The Power of Gamer Communities For Cross-Platform Mobile Games
Author: Evan James, Head of Product Marketing
About one-third of gamers in the U.S. are community gamers, meaning the majority of their gaming experience is playing with other gamers that they know.. Community gamers are 1.8 times more likely to spend over three hours per day playing. They are also more likely to recommend games to each other, stay more retained and engaged, and more likely to decide to stop playing a title altogether. As a developer, it is critical to tap into these gamer communities and leverage their feedback and influence to develop more performant games.
By establishing a relationship with a gamer community and sending the game to play before the hard launch, game developers can reap a few great benefits. Community gamers are very vocal about providing game feedback. Tap into their thoughts and suggestions to make game iterations before hard launch. Also, by providing a pre-released game to the community, a game developer makes these players feel valued and important. If the gamer community feels that they are a part of the development of a game, then they are much more likely to build hype before the release and increase word-of-mouth (WOM) promotion after its release.
Finding a great new game isn’t easy. Some gamers, especially mobile players, select games at random or by scrolling through digital storefronts to see what catches their eye. However, there are several other methods that effectively facilitate game discovery, namely social media, word of mouth (WOM), YouTube, traditional press, and paid advertising. Community gamers play an integral role in game discovery through WOM and social media channels because they are, by nature, active communicators. When a community gamer tests out a new game, they are much more likely than a non-social player to recommend it to their friends via personal text, group chat, or social network.
When marketing your game, it is beneficial to target groups of players. Ask for game feedback and encourage players to share your game with their friends. Offer in-game social features to give gamers the opportunity to interact with each other. Empower players to expand their social network through your game, and of course, ensure that you are providing a fun and engaging experience.
Community gamers tend to be highly engaged. The community that engages together also keeps playing together. As friends become invested in a game as a group, they keep each other focused and encourage each other to spend more time playing. By providing a community inside your game for players to chat and share strategies, you’ll increase their engagement within the game. As a result, they’ll spend more time playing the game, creating more retained, loyal players who are more likely to share their experience with others and return to the game time and time again.
The community that engages and competes together also pays more together. As Facebook Gaming shared at this year’s GDC Expo, community gamers in the U.S. are 2.2 times more likely to spend money than non-social gamers. These players are also more likely to be in the upper bracket of spending. This is because paying or investing money in a game helps them stay competitive against other players and personalizes the experience. Therefore, fostering a social community not only helps retain high paying players, but it encourages others to become high-value payers.
The power of community gamers is that they discover games and influence each other as a group. They have a higher likelihood of being active communicators, driving more engagement and time spent in the game. As a developer, recognize the power of socially driven spending and how it can drive your game to success. Add social features into your mobile game and utilize platforms like Twitch to empower gaming communities.
Skillz has over 18 million players, playing across a wide range of content. The Skillz SDK includes social features for higher DAU games like Chat and Friends, which fosters a community within a game and increases the game virality, respectively. If you’re a mobile game developer looking to integrate with a competitive tournament system including a suite of social features, head to developers.skillz.com.