The mobile game industry has changed dramatically in the last few years.
Throughout the COVID era (remember those lockdown days?) we saw a huge increase in demand for mobile games, which drove people to consume more entertainment, as well as the nearly crippling effect of Apple's decision to deprecate access to user-level data for advertising and measurement purposes.
However, the increase in demand created a difficult comparison when calculating year-on-year success, giving the impression of slower growth in the games market (though it is still significantly higher than in the pre-COVID era).
In a nutshell, scaling a game and finding a massive audience that likes and engages with it became significantly more difficult over time. An engaged audience is the lifeblood of any game, and without it, commercial success is nearly impossible to achieve.
It was always difficult to create great games and a product that could achieve global success. But, in the last two years, even if you nailed that incredibly difficult part, scaling a game has become just as difficult.
But how do build a successful mobile game in this competition? Here are the main challenges I see every mobile game company facing to succeed in the coming years.
Click "Learn More
" to drive your apps & games
business with the ASO World app promotion
1. Increase the frequency with which new games are developed.
Assume the probability of creating a fun, successful mobile game that people want to play is 10%, and the likelihood of profitably scaling that game (acquiring a massive audience for a CAC that is lower than the actual LTV) is 30%. It means that the "strike rate" (the percentage of times a developer was able to create a mobile game hit that generated significant revenue) was 10% X 30%, 3%.
One of the 33 projects produced a successful game.
However, the likelihood of scaling the game profitably is much lower these days. 30%? A fantastic number. If we assume that acquiring quality users is twice as difficult (which I believe is quite optimistic), and the probability of scaling is now 15%, the strike win is currently 1.5%.
This means that only one project out of 66 would result in a successful game.
The numbers are irrelevant here, and each studio and developer has the expertise, experience, and know-how that governs their strike rate. However, the dynamic is undeniably real.
2. Increase the likelihood of new game development success.
So, to improve any team's strike rate, you should focus much more on the Ideation and Concept phases, but within these two avenues, you should become significantly more data-driven, and use as much data as you can to have confidence in a concept before continuing to develop it.
There are numerous ways to accomplish this in the mobile game space today, including concept testing to gauge early interest in a concept from real-world users and in a real-world environment. Then comes extensive marketability testing, as well as access to data-driven intelligence on current market trends.
There are no magic formula for coming up with fun, great, and memorable game ideas. However, by utilizing a great greenlight process early in the concept phase, you can significantly reduce development risk.
That means understanding the game's concept business potential, user acquisition economics, and the possibility of turning a high enough LTV while having a low enough CPI to sustain profitable growth of the game early on.
Even if you need to rely on past data and competitive intelligence to estimate the potential LTV of a game (that does not yet exist), concept testing allows you to thoroughly test the appetite potential players have for such a game.
Concept testing will enable you to determine whether the potential CPIs for your concept is even in the ballpark for profitable player acquisition.
3. Boost the chances of scaling and turning a great game into a great business.
Congratulations on having a great, fun, and engaging game in your hands. That is insufficient. No sir. You must now scale it and put it in the hands of millions of engaged players.
To accomplish this, you must:
1. Implement a practical framework for combining paid and organic user acquisition efforts to maximize growth.
2. Use the right publishing technology to contextually target the right audience, optimize your funnel creatives (both on the ad creative and the App Store product page creative sides), and have the right tools to measure the effectiveness of different paid UA channels and campaigns, as well as different organic efforts, so you can effectively allocate your budget. This includes post-privacy attribution, media-mix modeling, and other techniques.
3. Implement the right tools and technology to engage users, maximize retention, and run an excellent LiveOps and VIP operation for your live game.
4. Have an in-game experimentation framework that is always active to optimize and increase players' LTV through smart, well-managed, and measured a/b tests and experiments ranging from the FTUE to different game mechanics.
5. If you're monetizing your game with in-app ads, use cutting-edge technologies like mediation to increase the eCPMs you can earn on your ad inventory.
So many great and fun games have sadly fallen to the bottom of the charts, never to be seen again, because the studio behind them did not invest in the right people, expertise, and technology on the publishing side.
You can significantly increase the likelihood of your game hitting scale if you have the right methodologies and technology in place.
* Grow with our app growth solutions - choose a guaranteed app ranking service
for TOP 5 app ranking acquirement
, and maximize your app traffic. Or click the "Promote Now
" above (to increase app installs
service for app visibility).
* What Is the Keyword Guaranteed Ranking Service? What Is the Advantage of It?
4. ASO strategy for your mobile game
App store optimization can never really be taken out of the equation of mobile game marketing success. It's safe to say that it's time to up the ante in 2022 because everyone and most of the gaming population is still staying at home.
As you prepare to launch a mobile game, there are a few things to consider. First is research. To build your game's ASO strategy, you need to understand its categories, the keywords users are searching for, conversion trends, and more.
Before launching your app, you need to do keyword research
to see which are relevant and highly searched for your app, and then integrate those keywords into the mobile game's metadata. algorithms in the App Store and Google Play Store use targeted keywords to determine how mobile games rank in search results and where they rank. Metadata fields that directly affect natural search and indexing include title, subtitle, and keyword libraries on the Apple App Store, and title, short description, and detailed description on Google Play.
Applying best practices, such as adding title tags and building metadata correctly, mobile games can rank for keywords much faster than when launched unoptimized.
Keyword targeting can generate more visibility, but improving conversion rates for these keywords is critical to success. the App Stores algorithm looks at the click-through rates of mobile games compared to other apps on the same keyword to determine if they should rank higher or lower. In addition to this, you should also keep an eye on keyword trends to gain insight into the behavior of your audience segments. Respond positively to their changes and any new pain points and soft signals they may be sending.
App preview video optimization
There is no better way to promote a mobile game than by using video ads. It's a real and proven method of user acquisition.
The reason is simple - video ads allow you to showcase the game experience and let users experience the gameplay. Video ads showcase all the major game features, characters, and game content. It allows the viewer to get to experience the game. You can also take different moments from pop culture and viral content and use them in your ads.
When writing promotional text for your game video ads, consider your Unique Selling Point (USP) - what makes your game different and better than others? And finish the video with a strong call to action.Related reading: Case studies about mobile games: