What Should You Look for in an Esports App Development Company to build an Esports Fan Engagement Application for your Team?

Esports fans are expecting a deeper connection with the teams they support, in return for their loyalty. Teams have also realised the pivotal role of fans in their stability and have begun experimenting with and offering deeper forms of engagement. To achieve more control and creativity in engagement, they are shifting from conventional platforms like Twitter, Twitch, and Instagram to custom-developed esports apps. This Rise of Organised Fan Engagement in esports is prompting all teams to develop their own esports fan engagement apps, causing a surge in demand for successful esports app development companies.

First, let's examine the qualities to look for while choosing a reliable esports app development company, and later in this article, we will see what leading esports consultants have to say about building your own fan engagement app.

1. Esports Industry Experience:
    Many teams have ended up wasting time and money by creating apps with conventional functionalities that fail to keep their fans engaged. Creating a successful esports fan engagement app requires collaboration with a company that is more than just a good software development company. We suggest evaluating the following during initial discussions before proceeding to later phases:
    1. Relevant Portfolio: Review the portfolio of potential development partners to see if they have created fan engagement apps for Esports teams or events.
    2. Understanding of Esports Fan Culture: Choose a development company that demonstrates a deep understanding of Esports fan culture, including popular games, player rivalries, and community dynamics. They should be able to incorporate features and content that resonate with Esports enthusiasts, such as live match streaming, player profiles, and fan forums.

2. Attention to Aesthetics (Graphics, UI/UX):
    Esports fans cannot tolerate subpar UI/UX from their esports teams. An app that does not meet the graphical standards of the gaming industry will likely backfire and evoke criticism. Ensure the development company has the capabilities to match graphics and UI/UX design standards of the Esports industry. Moreover, this app should feel like an extension of your team's identity, creating a cohesive fan experience across all touchpoints.
3. Integration with Esports Platforms:
    Verify that the app can integrate seamlessly with Esports platforms and APIs to provide real-time updates. Here, two integrations are non-negotiable:
    1. API integration for real-time updates on matches, tournaments, and player statistics.
    2. API integration with leading game makers like RIOT for in-game stats monitoring.
    3. Integrations to monetize fan journeys at different phases.

Complex Feature Development Capabilities:
    A fan wouldn’t be happy to install one more app on their phone, especially for several other teams, for features that are available on already existing platforms. Look for an esports app development company that can build features that promote fan engagement and interaction. We recommend building your fan engagement strategy 2.0 before approaching software companies for a more meaningful discussion and capabilities evaluation. Stay tuned to Kboom Fanalytics if you want frameworks to build an esports fan engagement strategy 2.0 for the unique needs and values of your team.
5. Scalability and Ongoing Support:
    Choose a development company that can scale the app to accommodate growth in the user base and feature requirements as your team expands. Additionally, ensure they provide reliable ongoing support and maintenance to address any issues and keep the app up-to-date with evolving Esports trends and technologies.
6. Cost:
    When selecting a software company to develop your own Esports app for fan engagement, budget plays a crucial role. The initial cost of developing an app that effectively engages fans can be substantial, considering the need for features like real-time updates, interactive content, and a seamless user experience. Moreover, once the app is launched, there are ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs to keep it relevant to the evolving needs of the Esports industry and fan expectations. Failing to have a clear understanding of these financial requirements could lead to unexpected expenses and financial dilemmas down the road.

It is evident that developing your own esports app is a daunting task. It diverts allocation of attention of higher management and, of organisational resources toward an uncertain pursuit. Even after completion, there is no certainty of sustainable fan engagement. To answer the question of whether teams should develop their own fan engagement app or not, our researchers at Kboom Fanalytics interviewed several esports consultants. Here’s what they have to say:

A sustainable fan engagement revolution should make things easier, for both fans and teams, and not harder.
As every team jumps into the trend of making its own fan engagement platforms, fans are becoming overwhelmed and resisting the idea. It is hard for fans to imagine having one mobile app for each team they support. Moreover, opening one app after another and proving their loyalty everywhere is surely not making things easier. While platforms like Twitter and Twitch offer limited features, they still benefit from the network effect and content diversity. Making an esports fan app was very rewarding for the first-mover teams in the short term, but investing resources at this phase is probably a decision to reconsider.

Substantially high costs of development and maintenance add up to financial instability.
The revenue of esports teams, which is mostly dependent on sponsorships, is already volatile. The substantially high costs of development and maintenance contribute to financial instability. A reliable app that fulfills its purpose typically costs upto several hundreds thousands initially, furthr added by a jawdropping maintenance cost. Additionally, continuous market research to optimize and enhance the app becomes a priority for the team. Regular rollouts of new features and organizing in-app events are essential to maintain the fan experience. All these factors may lead teams to feel more like a SaaS company rather than an esports team. Hence, committing to significant capital and operational expenditures despite the revenue instability due to sponsorship again asks for reconsideration.

Need for an esports engagement ecosystem in the industry.
Leading teams and consultants have highlighted the need for inviting a new player like Kboom.gg into the ecosystem. An ecosystem that is made keeping the expectations of fans and teams at the center. Kboom.gg can successfully satisfy the fan engagement needs while eliminating the limitations of individual team apps like the lack of network effect and, of content diversity, and high development and maintenance costs.