There’s no question about it – the world of gaming is a very competitive one. New games are released every day, with new developers cropping up all the time. All the while, the games themselves are getting better, faster and more engaging. So it’s perhaps no surprise that the global games market is predicted to be worth a staggering $137.9bn in 2018.
To survive in this climate, games need to be firing on all cylinders. If they don’t, they’ll soon start to see the number of visitors to the site dwindle and disappear. At the highest level, any gaming site worth its salt – and players’ undivided attention – has to offer three key elements: it has to be full of different kinds of games to play, it needs to renew and add to these regularly, and it also has to be easy and intuitive to use.
Without this, a game really has no chance of success. So let’s look at these elements in greater detail – and see what else a game needs to become a leading title.
- Strong design
The first thing any player will notice about a site is how striking and individual it looks – long before any other impressions are formed about its usability and other features. So a distinctive look and feel that really makes it stand out from the competition is essential for success. One of the key drivers behind this is knowing who the typical player is so the design can be tailored to match. For example, sites aimed at female audiences have a very different look to more male-oriented ones and the age of the typical players can also have a strong bearing.
There are a number of gaming sites that do this very well indeed, and one that really stands out is Wink Bingo. It uses the very eye-catching pop art style made famous by artists in the 1960s like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and it’s quite unlike any other gaming site out there.
Its bold, bright colours also give a feeling of action and excitement – just the elements that players are looking for. What’s more, the site also offers a wide range of games that change frequently, plus a generous rewards programme which gives players the chance to collect points as they play. Players can either use towards games or even convert into cash for shopping at selected stores – as you’ll see by checking out the Wink Bingo website. Which brings us onto our next point.
- Wide choice of games
They say that ‘variety is the spice of life’ so there’s a great deal more to keeping a player online than just giving them a comfortable chair to sit on. It’s vital to offer a wide choice of games and to change these frequently – to keep gamers engaged in the content you’re offering while drawing in new players. It’s also good if some can be introduced to tie in with an event or the time of year, such as the World Cup or Christmas, as these chime well with the mood of the players and their topicality also gives a fresh and connected feel to the site.
- Easy, intuitive navigation
Anyone who has ever been on a badly designed and poorly thought-through site will know only too well just how frustrating these can be to use. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that the user experience is as simple and friction-free as possible with clear menus, buttons and other controls as well as a logically structured site. A lot of the focus should be on the way that the player can find their favourite games, as well as paying just as much attention to the transactional elements of the site – for example where the player makes deposits or requests to withdraw their winnings.
- Plenty of incentives
Any site has two clear objectives. The first is to attract new players and the second is to keep them playing on a site. So this initially means that there need to be incentives to join up, for example free deposits to start playing with or free games to play which need to be used within a specified time period. Then, to encourage loyalty, there should be a good rewards programme which gives players the chance to collect points which they can redeem against free play or other cash incentives.
- Mobile friendliness
Even though many laptop makers are continuing to make machines specifically designed for gaming it’s the mobile market that has really taken off in the last few years and it now brings in more gaming revenue than consoles and PCs. So to be successful any website must be fully optimised and, ideally, use a version that has been specifically designed to be viewed on a mobile device. Naturally, this presents website designers with a few challenges, including how to incorporate controls and how to combine the far smaller screen size with a visually-appealing experience. But it can be done as many of the best sites prove.
No one can have failed to notice that cyber crime’s on the increase with even very high profile names being targeted. So knowing that their personal data is safe is another very important driver for players to use and trust a site. This is especially relevant in situations where they may need to store bank or credit card details on a site. So players will be looking for the highest possible level of encryption being used on any site and for it to have a good reputation for security.
So if you’re on the lookout for a new gaming site to try then these are some of the criteria to use. Remember, there’s more than enough choice for you out there to comfortably dismiss the ones that just don’t cut the mustard and to start playing on some of the ones that do.