As the anticipation around Game of Thrones as an OTT game keeps rising with its 2024 expected launch, one thing is certain.
The OTT gamification industry is brewing to something big!! Major streaming platforms of today are readily investing in series-adaptations and real-time gaming originals all set for the coming year.
Why is this sudden shift towards gaming? Doesn’t passive content on streaming platforms suffice?
This is why—Viewers are constantly on the lookout for dynamic ways to engage on OTT platforms and games have become the most interactive form of entertainment.
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OTT Games—The Growth, Progress & Evolution
Today, there are over 3.09 billion active video gamers in the world.
OTT platforms have been targeting this massive user base with unique reality games, trivia, sports, and more since 2018.
Netflix, a pioneer in launching OTT games, brought to light the first-of-its-kind interactive show, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in 2021. It started producing gaming originals and then, there was no turning back.
Disney+ Hotstar made its OTT gaming debut as well with its Watch’NPlay with IPL as the center of focus where viewers could participate in live quizzes in turn for rewards.
With every new genre in the OTT gaming sector, there comes more interaction, engagement, and user immersiveness
Different Gaming Genres on OTT
Every platform has its own gaming portfolio and here are some of the most common styles available today.
1. Thematic Games
Games and interactive experiences based on movies, web series, and TV shows are rising to be the newest trend. Games and rewards based on hit shows drive the most traction as people get to have a real-time experience with storylines and characters they’d loved the most. A narrative-style gaming is not something new as we’ve definitely enjoyed a ton of video games based on popular fictional stories.
2. Sports-based Trivia
This comes as a result of the massive engagement and demand sports viewership gets. Be it Cricket World Cup, FIFA, or NBA, live sports streaming is breaking records for concurrent viewers and OTT players are trying their best to most capitalize on this sector of user interest.
Predictions, trivia, quizzes, and several interactive elements have been included as part of their gamification strategy.
This kind of two-way interactivity keeps driving more sports lovers to the platform rather than consuming the same on traditional television. Well, this isn’t all. There are games where users can actually play, be on their favorite team’s side and score rewards or win a trophy.
3. Puzzle Gaming
One of the most interesting and intriguing gaming genres, puzzle-style games have arrived on Netflix where the user plays a protagonist who has to solve a puzzle to go to the next level in the play, collect coins/ rewards, and win. These are super fascinating as they traverse users to a different world and keep them engaged, which is exactly what OTT platforms highly seek for.
4. AR/ VR Gaming
As the gaming sector ramps up to greater heights, streaming platforms might also start to include games where users could play, connecting the virtual world with the real world. The Pokemon AR game that the world was most addicted to. While augmented and virtual reality gaming has already begun making waves, the OTT sector is yet to explore the interactiveness and engagement that they could fetch from this style of sporting.
5. Educational Gaming
This rather takes an informative and cognitive approach towards gaming. Educational games are most commonly included these days while launching elearning and edutainment platforms that are mostly consumed by children. These interactive gaming-style lessons and video courses help kids learn better and grasp curriculum and subject matter more easily than traditional style of teaching. Moreover, the prizes, and rewards make these educational games more appealing to play.
Why are OTT Apps Stepping into Games?
OTT apps of today have come a long way with intriguing gamification ideas that keeps users love. But, is that it? Are games included just because viewers love it? Why actually was the concept of games brought into video streaming platforms? Here, we’ve clubbed the reasons.
1. Turns OTT App into a Super App
The world today wants everything in one app. By transforming OTT apps into super apps by the inclusion of gaming, more app downloads can be expected, which ultimately rewards the streaming businesses. Moreover, super apps gain the most traction, keeping users busy at all times with diverse offerings for a flat subscription fee.
2. More Engagement & Interactivity
There are a whole lot of video apps springing every passing day and it takes something unique and interactive for users to notice rather than merely watching videos. Engagement is always the key and it is great to see OTT platforms are marching towards delivering engaging experiences.
3. Lowers Churn Rates
As the OTT feud fumes, there comes an urgent need for market players to stand unique among competitors to retain existing subscribers by reducing churn. The gamification strategy comes as that unique selling proposition in keeping up with the pace, lowering churn rates to great extent.
4. Rewarding Viewer Experience
Rewards always excite users. Earning coins, rewards, prizes, discounts, etc are a satiating way to keep users coming back for more. It offers assurance and a sense of satisfaction for self-worthiness beyond content consumption.
5. Appealing to Younger Audience
Majority of OTT viewers are in the age group of 18-25. To make video streaming platforms most appealing and suit user tastes and preferences, apps are including games that will attract them to retention and a longer customer lifetime value.
Ultimately, it is the user preferences & choices that steered OTT platforms into venturing into the field of gaming.
Over 41% of the world population is estimated to have played a video game, which clearly defines how big the gaming landscape is and why the future of video apps is not just about static content.
Dynamic gaming interactions and engagement is the key to success and the OTT players of today and tomorrow are sure to invest in the gaming sector and produce original titles, series-themed games, and more.