Make a game you know players will love

De-risk your game development with reliable qualitative and quantitative player insight, even if you have no time.

Book a study with the boutique games user research agency, led by industry-leading expert Steve Bromley.

Book a no-pressure initial consultation
GUR Training

RUNNING STUDIES FOR THE WORLDS MOST PLAYER-FOCUSED GAME COMPANIES

Game development is a risky business.

It’s heartbreaking to spend years developing a game you love only to see it underwhelm at launch. Usability and experience issues lead to poor player and critical reviews, no marketing or word of mouth traction, and games failing to sell.

Throughout development, it’s hard to know what to focus on – where best to spend your limited attention and resources to make the best possible version of your game and maximise your chance for success.

This lack of alignment and confidence creates vague goals, unneccessary re-work and wasted effort, and unhappy colleagues, due to ever changing development priorities.

Most studios fold after releasing their first game.

Game development doesn’t have to be like this…

articulating design hypotheses

Release a game you are confident in

User research and playtesting lets you learn the state of your game, make confident prioritisation and development decisions, and inspires new directions, while there is still time to fix it.

From ideation onwards, you can learn…

  • Who are my players, and what will lead them to purchase or reject my game?
  • Will players love my concept?
  • What should I prioritise for my game to succeed?
  • Do players understand and enjoy the game?
  • How to optimise retention and reduce churn of the first few hours or days?

Unbiased player experience studies allow evidence based decision making, and give you ammo for internal prioritisation discussions, or negotiations with publishers or funders.

inspired game development

You Need PLAYTESTS & UX RESEARCH FOR YOUR GAME

You need a player-first strategy, using regular unbiased games user research studies & understanding real player behaviour throughout production to create clarity and de-risk development decisions.

Steve Bromley’s gamesuserresearch.com runs UX research for games throughout development, from ideation to post-launch.

We work with publishers, platforms and studios of all sizes to transform their game development process, and run studies that inspire game developers, combining player data with creativity. We work from ideation to post-launch in order to de-risk game development, and make games players love.

If you’d like to discuss working together, contact me for a no-pressure initial consultation. We’ll have a chat and answer any questions either of us have. After the call, we can decide if working together makes sense.

Playtesting
Lucky Ghost

In creating a new games studio, I was eager to understand more about our players’ needs and motivations in playing games. Steve was able to turn my vague questions and hypotheses into actionable understanding based on real user feedback, which is impacting studio business strategies and the games we are making.

Steve was a trusted partner through this process – from research design, through execution and a delivery of a clear summary which is a constant reference point.

I’d have no hesitation in working with Steve in the future, and would recommend him to anyone who has questions about the people playing their games, or wants to learn more about user research for games.

James Whitcroft
Founder – Lucky Ghost

Reliable Games User Research throughout development

Games User Research applies scientific and psychological expertise to remove the bias from traditional playtesting.

By combining qualitative and quantitative research methods, investing deeply in playtester recruitment, and drawing upon over a decade of industry experience, working with studios such as PlayStation’s London Studio, Guerilla Games, Media Molecule, and many others still under NDA, I work with trusted partners to run studies from ideation to launch, create conclusions you can trust, and ensure your game achieves its potential.

Typical collaborations include:

  • Creating your strategic research roadmap to define development priorities and mitigate player experience risks.
  • Audience research – Uncovering and defining your audience to unlock more confident design decisions, reveal marketing opportunities and align your team behind the most successful implementation of their creative vision.
  • Playtesting and UX Research – Regular qualitative and quantitative player research to find issues, and prioritise development effort.
  • Retention optimisation to optimise your acquisition costs and lifetime value, and reduce churn.
  • Competitor research – Understand your competition, their weaknesses, and the opportunities that exist in the market to make a breakout hit.
  • Concept testing – Validate your ideas, before a single line of code has been made.
  • Expert UX reviews to identify and remove problems before they impact your players
  • Unbiased analysis of your player data to reveal the top experience issues holding your game back.

Games User Research Roadmap

Regularly understanding whether your game lands with players will find and fix problems earlier, saving time and money. This all adds up to confident decision making, a game you know players will love, and no surprises at launch!

If you’re ready to release a game you know players will love, get in touch today.

The Boutique Games User Research Agency, led by Steve Bromley

I am an experienced user researcher, specialising in games user research and building new user research teams.

