“Ok, shut it down”… “No, wait… give it one more chance”! “Forget it, just start another project”, – these phrases you may hear within the game development outsourcing community are pretty common.
Well, in the world of gaming and game development outsourcing it is not always easy to keep up with the trends and compete with the giants. However, some manage not only to survive but also to succeed. Below you will find five solid tips on how to increase the volume of retention and engagement in a few simple steps.
Aim at the score loops
Human beings don’t like routines. And players used to get rid of the repetitive stuff shortly. In the picture below you may see that for the seven days retention for popular genres, the performances of the top games is somewhere between 15% and 30%. If you’ll check and see that your little child is there, then you’re doing a good job and have nothing to worry about.
But if you find your project among underperformed, this is a reason to act immediately.
First, make sure you have all the necessary things to keep users involved. One of the main factors influencing your core loop here is an ability to unlock new content (levels/locations/characters). Through the funnel you can track your players progress and detect when they leave. All you need to do here is to provide some fixes or add features on the stage where most of the players lose interest.
Game Development Outsourcing: Make the end of the game
If you get lucky enough throughout the whole month and your players are still sticking around, don’t leave things as they are. Endgame is not less important (you could have seen that in “Avengers”).
Despite many game development outsourcing companies feel a lack of creativity on this stage, there are a few suggestions which work great even if an unlimited imagination isn’t at your disposal right at the moment:
- Let your players fight against each other in PVP modes
- Add new challenges on a daily basis
- Use leaderboard to engage players in a competition.
If you believe that the only competitors to your game are other games, you are not absolutely right. You also battle for the prospects’ attention with movies, books, TV series, and social media. Will they spend their spare time in your game or somewhere else? It depends.
Think about push notifications and the ways to make the players enter the game as frequently as possible (even in those 2 minute pauses when they are waiting for their order in Starbucks).
Provide rewards and bonuses
Engaging gameplay and good score when finishing provide players with good experience, but if you want them to be ultimately satisfied with your product you need to reward them with something else. And this could be implemented not only at the end but also during the game. Here are some useful suggestions on how to reward in order to increase the loyalty:
- Coins, weapons, lives, abilities
- Medals, achievements, profile features
- Discounts on subscriptions or paid stuff.
Don’t be afraid to use your license to kill
First day of the retention is definitely a crucial one. And if you see that your retention is rather low here, the likeliness to succeed is close to zero as well. Of course, it demands some courage and confidence from a game dev studio to kill off their game at the beginning of its journey. Here are the numbers you need to consider before shutting it down or prepare to lose. Experienced publishers normally expect 30-40% Day one retention (or higher). If your game performance is around 35%, your chances are good. However, a genre matters here. For example, trivia and quizzes have a 50% barrier, while kids segment perform well only above 16%.
Conclusion: Boost Retention in Game Development Outsourcing
Retention and engagement are considered to be the most important criteria when it comes to understanding how the titles are performing after being released. Here, at Melior Games we used to track the metrics via different funnels and marketing tools. We believe that the task of any game development outsourcing company is not only to create games but also to make sure these games become popular and profitable.