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  • Natalie Markovits

10 PX experts tell us about their dream insight from their players

Updated: Jan 1

We’ve had an amazing year and 3 great seasons in the Let’s Talk Customer Feedback Podcast by Affogata. During season 3, we had awesome interviewees from companies such as Activision Blizzard, Playstudios, Wargaming, Mytona, and many more. We’ve talked about the importance of inclusivity in the games industry, how to balance player needs with the company’s strategy and vision, the influence of the community on game development and optimization, and everything in between. It has been an awesome season and we can’t wait to see what 2023 brings.


10 PX experts tell us about their dream insight from their players

Although we’ve talked about multiple topics in the games industry, one question we asked all our guests was: “if there would be a dream insight they could get from your players, what would it be?” and we bring you here a compilation of all of these answers to end 2022 on a perfect note and hoping that we can bring these insights for next year!


So find here the 10 answers we had to this question from incredible player experience experts.


Audio




1. Rob Gallerani, Senior Principal Game Designer at Activision Blizzard

"So, the trickiest thing is, is when you give someone a playtest, right? Like, they know they're being tested, and most humans are fairly polite about it. Even if what comments they write about your game is not the playtest and so a genuine like, okay, I am done playing this game and why? We are like we used to call it the shelf moment, like, at what point does a player say, yep, you know what, I'm putting this on the shelf. Because in today's world, you don't play a game once and you're done, right? Like, most games now are a service, you want to keep playing them and a lot of times, people will, you know, stop playing for a little bit, but they then want to come back to it and you could kind of always want them leaving on a high note and things like that. But there are these moments where people like, yep, I'm done and to know, truly, when they hit that mark, and why it was like that would kind of be the keys to the kingdom of like getting people to always be engaged, like, is it that they need new content? Do things get stale? Because we've seen people do the same action 9 million times, and it never gets boring for them. Whereas other things are like, I did this 10 times. I'm sick of it. Like, is it different for every person? So, I think that would be it."


2. Michael Rubinelli, Chief Gaming Officer at Tyranno Studios

"The thing that we want to know, and we want to understand the thing that we always try to work towards is it's maybe a little bit esoteric or vague, but I think it's really important is we operate with, there's kind of two big foundational principles in our company. One is, we have to find a cause that is greater than ourselves, right? And for us the cause that's greater than ourselves is player ownership of assets. Like we think that's an unbelievably compelling cause. We think that's where gaming is going and if we can expedite that, and the things that we do that lead to that, like we want to do, that's one but two is it's all about, you know, the most valuable commodity you have in your life is your free time. It's not how much money you have, he'll say, oh, no, the value of my work, the measure my worth is how much money I have. It's actually not it's how much it's how do you use your free time. Now a lot of times, how you use your free time is a reflection of your wealth. Like as an example, Richard Branson is very wealthy, and you can say, well, how much money he has? Well, I don't know. But I'll tell you how Richard Branson spends his free time he flies to his private island. He has a gold-plated toilet, it's on the beach. Like that's how he spends his free time. It's a reflection of his wealth.


So, if you understand that your free time is a limited resource, like they're not making any more of it. You have cap on how much you have. If you choose to spend your free time on projects that you know our company builds, we want to validate that we want you to feel good about spending the most valuable commodity you have on our projects and so we look for insights and things that inform that thinking, is this a good use of your free time? Have we replaced like everybody plays, you know, two to three games on a daily basis? Like, if we can get into your rotation? How do we break into your rotation of daily gameplay, but we do that by validating and giving you a better use of that time. So, the 10 minutes, you're gonna play here, play with us, instead, we want that to feel better and that's how we replace and get into people's kind of, you know, daily time of their lives and so that's really what we look at and those are the insights that we want to try to acquire and work around like, Are we progressing towards that goal, and if we are progressing towards that goal, we're going to keep doing those things that allow us to make that claim and believe that claim is true."


3. Olga Koryakina, Head of Marketing Creative at MYTONA

"That's a really interesting question. Well, I think it will be like a first impression of the game. Like, Seekers Notes, Cooking Diary, the first one, and what made our players stay and play? Like, because we have players who play our game, almost from the beginning. It means seven years for someone or four years for someone and I wanted to meet them and ask them. Maybe they remember the first day in the Cooking Diary and the first day in Seekers Notes. It'll be really exciting to know."


4. Latoya Peterson, Co-Founder & CXO at GlowUp Games

"A dream insight? Honestly, what makes you play the game? That is the number one thing and like, you know, the rough answer that yeah, basically, my friends are talking about it. That's, it's that simple. But that question is so hard because like they defy genres and so you know, a lot of times with the assumption about women who play games is that when we're casual players. We like Candy Crush.


