As you will be able to see, the studios listed in this article found creative ways of incorporating customer support into the gaming experience. A lot of game studios can take a page out of their book and figure out their own way to maximize the experience of their players. A knowledge base software like Kayako will be a great help to game developers in meeting this end.
It is easy to understand why people love to play video games. Human beings have historically loved telling stories, and video games are a way to not just tell a story but to immerse yourself into it. Games are also a great way to get your mind off the daily grind and get a break from the mundaneness of day to day living. In a lot of cases, playing video games has created a genuine source of income for people who are skilled enough at the task. Hence, the definition of a good game is simple: immersive, challenging and exciting.
This begs the question: what does customer support have to do with any of this? Some would argue that the very idea of customer service goes against the spirit of video games. After all, nothing breaks immersion and suspension of disbelief like asking someone to help you. Most game developers also feel like providing customer support would use up too many resources. These two ideas combined means that gamers don’t have an official way to get help when they face a problem while playing a game.
This is not to say that they don’t get help in another ways. Enormous communities of peer to peer networks have developed, vast communities have formed, and overall gamers have managed to create a relatively effective network of customer support for themselves.
That being said, these forums and communities are not nearly as effective as what actual developers would be if they provided professional customer support. Not only would this customer support be more effective, it is rapidly becoming necessary in a world of fast paced online games where problems frequently arise. Customer support from gaming studios is a necessary next step, but said studios will have to be smart about how they tackle this problem.
A common misconception is that games are fully developed before they are released. This is rather inaccurate. Much like other forms of software, video games are quickly developed and then put on the market with the developers basically just hoping that everything works okay.
Needless to say it rarely does, and the post release development phase is an essential part of a game’s lifecycle. It involves taking note of bugs and fixing them and adding to the game’s storyline based on how people are reacting to it. These alterations, edits and patches eventually come together to make the actual finished product that people remember.
This proves that what customers have to say is not just useful for game developers, it is essential to finishing the product. Without customer feedback games would never be completed. Indeed, if one were to measure how vocal a consumer base is, one would find that gamers are perhaps the most vocal of them all.
The only problem is the aforementioned threat to immersion that in game customer support poses. That being said, while it is a problem, that doesn’t meant that it can’t be solved. There are a myriad ways to provide support to customers, and in fact a lot of companies have started doing so. A short answer to the question is that a knowledge base software like Kayako can go a long way towards solving this problem for game developers. The long answer can be found in the stories of the companies that have thought of creative solutions to this rather serious dilemma. Here are three companies that all game studios can learn from.
Rovio has become a worldwide sensation after it created the iconic Angry Birds smartphone game. Angry Birds was a game changer for mobile games and became wildly popular, and with such popularity obviously came the need for a lot of customer support. Rovio managed to successfully incorporate its customer support into their game, thereby maintaining immersion. They did this by using a software developer’s toolkit, such as the one offered by Kayako, to allow people to raise issues in the game and provide tickets for said issues.
This in game support caused a rise in overall complaints, but this was because people finally had a way to report the problems they were facing. This was a lot more convenient than having to go to a different platform to get customer support. This toolkit was given the same aesthetics as the actual game which helped maintain immersion even while acquiring customer support.
This studio is famous for two games. One of these is LawBreakers, and the other is the massively popular MMORPG, Maple Story. Since they were dealing with an enormous group of people who were looking for uninterrupted gameplay, they needed to address customer service in a way that would be highly efficient. MMORPGs rely a lot on immersion as well. They are essentially alternate realities, and the suspension of disbelief needs to be maintained in order to make the game as enjoyable as possible.
In order to meet this end, Nexon used an application programming interface to create customized banners that could instantly go out to every user on the platform. They used this to inform users that changes were being made or bugs were being fixed. The customization process allowed them to add each game’s individual aesthetic to the banner so that immersion would be maintained at all costs.
In the case of Riot Games, in game support would have been too much of a distraction to be effective. This developer created League of Legends, a battle arena style game that required a lot of fast paced decision making and, banners or other in game notifications would have been a distraction to gamers. Hence, they created a central cached resource for all common problems associated with the game. The caching helped the centralized location load extremely quickly.
They also used an API to create a bot designed to handle queries and provide solutions. The artificial intelligence knows how to help players with recovering accounts that they have been locked out of, help them create new passwords and also handle accounts that have been hacked. Riot Games focused on quickly getting players what they needed so they could get back into the thick of things.