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Product Updates and Scalability

It’s been awhile since I wrote anything as my focus has been in game development for the past few months. But one thing that hasn’t really changed is how I want to evolve this site into something more scalable.

Now this is something that is really important for all Product Managers working in the content space as scalability is essentially the life line of your product.

As a product manager, if you’re prioritizing product features that are unsustainable, it’s easy to say, you’re doing your job wrong.

Sacrificing long term gains for short term profits is only recommended for special occasions, I would get into this in another post but a ‘Good’ product manager will usually always prioritize sustainability over anything. Let me go into the reasons why this is important.

Content Treadmill

Your content treadmill should always be sustainable with respects to the size of your content team. Content team means your:

  • 2D / 3D Artist

  • Designers

What is a Content treadmill?

This is your cadence on when you deliver content to your users. This is important cause this cadence is the expectation the developer give to the end users on how frequent they will deliver something new to the game. Let’s just say for an example you deliver new updates on a daily basis, the end user will start to have the expectation that new content will be delivered on a daily basis, and if you miss a day, you leave your community disappointed.

Leaving players disappointed is never a good recipe for product sustainability, therefore managing the content update expectations to your end users becomes extremely important. And this goes back to really understanding your development team and creating a content treadmill that the team can manage and sustain over time.

User Expectation

I’ve discussed a bit of this in the previous point, but managing user expectation becomes very important for product growth.

One thing about user expectation is that ‘these’ expectations are actually set by the developers and not the users themselves. Users only set their expectations based on their experience with the product. If a player experiences a new event that starts every Friday for a few weeks in a row, these users will start to assume that the following Friday will be the start of a new event, therefore a small cohort might plan around this event to potentially maximize their chance of winning. If this event doesn’t start on a Friday then they will be disappointed as they spent their time preparing for this event, only to see that the event didn’t start.

On the flip side, if you have 0 events in your game, players can come and go as they please, and will judge the game for the experience they are being provided. They will not be disappointed in the product as these expectation were never placed on them. This being said live events will always create a richer game play experience but product managers should be cognizant of the dev and liveops team to deliver these events in a scalable manner or else they risk the chance of disappointing their users and potentially creating churn.

Compelling Content

Making content just to tell yourself that you are releasing content at a good cadence means nothing if you’re providing content that the players aren’t even requesting. All content should be something that players need to progress through the game and anything else can be considered useless.

Compelling content would be considered new content that provides the following::

  • Braggin rights

  • Power Growth

  • Anything that expedites player progress

Braggin Rights

Used more commonly as end game rewards, an exclusive, time limited product that is promoted and is identified as a exclusive skin / weapon / character or Armor Piece would be something players will get excited for and be considered good content update

Power Growth

Releasing new weapon / Armor pieces / Characters that will help increase the players overall power will be considered a good content update.

Expediting Progress Products

These new product can potentially skip the grind or pain points in the game and will be products high in demand cause nobody likes to grind.

The above 3 content options will always be compelling product offerings that players can get excited when the update comes, but keep in mind any new content can potentially break your economy, player experience, meta, this post discusses none of these concept so tread carefully when choosing what type of content you want to create with your next update.

Good luck

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