7 Tips to Create Successful Mobile Games
According to Newzoo, the mobile gaming industry is expected to hit $100 billion by 2021, achieving a decade of double-digit growth. And it generated more than 50% of the global games market last year. Mobile game development have become a real honeypot, and more indie developers and publishers are dreaming about making a new successful mobile game - like Pokemon Go.
But what makes a mobile game successful?
We encouraged the best mobile game publishers to share their best game development practices. Leading industry brands such as GameAnalytics, Lab Cave, Kolibri Games, Unity, Wooga and Boyarin discussed core elements of successful mobile game development: marketing approaches, communication with users, and, of course, game monetization opportunities.
Watch the full discussion here:
We’re listing the successful mobile game development essentials right below:
1. Plan game monetization before the launch
Most people are really passionate about game development and they think it’s going to be the next big thing. Remember that the game is your product, and your main goal is how to monetize the mobile game app. A user downloading and installing the game doesn’t mean you sold the product. The selling part in F2P mobile gaming is an ongoing process and it is your job to see through the game development roadmap and build the right game monetization model and identify the sale (usually defined by LTV). Start thinking about the selling process and what qualifies as a sale from the very first moment of your game development. Make sure you have a clear roadmap of possible outcomes, churns, levers to use and other information necessary for your game app monetization model.
2. Keep an eye on genre trends
Choose wisely the mobile game genre you want to enter. In the game development, they’ve become competitive, saturated and mainstream by any means. And making just the same mobile game against the biggest companies out there you’re most likely not going to succeed. If you don’t have a crazy budget and experience, go for a niche game development.
3. Use short iterations
A huge mistake a mobile game developer can make is spending a lot of time trying to build something that would not work. Instead, focus on making the smallest iterative changes in a given time. Do 20% of the work of what your grand vision is because 20% of the work will have 80% of the impact. Using this successful mobile game development approach you won’t spend a bunch of time, effort and resources on things that are not actually going to have any impact on your game.
4. Master customer development approach
Talk to your mobile game customers not only online on Facebook or on the App Store, but schedule calls or even video calls with them. You’ll be surprised how much they are willing and excited to talk to the developers of the game they play, even if it’s a new game.
5. Don’t leave your players in trouble
Don’t leave your mobile game players’ reviews unanswered. Try to reply to all reviews, or at least to negative ones. There was an issue that a game (we won’t name it) had in App Store that cost a developer both high app rating and users. The game had connection issues on the launch. Its players started complaining in the reviews, but nobody answered them. This simple ignoring ended up with 2.0 rating and tons of uninstalls. So make sure you cover user feedback you get from app reviews, especially early after the successful mobile game development of the first release.
6. Get feedback from other publishers
It’s easy to launch and do your own thing, but feedback from a successful mobile game development studio or mobile game publishers is super important. They may think of solutions, that you have probably never thought about. For instance, if a game has great Day 1 retention and horrible Day 7 retention, it might be because the game is either too easy or there’s not enough content. So you need people to tell you “Hey, I get to the stage and get bored and this is what...”. Show your game to somebody you trust and get their feedback. They see things differently, they have probably seen games like yours and solved your problems many times. Such feedback will definitely help you fix your game faster and save you months of game development work. Don’t go about it on your own.
7. Don’t be afraid that your game could be copied
When a mobile game is on the store, and if it’s any good, it will probably get copied. It happens not because you showed it to people, that’s just the nature of the successful mobile game development industry right now. It’s very hard to copyright a mobile game. The only thing you can do is be faster and be successful before anybody else. So to create a successful mobile game, move fast, and make sure that you get feedback and implement it as soon as possible.
Don't be afraid to dive into the unknown by publishing a mobile game. Nothing is rocket science, and most people in the successful mobile game development industry are ready to point in the right direction.