Gamescom is by far the biggest gaming convention that gathers hundreds of thousands of gamers and companies from the industry every year in the German city of Cologne. It was the 3rd time we participated in this event and the 2nd time we partnered with our friends from Helpshift. Together we were thrilled to talk about creating custom-crafted player experience solutions for gaming companies.
This year we hosted the Player Experience Café, where we served delicious coffee while discussing player support. It was a very fruitful edition, and we are so excited about new games coming out and being part of such a fascinating industry.
We asked a few members of the team about the most exciting announcements and trends in the industry. Check it out!
How did gaming companies engage with their fans at Gamesom?
"This year one of my favorite highlights from Gamescom wasn’t any given game or announcement, but in how companies are looking for ways to engage their broader community audience, both on and off the show floor. Not able to afford a trip to Cologne? That’s okay, you could log into Sea of Thieves any time during the show and get your very own Halo themed ship set! Ubisoft launched a free week for folks looking to try out Anno 1800, and Team Razer raffled off a sweet gaming laptop setup. While it’s not quite the same thrill as being there in person, it’s great seeing more companies look for ways to involve their global communities in the joy that is Gamescom.
On the show floor itself, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. From amazing cosplay (yes, that’s cosplay, not a screenshot!), to community meet-ups, and just generally super-cool booths, the show floor itself does not disappoint. And special kudos to the Xbox team for making their Gamescom booth accessible for a diverse range of attendees, as well as the Accessibility Area setup from the IndieArena crew!
As the global audience for gaming grows, it’s great to see more companies looking at innovative and fun ways to involve their players, no matter where they might live!"
Tara Brannigan, Community Lead
What are the interesting trends in #playersupport and #playerexperience did you spot at Gamescom?
"One of the newer brands on display at this year’s Gamescom was Google’s Stadia, the company’s video game streaming service. They had a massive booth with machines set up for gamers to try out the service and announced that Cyberpunk 2077, currently one of the most hyped games, will be coming to Stadia when it’s released. Google is in a very strong position and I’m sure that during the next few years, the battle over which company will eventually become the Netflix of gaming will be decided.
Video game streaming services have the potential to have a huge impact on the amount of people that have access to games, and on how they buy those games. And that in turn has an impact on the player experience and player support. Think about it; If you buy and pay for a specific title, you’re committed to that title because you’ve invested in it. If there’s any issues playing the game, you’ll likely put it some amount of effort to get the problem solved, either via self-service, or reaching out to support.
When you instead have a library of Games available, none of which you’ve invested in because they’re included in your subscription, you’re much more likely to abandon a game when something unexpected happens and just move on to something else. To prevent gamers abandoning games, publishers will need to make sure their Player Support is proactive, immediate, and effective to get their players back to gaming as quickly as possible and not lose them to the competition."
Bart Kuipers, Marketing Lead
What was the most interesting section at Gamescom this year?
"The entertainment section was certainly one of my favourites. While the main halls were packed with games and presentations such as Gears 5, Banner Lords, Cyberpunk - I preferred the Indie Game Hall the most this year around. It was equally bustling with activity, small developer teams showing their games and directly talking to those who played their game. Having the opportunity to chat with these small developers and talk with them about customer experience and how they plan that into their development process was an interesting experience."
Tobias Semrau, Team Lead