Gaming can be a fickle industry, with audiences hopping from one game to the next without much thought. Because of this, games that can retain audiences for years are regarded as very special.
But in Q1 2022, no new releases cracked the top 10 most-played games in the first three months of this year. According to Mat Piscatella of the NPD Group, the most-played game so far is Minecraft, which was released in 2009. Popular games from 2020, such as Call of Duty: Warzone and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, were also featured.
Arguably the hottest release this year, Elden Ring didn’t even make it above No. 20. This alone proves how hard it is for a new game to make an impression on a wider audience.
In the tweets below this, Piscatella elaborates on his team’s findings, like how live service games are “gravity wells” for retaining player attention. He says that both big and small games will need to be more aggressive to break through these evergreen titles. According to him, services like Xbox Game Pass and PS+ will help, but it still may be tough.
Instead of working with aggressive sales goals and marketing budgets, Piscatella asks why don’t these big publishers launch their games onto subscription services on day one. This almost immediately guarantees a player base as users will always be looking for new games on this service.
Piscatella said that game companies think they must meet certain sales goals before putting their game on a subscription service. Instead, he says that companies should try the traditional route, and if it doesn’t work, try new routes like subscription services or something else that puts the game in front of as many players as possible.