As video games become more complex and feature more intricate features, there is a long overdue need for a new, comprehensive Game Taxonomy for 2021. In this blog, we will look at the need for a new taxonomy, and the industries who need this level of game classification.
In the last decade, video games have become the world’s favorite pastime. With the growing influence of video games in a person’s life, every member of the gaming ecosystem, from developers to retailers, now have a larger audience to build and sell games to.
Selling to this audience can be tricky. Developers and publishers need to understand the complicated formula that works for successful games and then build on it. Retailers, who now have thousands of games to feature on their portals, need to correctly identify and recommend titles that a customer is likely to buy based on their preferences. This is where a comprehensive, flexible and actionable taxonomy comes into play.
The Definitive Game Taxonomy for 2021
Today’s games are complex works of art that are designed to continuously engage a wide audience. So, to think that one aspect of a game is what makes it special, is definitely foolish. For example, Candy Crush belongs to the Match-3 Puzzle genre, but is this mechanic what led to its enormous success?
The answer is no.
The leader board, new level additions, timer, move-limit and reward systems are some of the other attributes of the game that incentive the player to come back to the game. More screen time means more ad impressions which translates into more income for the developer, publisher, and ad networks.
As you can tell from the example above, there are multiple factors that play a part in the success of a game. To identify the importance of these aspects in the game is what matters. And this is where Gameopedia’s Values System comes into play.
The Values System
Gameopedia has been delivering insightful game data to some of the biggest companies in the world since 2008. In the last 12 years, we have created detailed game breakdowns for over 180,000 games. Over time, we have come to realize that while a genre, feature-set, mechanics, and graphic style may be useful in providing a high-level description about the game, it does not do justice to describe what the game has to offer.
So, we introduced a rating system that assigns a value to feature-sets and mechanics to help evaluate their importance within the game. Going back to Candy Crush, here is how our game classification framework would breakdown the game:
This unique view into the anatomy of a game can reveal information that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. For example, although Puzzle is the main genre of the game, there are certain important attributes of the game like the Beat the Clock mechanic that is more prominently seen in Action games. Clearly, to exclude Action as a Genre would be foolish but it is definitely not more important than solving the Match-3 Puzzle when it comes to game progression.
This extra layer to the data allows for a more comprehensive look into the game and it’s offerings. Additionally, you can identify exactly what makes the game popular among its audience and how it can be improved or modified to appeal to another demographic.
Entering the Nitty-Gritty
Starting with Pong in the 70s, video games have evolved from a simple digital game with a couple of controls into more complex entities with multiple characters, storylines, mechanics, and so on. In this multi-billion dollar industry, game developers and publishers are innovating daily to engage a community with a goldfish-like memory.
To break into the market, it is important that studios understand market trends, analyse their competition, and identify popular features. But with thousands of games hitting the shelves each year, it is difficult to recognise what a game has to offer. This is where a well-defined, in-depth, and flexible Game Taxonomy can help.
A comprehensive Game Taxonomy lets you deep-dive into every, single aspect of the game and decode where each feature and mechanic fits in the overall scheme. It also gives you insights into how the developer has designed the game to make it not just enjoyable, but profitable as well.
Let’s take a look at two of the most popular open-world games in the market today.: Grand Theft Auto V and Mafia II. Both are relatively well-known but one is clearly more popular than the other. The reason for the crowd loving Grand Theft Auto V more than Mafia II is because of the well-thought out and vast open-world. Rockstar Games created a dynamic open-world environment with multiple side-missions, heists, and DLC content that immerses the player and rarely breaks the trance. Mafia II on the other hand, serves the purpose of delivering a more linear story experience, while still allowing the player to explore the open-world.
Both games have been successful in their objective and have proven profitable for their respective publishers. But for someone looking to replicate this success, it is necessary to understand what made each game tick.
Industry-Defining Game Taxonomy Designed With A Purpose In Mind
A comprehensive Game Taxonomy has use cases for a wide range of beneficiaries. Gameopedia’s Game Taxonomy, has been created while keeping the pain points and requirements of the gaming ecosystem in mind.
Retailers – They can help their customers find better results for the kind of games they are looking for. For example, a customer may want to purchase a shooter game. This is a huge genre that has drastically different games that can show up in a search result. A single-player game like Metro Exodus and a multiplayer title like Halo 5 are both shooters, but they are each meant for a different target audience. A well-defined taxonomy can help narrow down the results to suit the customer’s preferences, thus helping the retailer maximise the chances of a sale.
Advertisers – Advertisers can benefit from a good Game Taxonomy by having access to better ad targeting tools that are built by measuring trends in the community. Understanding the current mood towards popular genres can help advertisers focus their attention towards maximizing returns from markets that are highly receptive.
Developers/Publishers – In order to ensure that their in-development game will get a strong start at launch, developers and publishers need to understand the market and analyze their competition. Releasing a game in a particular genre when there is negative sentiment in the market towards that genre can be bad for business. Similarly, releasing a game that is too similar to the competition can also bring bad news. Therefore it is essential to do the research beforehand, in order to come up with a strong launch strategy. This can be achieved by making use of a comprehensive Game Taxonomy to understand the competition as well as the market.
A good Game Taxonomy should ideally be consistent, flexible and most importantly, up-to-date to keep in touch with the evolving trends.
At Gameopedia, our team of experts are constantly at work analyzing the changing trends in the video game market. Our taxonomy is well-researched and built to ensure that the most important aspects are covered accurately. If you have a business problem that requires a customized solution powered by a comprehensive Game Taxonomy, get in touch with us and make better business decisions with game data.