Hey guys! Jan Rey here.
Last June 30, we conducted an industry meet-up together with our friends from Appsflyer, MatchMe, GDAP, and Anino Playlab at A-Space. For one night, game developers shared their knowledge about the mobile games publishing business. Here’s a summary of what we learned at the event.
So you've made a game, now what?
Keith Morales, Altitude’s Publishing Director, started off the event with a simple question: “So you’ve made a game, now what? Ask yourself: is my game ready?” The first step is to soft-launch your game. Soft-launching enables you to figure out (with real data) if your game is working as you intended.
During this phase, pay close attention to your game’s metrics, especially retention. Once you’ve hit your retention goals, you can decide if you want to self-publish your game or go with a publisher.
Self-publishing gives you full ownership of the game, as well as 100% of your revenue. The caveat to this is you shoulder all the marketing costs and acquire users on your own. On the other hand, working with a publisher can give you a better chance of earning more money, since you have access to their existing user base and marketing clout.
Both have pros and cons, and it's up to you as developers to decide what’s the best route to take.
Mobile Game Metrics 101
Niel Dagondon of Anino Playlab explained the key metrics you need to know to succeed. He summarized them into three categories: Retention, Monetization, and Socialization.
Retention is the percentage of your acquired users that stay within your game. It has 3 benchmarks: Day One (ideally 40%), Day 7 (20%), and Day 30 (10%). If a high number of users return to your game days after they installed it, then you’re keeping them engaged. High retention indicates high engagement, and therefore higher chance of monetization.
Niel simplified monetization into one formula: “LTV > CPI = Success!” The amount your users spend in your game (LTV / lifetime value) should be higher than the cost you spent acquiring those users (CPI / cost per install). If you have this, then congratulations; you have a profitable game!
Lastly, Niel talked about K-Factor for socialization. K-Factor is the rate at which each user you’ve paid to acquire invites a friend of theirs to play for free. A higher K-Factor lowers your CPI, and can be attained by incorporating social elements (like sharing scores or inviting friends) and rewarding players for being social.
How to optimize retention with data
Ronen Mense, VP-Asia of Appsflyer, shared the following tips on optimizing retention using data:
Identify and segment your users based on their player behavior - Know who your New, Hardcore, and Champions players are, and create campaigns targeted specifically to those segments.
Use targeted notifications - Show the right offers to each segment. You don’t want to offer new players hardcore features until they’re ready (i.e. PVP, duel options, item offers etc.)
Build a community for your users - A user is more likely to stay in your game if they have friends playing it. Integrate your game with various social media channels, such as Facebook.
Release updates - Know what content your users want based on your metrics and update your content accordingly. Release new characters, level caps, maps, items, etc.
Read the reviews - Negative reviews of your game will hurt your ratings and negate any 5-star feedback. Apologize to the users if needed, fix what can be fixed, and update accordingly.
MatchMe: Find your Nemesis
Lastly Hal Bame, Director/co-CEO of MatchMe introduced us to their platform for online multiplayer gaming tournaments. MatchMe provides you with easy-to-use multiplayer features that can bolster your game’s virality and retention. The platform’s features are best summarized in the mobile demo Hal showed us, available for viewing here:
All in all, it was a very informative and fun night. Thank you to the speakers, our sponsor Appsflyer, our event venue A-Space, and everyone who attended. We look forward to making more events like these in the future.
Here are some photos from the event: