Leveraging the Long Tail

The first ever game is quite debatable, though it is quite obvious that since the beginning of the technology boom gaming has risen in popularity. With this many new platforms have spawned to allow users to buy, share and even converse about games. One of the most popular and well-known service in this market is Steam. The platform was created by Valve and has been around since 2003 [1]. Now since that date the company has expanded to house over eleven thousand games and an average of six million active users. Value have taken a different tack with Steam and instead of being a standard store selling games they have opted to expand. Greenlight helped take an ordinary business model and bring a fresh new twist to the marketplace. Greenlight offers developer’s to post their games, screenshots and videos and users can vote for which games they would like to see make it onto the store. [2] This brings forth many indie titles that once may not be able to collect market hype from large development conglomerates and can easily receive high exposure. With the internet being an endless marketplace and the amount of games being hosted infinite, Value decided it would be in the company’s best interests to rebrand how large sections of their site would work. The largest change was how users share and discuss games. The first step to this change was the integration of social networks. Though instead of integrating an existing service like Facebook, Value opted to create their own, within the Steam community. Users were allowed to like, share and even recommend games to their other Steam friends. Community forums are created for each game and act as a point of discussion where a gamer can share and have a conversation about the games they play.

With the shift in company design and online presence it offers Steam a leg up over its competitors. The website is completely user managed with purchases and community being driven by the user cutting down on costs for staff. Simply being online and being a digital only service also cuts down the financial footprint that is required. The site also takes a different tack for advertising, with the games advertising themselves. Since Steam is one of a few systems like it in the market the customers come to find what they are after and with it abundance of pre-release games and Greenlight only offers to offers many reasons why it can easily one-up its competitors.

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