On a yearly basis, the gaming industry churns out a myriad of new titles with often stellar and satisfying user experiences using up-to-date design methods, user interfaces, and gaming engines.
The game websites that are designed to accompany these titles also follow suit, as these are the main platforms where studios and publishers can advertise the game and showcase its strong points. Needless to say, an eye-catching web design can help tip the scales in favor of buying the game for a potential player, while those who are already playing can better engage in it.
That being said, this article will focus on design ideas for gaming websites and talk about a few industry-leading examples. Furthermore, we’ll also give a few tips you might want to apply to your next project if you are also looking to build a gaming website.
How Can a Website Improve Game Sales?
A good gaming platform is a crucial part of every good game marketing strategy. It’s among the most important media outlets to promote the game, and it helps potential consumers get a better first impression of the game. Apart from that, existing players can even immerse themselves even further in the game’s world or can uncover new details or behind-the-scenes secrets about their favorite game.
That being said, when the website’s design is good, some of the most important key performance indicators will increase.
- The number of users who log in daily increases
- The total number of users who visit the site also increases
- New users will visit the site and ultimately purchase the game
- The amount of time users spend on the site increases
- The revenue a user will generate on average will also increase
Making the Best of a Project
In order to make a good gaming website, you will need a good strategy. First of all, you will need to pinpoint your target audience. In short, you cant cater to everyone, and you also cant blast every user with ads. It’s a smarter idea to start advertising your project to ten thousand people who are sure to check it out than to push it in front of a hundred thousand, out of which only a couple of thousand will show some interest.
After establishing who the main audience will be, the creators must determine the purpose of the site with the consideration of all the stakeholders. Once all this is done, you can choose the format of your platform.
Types of Game Sites
Generally, there are three different types of websites for video games These are:
- Game info portals/reviews
- Landing pages
- Stand-alone websites
Game Reviews or Info Portals
These are rather simple portals with daily updates regarding the game itself. These sites have the sole purpose of keeping gamers up-to-date regarding information about the game, the studio, possible patches, updates, and more. Often, these portals will also have content about upcoming games, in-game transactions, merchandise, events, and literally everything else connected to the gaming world.
These can also be subsections of the publisher or corporate sites, and they serve a more corporate purpose. The content on the site is more focused on game investments, recruitments, game portfolios, team members, studio legacies, and such. Even then, not all landing pages are developed for these corporate purposes. There are also several great examples of landing pages that feature popular games from leading studios.
There are quite a few video games with their own websites. Some of these platforms just have promotional purposes, the main focus on hyping up the audiences prior to release. On other occasions, stand-alone sites can act as dedicated stores, community platforms, and content storage. The ultimate role of these stand-alone sites primarily depends on the game’s popularity and the audience’s size.
Which Type to Choose?
The platform variant you will end up using will depend on several factors. For instance, if the game in question doesn’t have a huge following yet, creating a landing page with more game-focused content can make sense.
On the other hand, if the game you’ve launched is popular, then creating a dedicated platform is a sensible idea. If this is the case, you can always choose to enrich the site with content and different features. Graphic art, downloadable content, game expansions, behind-the-scenes videos, and other cool stuff can all get their dedicated place on a stand-alone platform.
When it comes to choosing your preferred website type, consider the following questions:
- How big is the gamer community playing the game?
- Which type of game am I creating a website for?
- What will I be sharing on that website?
- What are my team/budget limitations for the project?
Here, we present to you several examples of stand-alone game websites and excellent game marketplaces as well. Hopefully, these designs will give you the creative boost you need to get started with your own project.
God of War Ragnarök
The soft reboot of Kratos’s story managed to even further raise the popularity of this PS-exclusive created by Santa Monica Studio. This stand-alone website is heavy on visuals, creating an immersive backdrop that instantly lets players have a closer glimpse of the upcoming game. The text blocks are neatly placed, highlighting the most prominent in-game features and all the updates and carryovers from the previous game. Sleek and stylish, the website manages to increase the hype that has surrounded the came since its development was announced.
