Staying competitive in the video game market is no easy task. The industry has become so massive and diverse that staying relevant requires constant and diligent change, constantly putting on pressure from developers to perform. While a large amount of the attraction towards gaming systems comes from the software titles themselves, just as important are the larger bonus systems in play.
These systems weren’t created in a vacuum, however, and could be seen as an extension of how online casinos operate. Though these similarities could be coincidental, it’s just as likely that gaming platforms looked at other areas, and adapted relevant lessons back to the video game industry.
How Online Casino Bonuses Work
Though there is considerable individual variation in how casino bonuses work, they tend to centre on a few popular ideas. Here, the best online casino bonus systems start on signup, with deposit matches and free spins opening the doors. These are especially important as door greeters because they give players a reason to keep engaged, giving the biggest benefits to those who stay active. From here, additional bonuses come in the form of seasonal promotions, which continue player interest even after the initial bonuses have worn out.
The Video Gaming World
When looking at how video games handle bonuses, it needs to be understood that different platforms take different trajectories. All of these trajectories are analogous to online casinos, and all are built around the central concept of continued player engagement.
Sony accomplishes this goal through the inclusion of free PSN games. To claim these games, players must have a monthly subscription, and playing the collected library is only possible while the subscription is active. This both gives players a reason to sign up each month and keep their subscription active in the long term.
Microsoft operates a similar idea but on a different scale. With their Games with Gold subscription program, players can still add free games to their library, but this library can extend out of consoles and into the PC space. For multiplatform gamers this is a godsend, increasing their libraries of two systems with one active subscription.
PCs, on the other hand, take a subscription-free approach. Multiplayer on PC has almost always been free outside of MMORPGs, so subscription plans are a non-starter. To address the gap in service that this creates relative to consoles, major systems like the Epic Games Store offer fully free games regardless of user activity. This approach cost the company something close to $600 million so far, but the benefits have so far outweighed the cost.
The overarching similarities between these game systems and online casinos come from how each aims to maintain player bases by becoming a primary access platform. Each of these takes slightly different tacks to reach this goal, but maintaining long-term success is always the ultimate ideal.
Even if this means taking an initial loss as Epic did, the value of becoming a platform in the modern age has proven too great to ignore. While this fierce competition might create challenges for the host companies, players can at least rest assured that they’re getting a better end of the deal like in the online casino industry. More free and low-cost games are always a good thing for us, and we can’t wait to see where one-upmanship takes us next.
Image Credits: Mike Cohen, steamXO
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