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T4G Underscored

UX Research in New Game Launching

On 08/30/2023, in London, United Kingdom, UXSSR global research team conducted research for a Singaporean game developer and publisher of free online games. This company focuses on the Southeast Asian market and designs its gaming platform to match the interests of this region. They are known for creating exciting games that appeal to all types of players and have a user base of over 500 million active players worldwide.
Localization and publishing in the gaming industry require significant investments, and it can be challenging to predict how players will react to new content. To make informed decisions about releasing a new content for their popular game in Southeast Asia, the company sought the expertise of the Global Research Team at UXSSR. They wanted to understand if the target audience would embrace and enjoy the new content.

Research Challenges

The UXSSR experts conducted research in various countries within Southeast Asia, studying players with diverse gaming experiences and preferences. They wanted to understand how players who prefer different genres would engage with the game and provide recommendations to align with players’ expectations accurately.
Organizing this research was challenging because the game had not been released yet. Distributing the apk to players’ devices required navigating non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and a complex recruitment process. To overcome this, UXSSR experts decided to conduct online focus groups where players could participate together in a team-based setting. They implemented simultaneous screen sharing to observe players’ reactions and emotions in real time, but they encountered compatibility issues on certain devices and faced localization difficulties.

Players’ Insights

The overall findings were positive, with participants expressing a liking for the game and an intention to continue playing. However, there were specific aspects that were not well-received.
Participants’ enjoyment of the game varied across different groups. Players who prefer PVE TPS/FPS Games and Roguelike Games gave the highest ratings. Interestingly, younger participants showed a greater fondness for the game compared to university students. Participants liked the gameplay and found it enjoyable and fun to play. They appreciated the ease of playing without prior training and admired the skill system within the game.
Participants highlighted their preference for a progression of difficulty and enjoyed tackling difficult levels, especially when collaborating with friends. They felt there was an excessive amount of money, ammunition, and weapons in the game, making purchases redundant. Additionally, there were no options to buy ammunition when needed during the final level.
Another recommendation from participants was to enhance the design of levels to promote variety and redefine players’ interactions with the environment. Some players noticed similarities between certain maps and those from another game, which they felt should be addressed for a more captivating and enjoyable experience.

Change The Game

For future game development, the company should focus on providing clear in-game weapon explanations, visually distinct unusual weapons, optional additions like chainsaws and flamethrowers, fixing projectile bugs, and enhancing weapon appeal and recoil mechanics for a better gaming experience. To enhance the enemies’ experience, the company should improve their textures, add diverse enemy types, and make bosses smarter with varied combat mechanics. They should also prioritize reducing weapon drops and rarity for a balanced challenge, adding surprise effects or rare weapons to boost excitement and exploration, introducing story variety, and expanding the game with unique maps, styles, and traps.
In conclusion, localization and publishing in the gaming industry require careful consideration, and gaining external support in UX research can be a game-changer for businesses. It helps them understand user behavior and preferences, make informed decisions, and deliver a more user-centric and successful product to the market. With valuable insights from UXSSR, the company is now well-positioned to thrive in the competitive gaming market and continue their journey towards success.

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