My company Plexonic is doing game development since 2007.
And I was asking myself a question “What business I am in?” for a long time now. The thing is if it is hard to figure out for other businesses, for computer games business it is even harder, business model is not that obvious. But still that is a very important question to answer for any company.
Michael Kalkowski came with an interesting idea of being in a business of selling virtual drugs:
user plays a game,
user gets emotionally high,
user gets addicted.
The idea is quite good, but I always thought that it has flaws.
So here is my version.
user needs to consume emotions daily and experiences emotional hunger,
user plays a game and gets fulfilled with emotions,
if emotions were good enough, user comes back like he would go back to a restaurant or a cafe he liked before.
Computer games companies are in the business of serving virtual food for user’s emotional stomach, serving to user emotion snacks.
As any human being is consuming food during the day to survive, humans do consume emotions as well on daily basis. It is as fundamental for our wellness, as eating real food. It is as much painful to be emotionless during a single day, as to feel starvation pain when your real stomach is empty.
So let’s assume every human being have emotional stomach, and have to consume emotions during the day to survive. Games are delivering wide variety of emotions to game user. Games do fill up users emotional stomach. So basically Computer Games company should be similar to food serving business.
There are facts supporting this concept.
For example the boom of social games happened basically because users are able to share game experiences with their friends. Isn’t it similar to very normal daily behavior for any of us like sharing our food with our close ones? Playing a singleplayer game can be fulfilling like a dinner you had alone, but never can be as much as experience as having a dinner with friends.
So as a conclusion to this, may be gaming companies should get some business tricks from food businesses. What do you think?