In a recent interview with GamesIndustry Biz, Benoit Clerc, the head of publishing at Nacon, a prominent video game publisher and gaming peripheral manufacturer, discussed the challenges faced by mid-size publishers in the current gaming landscape. One major issue highlighted by Clerc is the saturation of the market, with an excessive number of games flooding platforms such as Steam. This oversaturation, according to Clerc, has left consumers with a daunting array of choices, making it increasingly difficult for developers to gain the attention their games deserve.
Market oversaturation and consumer dilemma
Clerc expressed concern about the sheer volume of game releases on platforms like Steam, citing instances where 50 to 60 games are launched in a single day. This influx of titles has created a dilemma for consumers, who find it challenging to navigate the abundance of options and allocate time to play each game thoroughly. As a result, the traditional methods of game promotion and exposure are proving less effective, requiring developers to explore alternative strategies to stand out in the crowded marketplace.
Reflecting on the experience of consumers trying to discover new games, the interviewee acknowledged the struggle of finding quality titles that align with individual preferences. The cluttered home page of platforms like Steam has made it imperative for users to invest significant time sifting through numerous options to ensure their chosen game delivers a satisfying experience. This phenomenon has implications for both players and developers, emphasizing the need for a more targeted approach to game promotion and marketing.
Niche targeting as a solution
Benoit Clerc emphasized the importance of targeting niche demographics as a key strategy for success in the current gaming landscape. With the acknowledgment that mid-size publishers may not have the financial resources for massive promotional campaigns, Clerc highlighted the necessity of identifying and catering to specific gamer interests. By focusing on niche markets, developers can tailor their games to appeal directly to enthusiasts of particular genres, such as off-road racing, rogue-like games, or sports games, ensuring a more dedicated and engaged player base.
Adapting to market dynamics
The interviewee noted that companies operating in the gaming industry must adapt to the current market dynamics. In a landscape where generic offerings struggle to find their place, games that resonate with distinct groups of gamers stand a better chance of gaining traction. This approach not only enhances the visibility of a game but also fosters a sense of community among players who share similar interests.
As the gaming industry grapples with an oversaturated market, mid-size publishers like Nacon are reevaluating their strategies to navigate this challenging landscape. Benoit Clerc’s insights shed light on the need for developers to move beyond conventional promotional tactics and instead focus on targeting niche demographics. By tailoring games to specific interests, publishers can not only enhance their chances of success but also provide a more satisfying gaming experience for consumers. As the industry continues to evolve, the ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and connect with specialized gaming communities may prove to be the defining factor for success in the competitive world of video game publishing.