CrocPond: Building Character With Characters
December 6, 2012
Factory or Franchise Friendly?
Game factories consist of companies that do not focus on the specifics of the games they produce, such as their gameplay. They instead rely on analytics that determine the effectiveness of their monetization and distribution methods, searching for new methods to get the player to pay. This may include additive micropayments that can continue over some time.
How can parents trust a company that not only ignores the content of its own game but also gets their children to hound them for money?
Alternatively, game franchises must bet on the content of their gameplay in order to succeed. Their basis of monetization relies on the consistency of the brand message that they present, cultivating a relationship with the customer (or in this case the parent) that fulfills expectations each and every time. For kids in their early development, creating a positive, lasting relationship with them through story-driven characters is crucial from a social standpoint as well.
It’s Okay To Blame the Messenger
The solutions provided by brands on the market demonstrate game factories that have broken parents’ trust. While one game produced may be kid-friendly, the next few games are often violent and inappropriate. They may also provide mindless gameplay that only appeases and satisfies instead of teaching life lessons through characters.
The game factory approach fails for children: solely analytics driven companies ignore gaming IPs and lack focus on these characters that children love and can be inspired by. Parental trust is also lost, and factories have a greater potential to break COPPA laws (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) meant to protect children from adverse content.