But it's like we like this, we like that, women like casual games, and when we started talking to our players, we couldn't get like a clean, like we had all these conference 25 comps and we're like, oh yeah, he's trying to be able to get like a good consensus from these 25 games that we pulled and lo and behold, everyone we talked to name games are totally not even on this list, right? We couldn't even get like consensus. No, three people named the same game and so we were like, oh, god, okay, how do we look at and make sense of this type of data, where it's all over the place, clusters of different things and so that's my key focus in terms of, okay, what makes you play, and particularly because, for women and women of color, gaming as an identity is just a part of who they are as a whole. So, the woman that's interesting, this game is also probably interested in live concerts, she might have gone to, you know, Coachella, or Rock and bells, or one of those other big ones, she pays for experiences. She's probably going to wineries. She probably likes black girl magic Rose and like, the profile of that person, is so vast that we really have to like, really have like, Okay, what else are you doing? What else is happening?


And again, for a lot of these women, there's been nothing if they're living their lives. I don't know, my mom calls it this was cool to try this out and then I like this clothing brand. But that's how because I feel masks today. But tomorrow, when I feel feminine, I wear these brands and like understanding kind of like who they are as a whole, especially in an era that's very algorithmically driven, where they want people to be in a very specific box. It's like, oh, they like this and that's only visions are clear is definitely more of a constellation of things and so, you know, who are you? And what do you want? is still the core question that we're trying to answer. Who are you? Who are you, right? That's what we want to know, in a 360 kind of way.


5. Ian Cofino, Co-founder at Afterburner Studios

"So, I was thinking about this because this, you're right, this is a challenging question. But one thing I think would be really useful - You know, early on, I said, we had some data analysis stuff and I think the biggest thing that it gave to us was an understanding of our funnel and for people who don't know, probably everyone who listens to this podcast would know, but the funnel, meaning that drop off points over time of your players creating that kind of, visually creating a funnel. So, for us, as we were looking at that we were saying, okay, after this tutorial, how many people drop off after the first level, after the first Voss, and into the second level, all these things, these drop off points and that is really useful, because you're seeing that there is this funneling effect, and you're seeing how much people are dropping off at each point but something that players don't really tell you, because they'll move on to something else. You know, they'll be playing it and they'll play the first level, and they'll say, You know what, this is not for me, or it doesn't grab them, and they'll just drop off, and they won't give you any feedback. So, you only have that objective feedback. So, something that would be really useful, and you have to really fish for, is that qualitative feedback, rather than the quantitative feedback of why it didn't click with them, or what wasn't working, or what could be done better to improve that player experience, so the funnel widens and that's something you kind of have to intuit, but it's very hard to get direct feedback on that specifically."


6. Muriel Goldstein, Community and CRM lead at Playstudios

"So, as part of our player retention strategy, we use the Net Promoter Score, NPS, to measure the satisfaction and loyalty of our players. So, ideally, we'd like to know what makes them recommend us to their friends or in other words, what makes the game experience memorable."


7. Kristian Kanne, Senior Community Manager at Wargaming

"As a long-term gamer myself, I usually can relate a lot to the players when they provide feedback or when they are passionate about something. But something that would be really, I think useful for the entire industry is, what makes a player stop playing the game after the session. You know, what is the reason for it? Like, was there anything frustrating in the game? What made them quit? Was it something in real life? Is it they had enough of it? Or, you know, what kind of caused someone to stop a session? Because you usually don't know. Of course, there can be bad sessions where you play a game and you fail 10 times at the same task or, and then you say, like, well Alt+F4, or just close the game or just shut the console down. But then, or you have enough, or you don't have enough things to do in the game, or it's repetitive. So, I think that would be a great insight for the gaming industry itself if you could have this."


8. Diana Choi, CRM Manager at Playstudios Asia

"For many free-to-play games, retention is the biggest asset and Playstudios definitely try to put players you know, voices at the center. We can confidently say that we have a strong connection with some of our loyal players who've been with us since the beginning, like 10 years probably. So, we actually host a quarterly players roundtable where we get to sit down and openly chat with them alongside our product and rewards team to get in-depth knowledge about their experiences of using the app and this is definitely like, you know, valuable dream insight for sure, as we share feedback, and firsthand. Yeah. So, with this feedback, you know, we really strive towards turning them into actionable strategies. So, every time we have players' roundtable sessions, we're definitely grateful for that opportunity."


9. Rizwana Rahman: Technical Lead – Product Manager

"A dream insight would be how to create dream customers by identifying the target audience for a new product. Apple is one of the best examples of a company who has a loyal set of dream customers that are targeted. Apple also does a really good job at providing a well-appreciated customer experience. The Apple Watch is one of my favorite Apple products and is a great example where it solutions in terms of fault detection to address the problem in the form of an accident is provided to the users. In short, dream insight would be connecting with the target customers and learning about their behavior patterns, to proactively know their pain points and help arrive at solutions which are novel."


10. Jinesha Gandhi, Producer at RedHill Games

"Probably how to make a game better. For a player just to be honest and tell us what they like, what they didn't like, and how we can make it better. The reason why we make games, is yes, because we are passionate, it's also to create a different world for these people, where they can immerse themselves and just forget about reality. So it is important for us to know what works, what doesn't work, and what they think will make the game better."





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