Game Design

User Retention: Hacking The 40-20-10 Rule With Love

Customer RetentionI recently had the honor to attend two events in Tel-Aviv: Mobile Monetization Summit and GameIS. One of the hottest topics was retention as the biggest focus once the game is launched. Philipp Stelzer from Wooga specifically delivered an interesting session about the topic and while I could not get his slides I did found a post by his colleague Henric Suuronen who shares his 40-20-10 rules claiming that successful facebook games have the following retention rates:

  • 40% 2nd day retention
  • 20% 7th day retention
  • 10% 30 day retention
The rates are a bit higher on mobile games but not drastically different so these are still good numbers to memorize.
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The first date will determine your 2nd and 7th day retention

Now, one way to hack this curve is by using a tutorial at the begining of the game. This was measured and reported by Mixpanel. However, with player attention span getting shorter and shorter, you need the first date with the user to be really good and also quick. Exactly how quick? Dori Adar, Creative Director of TabTale claims you only have 90 seconds and has some really valuable tips in the slideshare below.

I also like his style of quick flipping with a single line in each slide (note to self – I should adopt that for online slides).

The love-hate relationship will get you that 30 day retention

If you already got your users in the door and they are giving your game a chance, your next goal will be to make your users develop a love-hate relationship with your game says Florian Steinhoff of Wooga. He suggests doing so by combining 3 elements:

  • Using the FUUU factor to make good difficult levels and not bad difficult levels
  • Giving the users 3-7 possible moves to keep it casual (slots has 1 move vs. chess has 20 moves)
  • Adding luck and creating F* Yeah moments

Here are his slides from GDC.

 

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