Why offering everything is the worst server strategy
Talking with a lot of server owners I noticed a pattern that plagues the majority of servers in decline. They typically offer as much variation as possible, putting all kinds of trendy gamemodes and minigames together in a hope to bring ‘everyone’ on board and offer something every player will love and enjoy.
Majority of their servers or worlds are empty and those servers are in decline. If that’s you, read further.
It’s not that the Minecraft community is in decline, it’s not that less and less players play the game. It’s simply that your server’s quality is down and no longer attracts long-term audience. As we discussed in a previous blog post, Minecraft has evolved and so did the player base.
Let’s discuss why putting as much as possible is a sure way to ending up with an empty server, run out of money and be out of game sooner than before.
You can’t please everyone
As Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, currently the richest man on Earth said, the wonderful thing about your customers is that they are never satisfied. Their demands are ever-increasing and the things you worked hard on and just released as unique and new will tomorrow be the lowest standard they expect.
As such, focusing on everyone would simply mean you’d have to spend all of your energy on implementing all kinds of different systems and features. At the end, you’d end up with a pretty generic server since you’d not have time to really dive in into a single feature to make it outstanding and different.
If you’re not sure what you should be focusing on, ask yourself – “What is my one thing my players imagine when they think about my server?”. For PirateCraft, that is pirate ships that can move on water. Unfortunately, for most servers is their strange mixture of any and all shiny objects such as latest gamemodes or trendy features they try to stack upon each other, ending up with really nothing unique than the next server in the pack.
Find your one thing, remove the rest. If you’re offering PvP, Creative, Survival, SkyBlock, Skywars, Eggwars, Factions and 7 modes, find where the 80% of your playerbase is. Do a survey, send direct outreach messages, talk to your audience. This will become your “key differentiator”, your ONE thing. Remove all else and focus on that.
But I can’t, I will loose my players!
I hear people saying this over and over again. The truth is, yes, you’ll lose some players. Those players are typically what I call “jumpers”, they usually jump from server to server, sending a few hours on a shiny gamemode before they leave to a bigger network. Many of these players are younger, and won’t intend to create a long-lasting community anyways. If you’re looking for ways to increase revenue from your server, know that these players will typically not purchase anything from you, nor they will donate.
Revitalizing your server by stripping off unnecessary fat will also revitalize your audience. Sooner or later you will develop a “core fanbase” consisting of hardcore fans spreading the word about your unique ONE thing. Your server will be remember and returned to. This does not mean you don’t need to do any marketing, nor it guarantees that you’ll get more players, but for most ‘do-everything’ servers this is the first step they need to take if they want to survive for the next 2-3 years.
At MineAcademy, our mission is to teach others how to build and grow unique servers that are remembered and players return to them after a long day of school or work. Through our training programs and live Q&A calls you’ll understand the world of Minecraft like no-one else so you’re miles ahead of your competitor and your players love your server. Click here to get started.