Active Members – How Do You Keep Them?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the almost 10 years I’ve been running, creating and programming online games for girls it’s that keeping members active is a catch-22.
Change is Good
In order to keep members interested things have to constantly change. Contests, parties, special items, no matter what game it is (from WOW to Cartoon Networks FusionFall) things cannot stay static. Your members need to be constantly entertained and stimulated in order to keep their interest and to give them a reason to keep coming back day after day.
Change is Bad
I mentioned a catch-22 didn’t I? Some changes can have an extremely negative impact even when the change initially had positive feedback. Other changes will have a “trickle down” effect and as a result produce positive gameplay in the future. Then you have the “complainers,” members who object to change and try to ruin it for others. My target audience are girls, girls and more girls. They seem to form highly complex social bonds. If one member leaves it’s not unheard of for five or six of their friends to go with them.
Change is Finding A Middle Ground
So how do you keep members coming back? If I had a 100% definitive answer to this I’d be a retired billionaire already. The answer is there is no real answer. Sure compromise works to some extent — and is usually your best bet if you had to pick either extreme — but what makes one person happy will make someone else just as unhappy. So there you have it, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.