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Social Gaming and Current Trends

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Looking ahead analysts are already predicting that mobile gaming will generate upwards of 100$ billion in revenue by 2017. But how IS social gaming growing at such an astonishing pace? Below we have gathered a couple of the biggest trends being used to keep players locked on and thoroughly engaged with their social games.

Genres mash up

Action, adventure, RPGs, MMOs, Strategy- there is no shortage of genres that can be used to put a title in a neat little box. However, these drawn lines are becoming increasingly blurred.

One reason for this is that developers are breaking away from traditional gaming molds and are increasingly implementing sub-genres within the game’s main genre. These newly formed mixed genres mesh together into new and intricate combinations.

Done right, this mélange results in increased in-game engagement by players which in turn will lead to a wider range of monetization opportunities for the developers.

Special events

No developer wants their players to feel unchallenged by the game they are playing, but this does not necessarily entail adding more levels and increasing development times. Event-driven challenges are a perfect way of giving players more of what they love: in general, this means adding more to the main storyline of a game.

Tournaments: the player who gains the most points, trains the most troops or kills the largest number of enemies is rewarded.

Time pressure: where the player is bound by a time limit in completing a set of missions.

In game appointments: also known as push notifications they entail the user logging in or participating in a specific event at a scheduled time. This tactic is employed to make the game part of a player’s busy daily schedule.

In a way push notifications can e a double-edged sword. They can either act as the best thing that smartphones can offer or they can annoy users into deleting the app completely. However, notifications are a great way of connecting to players on a human level, with most players connecting to push messages that contain funny, witty messages.

Micro-transactions for everything

In order to monetize social games, micro-transactions are the way to go. FTP games accounted for over 80% of all revenue on iOS and Google Play in January 2014. Micro-transactions allow the player to decide how much they want to pay and when.

For the developer’s standpoint, micro-transactions open up a wider range of monetization opportunities, and will make it easier to think of clever ways of updating games: new items, features, characters, levels, extra lives, surprise items- whatever you want!

From the player’s perspective, a dollar is not a huge sum to pay for unlocking cool stuff that will improve your gaming experience.

The future

To accurately predict what the future has in store for social gaming, we need to look back at what has been working consistently over time. One of the biggest winners has been cross promotion: when launching a new title, the likelihood of piquing interest of players from previous titles is much higher than marketing to a new audience.

Another lesson learned and consistently implemented has been tapping into a player’s social network. People are more likely to play a game if they people they trust share or recommend it. Leveraging players as ambassadors for your game has always been and will continue to remain an invaluable marketing tactic.

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