I work with publishers, platforms and studios of all sizes from indies to AAA to run playtests, and integrate user research into the game development process. I’ve spent over 25,000 hours with players!

Prior to this I was a senior user researcher for PlayStation and worked on many of their top European titles, including Horizon Zero Dawn, SingStar, the LittleBigPlanet series and the PlayStation VR lineup.

A few of srteve's games

I wrote the best-selling 5-star rated book Building User Research Teams.

I started the IGDA’s Games User Research mentoring scheme, which has linked hundreds of students with industry professionals from top games companies such as Sony, EA, Valve, Ubisoft and Microsoft. This inspired my bestselling book How To Be A Games User Researcher which shares the expertise needed to work in the games industry, and has over 50 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Kind Words From Previous Collaborations

Alison Holland

Steve ran a study for one of our games to understand the impact that usability and accessibility issues were having on our players. Steve’s work was excellent.

He made a huge positive impression with our team and helped shape our future roadmap for game improvements.

Steve’s support throughout the whole project was amazing and we’re looking forward to possible future collaborations

Alison Holland
Senior UX Researcher at Rovio
Brynly Gibson

I have found Playtesting to become a vital tool in making good development decisions at different times in the project from concept to finishing. It is an additional data point that helps prove out and support ideas and assumptions we have created. It gives me additional information and insight I didn’t have before which is useful both for internal and external discussions around the game.

I worked with Steve on a title where we had many thorny issues that only playtesting could aid us to make headway on.

He has a real clarity of understanding of how to translate your questions and needs into practical unbiased tests and programs to get the understanding you seek.

Brynley Gibson
Executive Producer at Sharkmob
Caspar Field

When Wish Studios created the PlayLink concept for PlayStation, we developed a new gameplay paradigm in which casual players would use mobile phone apps as controllers for console games. Such a radical shift, aimed at a non-technical audience, naturally required in-depth playtesting to ensure we got it right.

Steve’s test team provided the answer, delivering well-structured, informative, actionable feedback for our development team to work with.

Caspar Field
CEO – Wish Studios
Ishwari Nainegli

We asked Steve Bromley to help playtest and analyze the FTUE of our game to improve it, and the experience was exceptional. Steve’s attention to detail and keen observation skills during the playtest gave us valuable insights into the user experience and what was lacking in the game.

What sets Steve apart is not only his expertise but also his clear and insightful communication.

The analysis report we received was comprehensive, highlighting strengths and suggesting actionable improvements. We are very happy and grateful to have worked with him.

Ishwari Nainegli
UI/UX Designer at Stellarplay Games
John Foster

Steve is an expert in his field, and his exceptional manner is very suited to working with a range of clients. I don’t hesitate to recommend him.

John Foster
Lead Game Designer – Sumo Digital
George Rowe

We contacted Steve after conducting some playtests, as we wanted a more objective viewpoint on our data that didn’t come with the biases we had after working on the game for so long.

After a quick chat, we sent over all our footage and data to Steve, and he quickly generated a full report which exceeded our expectations in terms of detail and execution time.

Steve was able to provide an external, unbiased viewpoint which was invaluable to us!

George Rowe
Senior Producer at Aardman Animations
Lina Conde

We worked with Steve on a playtest for our early beta, and he was incredibly helpful and adaptable to our needs.

The process was timely and thorough, providing us with valuable insights. These insights are now shaping Spellscaper according to our players’ needs and desires.

We highly recommend Steve’s expertise in user research to anyone looking to improve their product.

Lina Conde
Community Manager at Spellscaper

WHY WORK WITH STEVE?

    • Unbiased, external view applying UX and psychology expertise to understand the why behind player behaviour.

    • Value for money – Steve’s boutique agency maintains low overheads, and focuses on delivering inspiring insights at an affordable price.

    • Tens of thousands of hours of playtest experience, on top console, indie and mobile games. Steve has dealt with every kind of game development and playtesting challenge.

    • Remote first approach – avoid geographic bias and access the widest range of players from important markets.

    • WYSIWYG – You will work directly with Steve (rather than agencies who’ll hand you over the more junior team members after you’ve committed)

    • The home of games user research – Steve is author of best-selling user research books and the world’s most popular games user research site.

    • World-class playtesting approaches – Steve created and applies The Playtest Kit to ensure reliable and actionable results.