It’s no wonder that TV shows now have a second screen strategy. The video game industry is about to jump on the bandwagon, too. Companies such as EA are now incorporating social and second screen options into their games. They are realising that with consumers increasingly comfortable multitasking and using social media to make decisions, people are expecting more from day-to-day technology interactions and those expectations are carried over into their gaming experiences.
Battlefield 4, coming out in November, will have a second screen option that allows players to command troops, communicate with other players and use a live tactical map during multiplayer matches. The racing game, Need for Speed, will launch alongside an app that allows you to remotely drop into friends games and help them refuel and repair their car.
Companies such as EA are now incorporating social and second screen options into their games.
“It actually serves a function,” said Patrick Söderlund, Executive Vice President, EA Games Label, in an interview with the gaming website Polygon. “As people play the games we need to do a better job of providing meaningful extensions, not gimmicks. We have to make sure it actually improves the game and makes it better. Otherwise it’s useless, otherwise it becomes a gimmick, something we do because we can, which makes no sense.”
Even Sony has stopped viewing smartphones and tablets as competitors in the handheld gaming space, and is embracing the promotional opportunities they represent. “Now everyone owns these smartphones and tablets,” Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida told GamesIndustry.biz. “It’s like everyone had a PC before – it’s a tool that people use every day.”
Second screen options enhance the gaming experience, allowing the experience to continue away from the console
PlayStation 4 game Knack will launch alongside a free standalone puzzle game app which will unlock access to special items in the core game. “People might be motivated, because they’ve already unlocked some items, to take a look at what this Knack game on the PS4 is all about,” explains Yoshida.
Second screen options enhance the gaming experience, allowing the experience to continue away from the console, but can also be a gateway for making core console games accessible to casual players. In regards to use of second screens, the gaming industry might have learnt something from the TV industry for a change.