The Anatomy of a Great Game

Mobile games make up the largest portion of the app market, growing into a mammoth of an industry in the past few years. In 2018 alone, the mobile gaming market was worth around $70 billion. According to some predictions, this number could increase to as much as $100 billion by 2021.

Considering these facts, it should come as no surprise that a lot of people want to join the party. However, making a great mobile game isn’t easy. The competition is fierce and there are many elements to take into account – some of which we’re going to discuss today.

1. Content

The most important part of any game is its content. Take a look at the current market, see which genres it has become saturated with, and take a different path. Create a game that will bring something new to that world, or will be better than the existing ones.

Q2 2019 Ad Network Comparison

Take special care on building the background story, setting challenging yet achievable goals, and incorporating enough repetition to make it addictive but not boring. Try designing eye-pleasing visuals, as the graphics part of the whole gaming product is what will catch the attention of your prospective players first.

Therefore you need to invest as much effort and funding as possible into creating an eye-catching user interface with amazing visuals.

2. Social media integration

Let’s face it – we live in the age of social media domination and lots of Millenials feel the need to share their achievements with their friends and family (and other followers). Not only that, a lot of people have a strong sense of competition and seek a challenge from their peers by luring them through sharing their high scores.

Allowing your players to do all this by placing social media options in a non-invasive manner is one of the prerequisites for success. 

You can do so by adding social media buttons in the game’s interface or by offering to share a high score upon achieving it. Doing so not only makes your players happy but provides an excellent opportunity for advertising your game to new audiences.

3. Tutorial

Players need to understand the game before playing or they’ll just give up if it’s too hard to master. If your gameplay isn’t obvious and it goes beyond just mastering the controls, a simple tutorial is a must. The keyword is “simple”. You don’t want a tutorial to feel like one. So instead, ease the player into the gameplay with a few short pointers at the beginning.

4. Updates and bug fixes

Your work doesn’t end once the game is out in the world. Unexpected problems will happen, the game will demand bug fixes and other improvements. Applying regular updates and fixes not only improves your game, but also shows your players you care about their experience and the game itself.

5. User acquisition strategies

Although players might just stumble upon your game by accident, the chances are, this won’t be enough. You should devote some of your attention to planning out good user acquisition strategies.

These include app store optimization (ASO), social media and email campaigns, influencer and content marketing, paid referrals, advertising in your other apps or even other publishers’ games in cross-marketing schemes, etc.

In achieving this, you can employ the tools and expertise of some of the platforms that can provide you with the necessary data for acquiring new and valuable users. SOOMLA provides tools for UA through lookalike audience targeting, specific targeting based on similarities among users like age, location, gender, and so on.

Q2 2019 Ad Network Comparison

6. Monetization strategies

If your game is free for download, it means you need to develop other monetization strategies, such as offering in-app purchases and subscriptions, placing advertisements and offerwalls, etc.

Even if players paid for your game, there are still reasons to implement some monetization strategies, such as rewarded videos, popular among the player community as they give out in-game bonuses just for watching video ads.

7. Analytics

To improve your game and optimize your monetization and UA strategies, you need accurate data on its performance and players’ demographics.

This is too much work to do by yourself, so we suggest using one of the platforms dedicated to this goal. For instance, if you choose SOOMLA, you’ll have access to information such as who your ad whales are – the most valuable players who generate the most of your ad revenue.

8. Support

Be ready to respond to any inquiries coming from your players about any potential problems or concerns they might have about the game. Talk to them on social media, in the app stores, or even schedule calls or video calls with them. 

You can get valuable insights from them this way and they might even be excited to talk to the developer of the game they’re playing. This will compel them to stick around longer and even generate positive reviews!

9. User feedback

Speaking of reviews, don’t be afraid of criticism. Once your game is published, make sure to regularly read user reviews. This will help you see if there are any problems with it and how to fix them for even better results.

On top of that, try to respond to all of the players’ reviews, or at least all the negative ones. This will show you’re committed to providing the best experience possible and might even help you get back the players who left the negative reviews.

Here’s another idea – even before you launch the game, why not publish a beta version of it and get feedback from beta users?

10. Enthusiasm

And finally, all that good work means nothing if you aren’t passionate about it. The lack of enthusiasm about the game will reflect on the end result and the audience is bound to notice.

Best ingredients for the perfect game?

When mixed together carefully, all of these ingredients can create an awesome mobile game. Here at SOOMLA, we want to see you succeed in it, which is why we have developed an analytics platform to help you as much as possible and take some of the load off from all the work involved and generate some well-deserved profit.

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