their issues in ways they respond to — personalized enough to know their names and your games.

Combining data, analytics, and personalization, you can increase player retention, player satisfaction, and engagement long term.

Discover how customer experience analytics can boost your player retention strategy ➜

Community Management & Player Engagement

When it comes to video games, you can’t beat a good community. Building a community around your game and engaging players are key to player retention and satisfaction.

Having agents that can connect with fans on forums, Reddit, or Discord about why they love a game is a big part of gaming culture. It can help people make friends, find people to play the game with, and exchange tips. For a loyal and steadfast community, it’s one of the most powerful things you can do.

Communities change from game to game. Implementing community management into your player retention strategy is a must. It can increase ROI and player numbers. Many game studios work with BPOs to help them customize community management before setting it into motion or reformulating their strategy.

Your players will thank you.

User Generated Content

Games like Elder Scrolls are a great example of player retention. One of Elder Scroll Online’s defining factors is how users can create their own content. This game has hundreds of mods that add continuous replay value. The Steam Workshop is also packed with mods for some of its best-loved games.

One of its biggest, Left 4 Dead 2, hadn’t had an official update, new features, or new content since 2012. Largely abandoned, its still-bustling player base took it into their own hands by creating the massive, fan-made update, The Last Stand.

User content and mods are a fun way to keep the conversation going around your game — and your fans will stay.

Player Reward Systems

Once upon a time, games were released in their completed form. That isn’t as true these days. With most gaming now digital and the avalanche of available mobile games, there are many effective ways to expand the gaming experience. Some popular reward systems include microtransactions, virtual currency, freemium games, battle passes, and subscription-based services.

Subscriptions such as PlayStation Plus and Ubisoft+ offer players exclusive content for games they love. And the more content available, the better their experience with a game. Microtransactions can be anything from in-game currency to official DLC. Virtual currency is also something players can earn without spending real-world money — all they need to do is play the game.

In short, the more ways you give your players the means to gain something from your games, the longer they’ll keep playing.

Daily Rewards & Login Bonuses

Any gamer will tell you daily rewards are a huge incentive to play games. Achievements or rewards boost players’ morale, giving them something to work towards. Your players are people first. They want food and oxygen, and support. Achievements give them a reason to play, which gives them more reason to stick around.

For player retention, great CX is great PX

Analysts have predicted that, by 2022, the gaming industry will generate $196 billion in revenue. But to have a game that lasts, you need to take care of your players.

When it comes to gaming, players have always been the power. They’ve been the ones giving game developers a reason to create those games. So, it would help if you gave back with great CX.

Industry giant Electronic Arts takes CX seriously. EA ensures their team looks at things from the player’s perspective. Through that, they can better understand what players are looking for.

With an extra eye on great CX, they can eliminate its need by providing support before it’s required — perhaps even by engaging with a community in the metaverse like Earth 2.

In providing video support, community management, and thorough, personalized player support from fans of brands, you can retain your players with a customer experience to remember.

About the author

Shanika Ofori has been in the customer service industry for 20+ years. Currently 5CA’s Director of Key Accounts and former Sales Director at Conectys and Telvista, Ofori brings her culture-first, agent-driven approach to some of our biggest clients. She’s also a massive gamer and loves trying to rule the world in the Civilization franchise.

For more information on player retention, community management, and player support, or want to increase your ROI with personalized video game support solutions, shoot us a message.

Shanika Ofori

Key Account Director

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