It seems like nearly every week, there is a new story about a game developer or publisher releasing a launcher. These launchers are like libraries of games where players can find new games to buy, see which games they’ve purchased and use features such as wish lists and friends lists.
Epic Games has the Epic Games Store, Ubisoft has Uplay, EA has Origin and Bethesda has the Bethesda Launcher. There are so many that PC gaming store, GOG, has launched GOG Galaxy 2.0, which puts every game from every launcher in one place. Publishers aren’t doing this for no reason, though, as releasing a launcher can be very lucrative.
The main reason why these publishers are creating launchers is that it offers convenience to players. While the release of so many game launchers does mean that players have to use platforms like GOG Galaxy 2.0 to find all of their game downloads, it’s much easier than just downloading one game each time and having to go through every computer file to find it.
It’s something that online casinos have been doing for a while, by offering hundreds of different types of casino games in one place. The online casino Irish Spins, for instance, has more than 500 games, from slots to live casino games such as live blackjack and live baccarat. There’s a huge amount of choice for players, but it also means that they won’t have to go far to find a casino game that they’ll enjoy.
Launchers Keep Can People Playing for Longer
Publishers are also releasing launchers because they can keep people playing for longer. The time spent playing a game is an important piece of data used by publishers who release live service games. These are games that try to keep people playing for longer, spending on microtransactions, enjoying multiplayer, and purchasing DLC.
Launchers are part of that as they can quickly tell players about new events that are happening in a game, or which one of their friends is online and playing it. A player may see this and get back online.
One of the new launchers that has been released is the Rockstar Launcher, created by Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games. While Rockstar doesn’t have a huge number of released games, in comparison to publishers such as EA and Ubisoft, having a launcher means it may face less competition.
With so many games released each year, having a launcher can help to keep players enjoying your games and nobody else’s. Publishers can use the news windows in the launcher to tell users about new releases and new sales and they won’t have to fight with other games from other publishers in the same way that they do on sites like Steam.
Not everyone is happy about the number of launchers available, and many are complaining nearly a year after the release of the Epic Games Store. However, as publishers could get so much from having a launcher, it’s unlikely that the release of new bespoke platforms will stop any time soon.