How to engage customers in game development? : a qualitative research on mobile games industry
Alam, Md (2019-05-10)
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This study aimed at ensuring the customer engagement in games development for the interests of both parties involved; customers and companies. Nowadays, engaging customers in product and service development has become a common practice for its importance. It is obvious that there are bi-modal motives behind it. While trying to fulfill their motives, both customers and companies encounter some unavoidable challenges during the engagement process. This research set a main research question which demonstrates how to engage customers in games development followed by three sub-research questions which include motives, challenges and solutions to the challenges for customer engagement. In this research, a semi-structured qualitative study was followed where data was collected from different sources; taking interviews of different responsible persons from various firms, attending multiple community gatherings of the industry, relevant internet pages and reports etc. The findings of this study suggested that mobile games companies give considerable importance on customer engagement for various reasons including getting continuous feedback, marketing tool and feasibility analysis. Whereas, primary motives of customers have been identified as recognition, opportunity to play reputed studios games early and opportunity to be a part of developers. There have been several challenges identified notably biased opinions due to the relationship they hold, finding the right comments and difficulty in managing the community. The major problems customers encounter during engagement are lack of appropriate preparation and lack of interest. Thus the study recommended that companies take effective measures for ensuring customers participation, such as building strong community around the brand, motivating customers by offering various rewards, providing necessary trainings, adopting the most advanced technology for filtering the feedbacks from customers as well as appreciating them for their efforts towards the games development. Like the companies, customers should be sincere enough to solve their problems. For example, besides training provided by the companies, customers must take appropriate preparation prior to giving any feedback for new games development. Moreover, they also ought to engage themselves voluntarily as they are the ultimate people for whom games are developed. Therefore, customer engagement in games development has multiple aspects; both the customers and the companies are beneficiaries of making it happen, thus both parties should be cooperative to each other. Further research can be done with a suitable method to come up with strong and efficient solutions for existing and potential obstacles.