Game Technology

User-Generated Content in Gaming: Empowering Players as Creators

User-Generated Content in Gaming: Empowering Players as Creators
Image by Olya Adamovich from Pixabay

Huge companies, especially in the social media space, earn a lot of money because of user-generated content (UGC). Now, gaming companies, including casinos like Vulkan Vegas, are looking into content generated by users to empower gamers not just as players but also as creators.

What is user-generated content in gaming? How does it work, and what can we learn from this business strategy?

What Is UGC in Gaming?

User-generated content in gaming is not entirely a new concept. Games like Fortnite allow players to be much more engaged than average players. What is UGC? Below are some examples:

  • Skins;
  • Maps;
  • Modifications;
  • In-game worlds.

UGC refers to the type of content that the users create themselves. In some games, the players can make money from these creations, but it is primarily free for now in many games. For example, players can create their skins in Counter-Strike. These skins are fun colors and designs.

In Skyrim, players have made all sorts of modifications to the uniform. Today, there are even modifications to the Skyrim where the characters’ faces, even those of NPCs, are different.

What Are the Benefits of UGC?

User-generated content has many benefits for both the players and the developers, which we shall elaborate on in detail below:

  • Fostering Creativity: Most of the time, money is not the only motivating factor for a creator. What motivates creators is recognition and the fact that people love what they create. As such, gamers who create and are allowed to do so can be expected to be more loyal to the gaming pieces they play;
  • Engagement: With more art and material, gamers in the community have more reason to play and engage with one another. Player engagement is what increases player retention. As we know, players tend to tire of games once they have achieved their goals. With content generated by users, players have a reason to stay because there is always something new to explore.

In a game where content creators can release their art and creations, the developer no longer has to worry about new material. The game developer has to worry about the platform’s security, ensuring that nobody gets hacked.

On the other hand, the developer can also reap many benefits if they allow their content creators to publish their creations:

  • Developers can ensure that there is fresh gaming material;
  • The developer no longer has to spend a lot of money on marketing; the YouTubers and Twitch streamers can do that;
  • The developer can build a community around it.

In this case, we can say that the developer can save a ton of money — the users spend time and effort to market the whole game. With the involvement of creators and influencers, the developer does not have to worry about customer acquisition.

What Is the Future of UGC?

All the things happening now point to one thing: UGC will continue to expand. One good example of this phenomenon is Roblox. The game is what we can consider an anomaly — it has been around for 10 years, even before it became a success.

UGC is also a great way for developers to earn money. In Roblox, those who create maps and other content get a share of their sales revenue. The developers can do the same and take inspiration from how Roblox monetizes their UGC.

Is UGC the next future of gaming? Yes, it is. Creating new stuff is a long and expensive process. If you are a game developer, asking creators to contribute makes sense. They can upload their creations, sell them to users, and then split the profits.

As the game dev, however, you maintain the standards. You will also have to spend money on servers as you will need the capacity to carry the weight of the new material.  In addition, you will have to set standards on payments, access levels, and many more.

If you think about it, USG in gaming is what you need to be able to offer more to your players without spending a lot of money. You need to work closely with these creators to ensure that you maintain your game’s core standards and principles.

UGC Is Here to Stay

Game developers cannot simply implement a UGC process in their games. They must plan this material appropriately and ensure that the plan meets the expectations of their gamers and content creators.

The game developers must also have the plan to encourage the community to create stuff that they can publish online. Finally, the creators must be able to earn something from their creations. At the very least, they must receive recognition for their efforts.