New Gaming Study Reveals High Demand for Multiplayer & Cross-Platform Games
State of Live Gaming in 2021 Report Examines New Content Impact on Player Engagement and Revenue
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$U #crossplatform—Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, today released two complementary reports revealing the high demand for multiplayer games and the importance of post launch content for sustaining player engagement. Unity Gaming Services’ Cross-Platform Gaming Study conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Unity, revealed that over half of all Americans (56%) played multiplayer games in the past year, with 87% of those gamers playing cross-platform games. Illustrating the need to keep these players engaged, The State of Live Gaming in 2021 Report, developed in partnership with Akamai – the world’s most trusted solution to power and protect digital experiences – details how post-launch content updates drive and sustain high levels of player engagement, particularly for mobile game studios who saw an increase as high as 86% in in-app purchase revenue after a content drop. Together, the reports emphasize the need for developers to have better post launch game management, which is part of Unity Gaming Services’ core remit as a new platform experience that equips developers of all sizes with the best solutions to quickly create multiplayer games and to effectively run their live operations.
“The ability to connect friends and communities across different platforms is increasingly becoming a player expectation and in turn is emerging as table stakes for developers,” said Felix Thé, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Operate Solutions, Unity. “With this massive demand, it’s also important to ensure a pipeline of content informed by player insights to fuel ongoing engagement and to drive more growth. This is a huge call to action for the developer community, as gamers have spoken, and finding scalable solutions to both make and sustain cross-platform experiences will be critical to the success of multiplayer games going forward.”
Unity Gaming Services’ Cross-Platform Gaming Study unearths fresh insights on the popularity of multiplayer games and explores players’ experiences with cross-platform games. Specifically, it reveals that there’s a massive demand for gamers to not only play video games together, but to play together across any device from console to PC to mobile. There is also a strong appetite for more games that can deliver this type of frictionless experience. Some key findings from this study include:
- Multiplayer games have been massively popular over the past year in the United States – over half (56%) of Americans played multiplayer games, including 62% men and 50% of women.
- 87% of multiplayer gamers have played cross-platform games in the past year.
- Mobile is a very important platform for cross-platform gamers – among those who play cross-platform games, almost half (44%) play on both mobile and console and nearly a third (29%) play on mobile only.
- 43% of cross-platform gamers express that they want more cross-platform game options.
The State of Live Gaming in 2021 Report, developed in partnership with Akamai, reveals important growth strategies for studios when determining the impact of new content on player engagement, and highlights solutions to help drive continued success post-launch. Ensuring a pipeline of ongoing content can often be a resource strain for developers, but the benefits have shown to be massive for scaling and sustaining player engagement. Some key findings from the report include:
- Sessions per daily active users increased by almost 8% for the top end of mobile games in the week following a new content release.
- When looking at the timing one week before and after a content drop, mobile game studios can see an increase as high as 86% in in-app purchase revenue and 75% in average revenue per daily active users.
- Mobile game developers need to be mindful of file size as that can have an impact on app install rates – if the app size balloons upwards of 500 MB, install rates begin to drop significantly.
- Gathering valuable feedback from players is crucial for studios to build a successful post-launch content pipeline.
“Players can’t play what they don’t have,” said Jon Alexander, Vice President, Product Management, Akamai. “While your audience may rely on the app stores of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers to download your game, that initial download will only get them so far. Updates, patches, additional level packs, match information and more also need to be sent to your audience on an ongoing basis to keep them engaged. For the best player experience, a scalable, highly distributed content delivery network (CDN) partner can give you the reach that you, and your players, need to get the most out of your game.”
In order to meet the demands of players and to deliver the right content at the right time, studios need the best tools to help them achieve their goals. Last month, Unity launched Unity Gaming Services, an improved and streamlined platform to equip developers of all sizes with the solutions they need to rapidly create cross-platform multiplayer experiences, to handle all scenarios for running a live game and to monitor their performance in a single connected interface.
For a free copy of the Cross-Platform Gaming Study, please visit https://create.unity.com/cross-platform-gaming-report-2021.
For a free copy of The State of Live Gaming in 2021 Report, please visit https://create.unity3d.com/state-of-live-gaming-in-2021.
Cross-Platform Gaming Study Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Unity Technologies from June 21-23, 2021 among 2,076 adults ages 18+, among whom 1,167 are multiplayer gamers (i.e., have played multiplayer games in the past year), and 1,010 are cross-platform gamers (i.e., have played cross-platform videos games in the past year). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Shirley Chu (Shirley.Chu@unity3d.com) or Ryan Wallace (Ryan.Wallace@unity3d.com).
The State of Live Gaming Report 2021 Data Source
The data in this report is anonymized and sourced globally from mobile games using Unity’s monetization platform as well as games made with Unity for PC, macOS, Android, and iOS. Anonymized and aggregated data from Unity’s deltaDNA is also included in the report to support monetization metrics with engagement data. Data from the top 1,000 games by advertising revenue with Unity, on both iOS and Android, provided us with over 19,000 content releases.
The timeframe for the data ranges from the beginning of 2020 and includes data as recent as July 2021. We used publicly available app update data to identify days in which each app received a version update. We filtered the data to only include patches which had a different version description text from the previous version in order to filter out patches that were not delivering new content or feature updates.
We take developer data privacy very seriously and have omitted information from this report that would individually identify any single game, developer or player.
About The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. To learn more, please visit www.theharrispoll.com.
Akamai powers and protects life online. The most innovative companies worldwide choose Akamai to secure and deliver their digital experiences – helping billions of people live, work, and play every day. With the world’s largest and most trusted edge platform, Akamai keeps apps, code, and experiences closer to users – and threats farther away. Learn more about Akamai’s security, content delivery, and edge compute products and services at www.akamai.com, blogs.akamai.com, or follow Akamai Technologies on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Unity (NYSE: U) is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content. Creators, ranging from game developers to artists, architects, automotive designers, filmmakers, and others, use Unity to make their imaginations come to life. Unity’s platform provides a comprehensive set of software solutions to create, run and monetize interactive, real-time 2D and 3D content for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles, and augmented and virtual reality devices. The company’s 1,800+ person research and development team keeps Unity at the forefront of development by working alongside partners to ensure optimized support for the latest releases and platforms. Apps developed by Unity creators were downloaded more than five billion times per month in 2020. For more information, please visit www.unity.com.