How to create an engaging mobile game?

On our blog, we recently presented the main stages of creating mobile games. Although we have already mentioned in a few words the marketing and in particular the monetization of mobile games, this topic deserves another article. To succeed in its monetization strategy, a well-defined economic model is not enough. We must give mobile users the desire to continue the game. In this article, we will explain how to create an engaging mobile game.

1. The power of push notifications

Have you ever wondered why some well-known brands, such as Coca Cola, spend huge sums of money to ensure visibility, for example, on the metro trains? Everyone knows that they exist, everyone knows their products, some even say they are “addicted”. What is the use of posters everywhere?

The answer is simple: to remind you that you want it. It sometimes happens to everyone to forget about our favorite products, be it a drink, a chocolate bar or … a mobile app. That’s why, if you’re planning to create a mobile game, you’ll need to put in place methods to remind the mobile user that he has a game on his smartphone that he loves. In this case, nothing matches the effectiveness of push notifications.
What is push notification?

The push technology asks the mobile application to send a message to the smartphone on which it is installed (or rather to its owner). This is displayed on the screen as an SMS. Thus, the user can be kept informed of new features in the app without opening it.
How to take advantage of this technology to create an engaging mobile game?

Simply send a reminder to the mobinaute or, better yet, offer him points that he can use in the game to trigger a notification. From there, he will only have to slip a finger to get into the game.

2. Pop-ups: to communicate with the user during their experience in the application

A pop-up is a dialog window that suddenly appears, and without being asked, on the screen of the computer or, in our case, the smartphone. Associated often with invasive advertising, pop-ups, used in moderation, are nothing more than an effective means of communicating with users of software or websites.

How can they be used to improve player engagement?

Pop-ups are most often used in games to indicate a concern (for example, an invalid email address or password), to present the conditions of use of the game or to ask for permissions to access the devices smartphone. But it is also possible to use pop-ups to give a more friendly tone to the exchanges between you and the user of your application. Why not ask him to evaluate the game on the store or keep him informed of promotions and special offers so that he does not miss them? A pop-up may contain call-to-action buttons. The user will only have to click to go to the store, to the page of your game.

You can also use pop-ups to promote your mobile game on social networks. Whenever the user wins a step or increases his performance, a pop-up can offer him to share the news with his friends. It is a simple and effective way to generate a powerful word of mouth effect and to give your game a social aspect, that is to say, one of the keys to its success.

3. Rewards and Gifts

Push notifications and pop-ups are only part of the loyalty strategy for your mobile game users. And this is not its most important part. Indeed, these are only means of communication to keep in touch with the users. It is their experience while using the application that should make them want to come back.

A good game awakens the spirit of competition. A typical player seeks to challenge other players or at least to be able to train and progress on your own. Giving him clear goals to achieve is the best way to make him addicted to the game. Think about making his reward system your ally. He will be more inclined to click on “Retry” if he can, for example, buy gadgets or unlock a higher level with points earned during the game. There is also an effective tactic to make him return more often: he offer points if he enters the game for several consecutive days.

If your mobile game has a shop, such as Clash of Clans, Bubble Witch or Candy Crush, it is recommended to offer, in addition to the usual items, thematic items, available only on certain occasions such as:

Valentine’s day
The summer break
Halloween
Christmas
The new Year

4. Rankings and competitions

Players love challenges. That’s why the rankings, in which they can compare their performances with those of other players, significantly increase their commitment … Especially if the first wins a prize.

If possible, consider setting up the multiplayer mode that allows the user to challenge his friends. There is no ready recipe for the success of a mobile game, but the rivalry certainly reinforces the players’ commitment.

5. Think of the user’s commitment at every stage of creating your game

The mobinaut downloads a game to have fun, but your goal is to monetize your app. Never lose sight of it. In this regard, you should know that a beautiful design and a well-crafted scenario are not enough to retain users. You have to look at the marketing to keep them loyal but also to continually improve the business model of your mobile application. We do not always think about it, but in most cases the creation of mobile applications is nothing other than business creation. And to succeed, you will have to devote body and soul to your project.

The development of a mobile application never stops, even after its publication on the store. It is a product that must evolve to survive on the market. Analyze what could be improved. Do you lose users? The application is too often launched only once after download? Do not panic. It is sometimes enough to change a small detail so that everything goes in order. There is no magic formula to create a successful mobile game. The trial-error method is the only one that actually works.

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