Video gaming has become a huge part of people’s lives. People play mobile games on their phones or tablets while waiting for the bus or at a doctor’s office in the U.S. Children play Nintendo Switch games while being driven from place to place as they run errands all across North America and South America. Friends come together to run Horde modes on World War Z across online gaming networks in the United States. The point is, no matter the type, video games are played by people all across the world, and the industry is a thriving and lucrative one for entrepreneurs.
The statistics tell the story. In the United States alone, over 164 million adults play video games in their downtime. Three-quarters of all people in the U.S. have at least one gamer in the household. In terms of employment opportunities, as of 2019, the total of U.S. workers exceeds 65,000. The total of employees that depend on the game software industry is now well over 220,000.
Over the past year the gaming industry brought in $120.1 billion, and broken down the amounts are as follows: $64.4 billion for mobile games, $29.6 billion for PC, and $15.4 billion for consoles. The good news is there is money to be made in providing a gaming experience to customers. Below are a few tips on how to expand your small business in gaming.
Expansion is needed for businesses for a variety of reasons. Making such a move allows you to expose your products and services to a broader audience. When you increase your customer base, this can help your gaming company to convert more customers and improve your sales. Expanding also helps you to increase stability within your company, and establish multiple revenue streams.
At the end of the day, this can lead to higher profits. This can help you to increase worker salaries, buy new supplies for the company, and even update crucial software systems, i.e. Salesforce. For example, for your call center (or contract center) alone, you’ll need call center software. This will include automated dialer software, voicemail, a predictive dialer, progressive dialing, outbound interactive voice response, and call routing. More money recouped for expansion can go a long way to improving various aspects of your company.
Figure out the ongoing costs.
As your company continues to thrive, you’ll need to figure out what your ongoing costs are going to be. These will include figuring out the costs associated with utilities, office sundries like coffee supplies in Canada, high-speed internet, stationary security cameras for video surveillance, wireless security cameras, and custodian services. The amounts for such services can total several hundred dollars on a monthly basis. This isn’t even including how much your employee salaries will be.
On average, a new game developer will enter the industry with an average salary range of approximately $40,000-$50,000 annually. Other positions including managers, marketing experts, seasoned sales team members, and accountants command at least anywhere between $30,000-$60,000 annually based on experience. Other positions such as receptionists, entry sales team members, beta testers, and customer center representatives will make anywhere between $8-$15 hourly.
Invest in building security.
In addition to having the latest and greatest virus and hacker-proof software installed in your business’s computer network, you should have a physical security element on site. This can include having an on-site security guard. Try your best to find a security firm that employees people to do more than just have visitors sign in, and occasionally do video surveillance once every hour.
You want people who have a background in security services. Your job is working with sensitive material that you don’t want to get out to the public, hackers, or to other competitors. You don’t want to have to deal with those hassles. Ensure that you have a security presence in a place with a live person that can ensure that your workers and your business stay safe from possible outside threats.
In addition to this, you’ll need to look into such building security measures as cloud based security camera systems, 24-hour video surveillance, network video recorders, night vision for your video recorder, keycard control, and sensor alarms. The great thing is that many of these security features can be easily accessed with the click of a button on your mobile device or phone’s mobile app. This gives you full control to keep up with your business’s security. You’ll want to make sure that your business is safe and sound.
Figure out your target market.
You’ll want to find out who your audience is. Do you cater to mobile gamers, who love playing a quick game on the go? Is your audience role-playing game (RPG) enthusiasts who enjoy dedicating days, hours, and weeks to an epic gaming experience campaign? Do gamers love a lot of in-game accessories or fewer accessories? You’ll need to know who you are reaching for with the content that your company is producing, to know who your sales team needs to reach out towards.
Everyone and we mean everyone, play video games. Children, millennials, and middle-aged individuals are all demographics to shoot for when creating games. You’ll want to study which games hit the hardest in terms of profit. Find out which games have been done to death and find out what people did or didn’t like about them.
For example, maybe you find out that Minecraft style games are huge amongst millennials. You set up Minecraft hosting for beta testers to play a Minecraft styled game and gather up as much data as possible about their experiences. Chat with them afterward and find out what worked or didn’t work about the gaming experience.
The goal is to mine as much data as you can. The more information that you can gather about your target audience (their likes, dislikes, number of players that will be playing the game, etc.), the better chance that you’ll have an idea of where your companies time and development resources should be focused. Figure out which games your customers would like to play in their downtime.
This sort of ties in with the “figuring out your target market” point. The work that you produce needs to stand out in an industry already saturated with existing ideas. As with any art field, that might be difficult to do. You might begin to think that everything under the sun has been done. To a certain extent, you’re right. There seems to be no shortage of the same types of games that come out every year. The only variation seems to be in the name. Just look at the first-person shooter market.
You don’t have to have to settle for simply being a clone of what’s come before though. Maybe take a tried and true concept, and add a bunch of new gameplay elements to it. Maybe switch up the story of the video game. Study analytics. Try creating lead characters that are as diverse as the people who surround us in the United States. Try to make the gaming experience exciting, and not vanilla.
Or just try something completely new, because honestly, players get tired of the same ‘ole, same ‘ole. Players want gaming experiences that are unique, fun, and won’t leave them feeling that they wasted 20-60 retail dollars on your work. Chat with your programmers, developers, writers, concept artists, and the rest of your team about what your unique vision is. Be a sponge for their ideas and gain their insight.
With everyone being on the same page, this helps to create a truly unique and creative gaming experience for your customers in North America and across the world. These are the games they play on a Friday after a long week at work. Give them something they will value. You want the popularity of your brand to be built on the quality, and creative content you put out into the world.
Practice the two P’s: patience and persistence.
Nothing happens overnight in the gaming industry. Especially as a small business in the U.S. Prepare yourself for waiting. This might sound like insane advice, but you’re going to have to learn how to be patient. Games take years to develop, depending on the size of the project. For instance, during the creation of a game, development issues might crop up. You might even be asked to create a different version of the game you originally set out to create. You don’t want to get to the point where you’re feeling that creating the game is a hassle.
You’ll also want to be persistent. Keep pushing forward and cross the finish line. You need a completed product for your employees, for you investors, and for your fans. Whatever roadblocks present themselves, find a way to tackle them. Then continue on with making the best video gaming experience and customer experience that you can possibly make. At the end of the day, you want to be the best gaming company in the U.S.