The Future of Gaming Hinges on Live Service Titles

live service games

In a recent report published by Griffin Gaming Partners, it was revealed that a staggering 95% of studios and developers are working on creating or supporting a live service game in some capacity. The report surveyed 537 studios on a series of topics and claimed that 66% of all studios questioned agreed that live service games are ‘necessary’ for long-term title success.

By definition, the report states that ‘live service’ is ‘any regular update cadence planned for a game.’

Games as a Service Forever

In the 47-page report published by Griffin Gaming Partners, the future and longevity of the games industry were discussed at length. There were three key takeaways outlined in the report:

  • 77% of studios reported that the cost of developing games is rising
  • 65% of studios are actively working on a live service title
  • 88% of respondents are evaluating new tools

At the head of the report was a breakdown of what developers are struggling with, including data engineering, delivering live services, player expectations, and demands for more cross-platform games. Further, it was stressed that as technology becomes more complex, testing becomes increasingly difficult, leading to many games undergoing automated testing processes.

In a statement, Riot Games’ Sasha Shams spoke about live service game delivery cycles:

In a world of live service games, game teams stay competitive by
building trust with their players through a consistent stream of content
updates and balance adjustments to keep the game fresh. To keep up
with player expectations, development teams are under increased
pressure to continuously deliver new content while also juggling updates
to quickly respond to player feedback or fix a game breaking bug.

There was a sizeable breakdown of data around the biggest problems impacting live service titles, such as the high churn rates and revenue loss brought on by defects, outages, and issues surfacing in these games. As gamers, we’re all too familiar with the peaks and troughs in popularity around some of the biggest live service games.

Are we approaching a future where ‘one-and-done’ games are going to be phased out? Could consistent content updates, battle passes, and DLC roadmaps be the core paradigm moving forward?

For more Insider Gaming coverage, check out the news that Naughty Dog has teased a new Last of Us

  1. For years publishing giants also claimed that single player games were dead.
    Dead to them, is what they really meant. They want to tell us what we want. They were wrong about that, and they are wrong about this.

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