Trend #1 - Social Games In China
“I heard it was because he stole
the boss’ crops.”
New titles more competitive than current U.S. generation
Traditional SNS Activities...
Ron Guang Hospital Ofﬁce Promotion Hu Lai Inn
Launch May 6, 2009 Launch Jan 27, 2010 Launch June 4, 2009
246k daily active players 208k daily active players 145k daily active players
... except, you can screw over your friends to get ahead
Case Study: Happy Farm
“We are not stealing the vegetables,
but showing our solitude.”
Helping alienated people feel connected makes it addicting...
Virality Is The Name Of The Game
Players don't view wall feeds as spam; it’s a chance to share and engage
Social features are the best viral features (eg, Sorority Life’s “boyfriends”
feature was built with the relationship-starved wall feed in mind)
Optimize and renew (it's like direct response advertising)
Focus on the most viral features and make the winning features more viral
vs. trying to make low performers more viral
Image source: http://sororitylifeblog.com/index.php/2009/11/05/facebook-sorority-life-new-feature-wana-buy-your-very-own-man/
Community Building & Feedback
In order of depth of customer interaction... Fan Pages, Blogs, Forums, Support
Beware! Users are good at telling you how to make the game better for hardcore
players -- not good at making it more approachable, mainstream
Listen to what customer say but pay always attention to what they actually do
Trend #3 - Marketing...
... In A Digitally Distributed World
Basics Remain Fundamental
Product positioning still relevant -- deﬁnes what you're making and how you talk
about it with customers
Example, We Rule from ngmoco: "From ngmoco and Newtoy, a community of fanciful
kingdoms you and your friends shape, build, share, and rule."
Positioning drove features...
• COMMUNITY :: neighbors as trade partners
• FANCIFUL :: aesthetic/design
• SHAPE :: players inﬂuence game through actions, etc.
Demographics Aren’t Enough
• Mass Market doesn’t exist any more
• Now a collection of very small markets that want tailored products
• 1440 is the new 18-24
• Factor time consumption into the product design
Data Is A Weapon...
• Deﬁne the answers you want
• Don't just build around data you can capture or you’ll only react to what
ﬂashes in front of you
• Always be testing - drop new ideas into core apps, track CTR
Trend #4 - Female Mobile Gamers...
Image source: http://www.ocmodshop.com/ocmodshop.aspx?a=1373&p=3444
... Might Not Want What You Think
Mobile Time Is “Me Time”?
iPhone versions of Diner Dash
Original game: 1.5M downloads (Sep 2008)
Cooking Dash: 1.1M downloads (Aug 2009)
Wedding Dash: 1.0M downloads (Jan 2009)
Casual games are typically short bursts repeated multiple times day/week
In mobile Diner Dash, average session is 30 minutes; majority play 1-3 times/week
This is scheduled “me” time
Tips On Mobile Games For Women
Insights from quantitative consumer survey (1,047 respondents)
• 74% browse the Apps store to ﬁnd games (vs check review sites)
• Interests-match & price prime motivators
• 60% skip tutorials
• 33% enable “easy” mode
• Majority prefer clear narrative & level progression vs. arcade high scores
• Players intend to play just a little... so structure content so that delivers on that
expectation and contributes to larger accomplishments, drive the narrative forward
Trend #5 - Meta Games
Increasingly More Sophisticated
Status, Savings, Scores
Create a coherent experience that unfolds over time
Deﬁne a points system that supports your goals and audience
Introduce tailored feedback / rewards to motivate newbies
(encouragement), regulars (progression) & leaders (reputation)
Design rewards that players are eager to share
Use appropriate pacing to grant rewards over time
Does any of this matter if you’re
not in the games business?
Will Wright sums it up best...
“Companies across the world now see gaming as
a form of MSG that can be added to anything to
make it more palatable, only in this case MSG
stands for ‘Make it Seem Game-like’.”
Seven45 Studios in Boston
Image Source: http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/ofﬁcialgdc/4430767982/
Does any of this matter to you if
you’re not in the games business?
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