Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

How can online games retain players?

For an online game to succeed, it needs to retain customers.  That’s a simple and obvious truth.  Less simple and obvious though are the methods by which this can be accomplished.

I see four critical design components to retaining customers.  Two more – customer service and appropriate pricing for value – aren’t design components are thus are not in the scope of the discussion here.  I’m going to focus on ongoing novelty, concrete goals, playstyle support, and social ties.

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Rumors of my death…

It’s been a very busy month for me.  Just wanted to post a brief explanation of my silence here and a reassurance that I remain both alive and as cantanker… erm… well, full of spirit as ever.

My work has been pretty involving of late; I’ve actually been working evenings and weekends, a bit anyhow, to get some projects back on track and to secure some new patents about which I’m very excited.  I must say I rather enjoy the process of writing and submitting new patents – both from the viewpoint of performing my duty as Vice President of R&D and from a purely selfish perspective of both ego and future career prospects (hey, it’s my name on these bad boys, after all).  At the same time, I’ve been rather busy with a new relationship with a lovely lady, which has absorbed much of my remaining free time.  I also may or may not have been boldly going places where people may or may not have gone before, possibly in a video game or games of some sort that may or may not be online either now or in the future, and if I were doing so, it’s also possible that some sort of agreement not to disclose such facts would prevent me from saying so explicitly.  Whether I would have enjoyed such theoretical pursuits, if I were actually engaging in them, I probably would not be able to say if such a non-disclosure agreement did in fact exist.  I’ve additionally been playing Dragon Age in fits and spurts, which has been enjoyable if never particularly surprising or exciting; it’s basically exactly what I expected from Bioware, and is no doubt a good game, but it also feels much like many other games I’ve played, moreso as I continue.  Finally, I just returned yesterday from a business trip to attend the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, where I launched a new product to some excellent reviews, and also enjoyed some great TexMex dining and some very very productive meetings.  Good times.

To sum up: I’m still here, and have a few posts in draft form, but haven’t had much time to post anything lately.  I’ll likely do so soon.  Life is good.  I continue to post comments in other blogs but haven’t produced anything here in 5 weeks or so, which is a long time I admit, thus the assurance to my small but loyal group of readers that content will indeed resume momentar… well, soon anyhow.