This website has a rather self-explanatory name, offering a simple-to-follow and intuitive navigation. Highlighting the hottest and the latest deals for gamers on every platform (PC, PS, Xbox, etc.), the website almost instantly encourages users to make a purchase.
From games to software and merchandise, GAME Marketplace is structured in a splendid way that enables every visitor to find what they are looking for without any effort.
All in all, an outstanding experience of navigation done right.
If you’ve spent any time gaming, especially on the PC, you’ve heard about Steam. The website UI might seem a bit overwhelming at first, still, it only takes a few seconds to find the navigation options you’re looking for.
Steam is marketed as the “ultimate online game platform,” and it definitely is one of the most recognized online storefronts and digital distribution platforms today.
With a huge community and a vast online platform, gamers won’t only be able to find great deals on the games they’re looking for but can also gather info from like-minded users who enjoy the same games.
This massive and comprehensive blog is literally a gamer’s paradise, especially if they want to immerse themselves in the digital world of games. Apart from the latest news, users can also access guides, tutorials, reviews, loads of videos, and graphic content, not to mention they also have a forum where they can give their own opinions, ideas, and feedback.
Far Cry 6
This landing page is a stellar example of how to convey the vision and the message of Far Cry 6. Just one look and you feel that you’re already playing the game. Even though the page might look a bit complex and crowded at first because of the multiple sections, the smart element positioning manages to clear it up somewhat. Nevertheless, the visual-heavy design manages to capture the essence of the game, which is the ultimate purpose in this case.
Studio Website Examples
Now, let’s take a closer look at the digital business cards of the development studios behind the best games the market has to offer.
The creators behind such titles as Far Cry, Watch Dogs, and the long-running Assassin’s Creed series, Ubisoft’s corporate website focuses more on their franchises rather than the corporate aspect of the company. Heavy on the visuals, the website manages to balance it out with smart text placement, creating an overall engaging design.
Being more focused on the games and deals, the website also offers some inside news and other, more company-focused content, which can be a bit more difficult to find. Still, it’s a striking platform made by one of the most successful gaming companies in the industry today.
King features a rather neat and cute corporate site that comes in 16 different languages. The intuitive footer navigation with the simplified header options makes the website a breeze to navigate. The best part is that the navigation won’t divert the visitor’s attention from the games, making a pretty cool design overall that’s pleasing to the eye and easy to use.
Here’s another great example of a corporate website that strives to bring immersion and engagement to a whole new level. The animated landing page gives the website an exciting yet stylish feel, showcasing the studio’s main title.
Apart from the eye-catching animation, you also have easy-to-use, intuitive navigation, taking you exactly where you want to go with only a few clicks.
Being the creators of the iconic franchise, Mortal Kombat, the Netherrealm studios website is all about large, bold images, style, and straightforwardly designed navigation. The site also features quality, high-resolution shots of their most popular games, which make the website engaging and eye-catching in an instant.
It’s clear to see that Netherralm focuses more on their titles than on company info, making it even more gamer-centered.
Even though the website showcases the games it develops, the entire platform has a more corporate-focused feel to it. The pop-up menus and other dynamics create an engaging atmosphere, making the site user-friendly all while reflecting the nature of the studio’s games.
What Can We Learn from These Examples?
By looking at these websites, there are a couple of repeated patterns that you can see. First of all, all of these websites are visually rich. This is important because it helps to convey the atmosphere of the games they are trying to promote. Visuals and animations will do the trick best without sacrificing too much website speed.
On the other hand, embedding videos can also help as they will showcase the game and gameplay. However, you don’t want to overload the platform, so go easy on the videos.
Lastly, embrace responsibility. You don’t want to use potential customers just because your site doesn’t support mobile.
All in all, a gaming website isn’t only a storefront but a promo outlet for the game it’s showcasing and also doubles as the development studio’s business card. Rich and top-notch visuals are all musts that blend in well with the brand’s message and vision.
Just like with the websites of other niches and industries, high-quality UX and UI elements can go a long way in doing a brand (in this case, a game) real justice.