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In it for the long haul - How Wooga boosts long-term retention

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GDC San Francisco 2015 Presentation by Sebastian Nussbaum and Adam Telfer

Today's mobile games market is tough. With thousands of new titles being available to download every week and CPIs rising high, new game concepts need to stand out. But even more importantly, they need to stay relevant for a long time. Long-term retention is the key for having a realistic shot at the top-grossing ranks of the app stores. In the first part of this talk, attendees will learn how mobile game developer Wooga evaluates new IP to ensure a long-lasting gameplay experience. The second half will show one example of how storytelling and episodic content can drive long-term retention. Sebastian will share insights and learnings from Wooga's projects in episodic content production and how to best set up your team for the ride.

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In it for the long haul - How Wooga boosts long-term retention

  1. 1. In It For The Long Haul: How Wooga Boosts Long-Term Retention Sebastian Nußbaum & Adam Telfer Wooga
  2. 2. First hit bubble shooter on Facebook Highly engaged fans playing for 5 years 200 million installs across iOS, Android and Facebook >$30 million sales / year Reached #1 free e.g. in the US and top 5 grossing in 54 countries
  3. 3. HIT-DRIVEN
  4. 4. Our Focus: Repeatedly make hits
  5. 5. What is the secret formula for creating the next hit game?
  6. 6. Long Term Retention
  7. 7. Your game must last for years.
  8. 8. How does Wooga boost Long Term Retention?
  9. 9. Prototyping for Long Term Retention Adam Telfer Challenges of a Scalable Narrative Sebastian Nußbaum
  10. 10. 1. Why Focus on Long Term Retention? 2. Prototyping Long Term Retention Prototyping for Long Term Retention Adam Telfer
  11. 11. 1. Why Focus on Long Term Retention? 2. Prototyping Long Term Retention Prototyping for Long Term Retention Adam Telfer
  12. 12. What is the secret formula for creating the next hit game?
  13. 13. 2009
  14. 14. 2010
  15. 15. 2011
  16. 16. 2012
  17. 17. Today
  18. 18. How do we build the next hit?
  19. 19. Let’s go to new genres!
  20. 20. Top 100 US: Genre Clusters Clash of Clans Saga Casino Core Builder Resource Management 15% 37% 12% 12%11%
  21. 21. What about the “Others”? 87% 13%
  22. 22. So let’s just copy!
  23. 23. Clones don’t work (3 reasons)
  24. 24. #1: Players have invested already
  25. 25. #2: This is where their friends are
  26. 26. #3: You are targeting the same players.
  27. 27. How do we create the next hit?
  28. 28. “Just build a great game” “Make it fun, and players will come”
  29. 29. The Funnest Games aren’t on top.
  30. 30. It’s the games that the Fun lasts.
  31. 31. “Just make a game so everyone enjoys it”
  32. 32. Market size doesn’t matter if you can’t retain players.
  33. 33. Evil Tricks Fail
  34. 34. Monetization is nothing without Lasting Retention
  35. 35. “The longer a player waits until they pay, the more they will pay over their entire engagement with the game.” - Mark Robinson CEO of Game Analytics
  36. 36. Successful games focus on Lasting gameplay for years.
  37. 37. 2012
  38. 38. YearsMonths
  39. 39. 1 day retention
  40. 40. 3 day retention
  41. 41. 7 day retention
  42. 42. 30 day retention
  43. 43. 90 day retention
  44. 44. 300 day retention
  45. 45. Pearl’s Peril lasts for more than a year Jelly Splash does not
  46. 46. LTV?
  47. 47. 360d LTV
  48. 48. How do we create the next hit?
  49. 49. Focus on creating a game that lasts for years.
  50. 50. 1. Why Focus on Long Term Retention? 2. Prototyping Long Term Retention Prototyping for Long Term Retention Adam Telfer
  51. 51. How do you create a game that lasts for years?
  52. 52. 5 Steps to Long Lasting Gameplay
  53. 53. #1: Strong Long Term Goal
  54. 54. #1: Strong Long Term Goal
  55. 55. #1: Strong Long Term Goal
  56. 56. #2: Longterm Investments Years! x1000 ???
  57. 57. #2: Longterm Investments Reward players for making longterm investments into the game
  58. 58. #3 Strong Session Design
  59. 59. #3 Strong Session Design
  60. 60. #3 Strong Session Design Ensure pacing is natural & Drive habits with 6+ sessions per day
  61. 61. #4 Create Social Pressure No Social PvP PvE +Social
  62. 62. #4 Create Social Pressure
  63. 63. #4 Create Social Pressure
  64. 64. #4 Create Social Pressure
  65. 65. #4 Create Social Pressure Create mechanics that force players to rely on each other to play at the highest level.
  66. 66. #5: Cost vs Consumption CONTENT!
  67. 67. #5: Cost vs Consumption Have a solid plan for how to create years of content for players
  68. 68. 5 Steps: #1 Longterm Goal #2 Longterm Investment #3 Session Design #4 Social Pressure #5 Plan for Content
  69. 69. How do you know if a prototype will last for years?
  70. 70. Prototyping Goal: Is it fun for one month?
  71. 71. When you try a Month of Fun…
  72. 72. When you try a Month of Fun…
  73. 73. When you try a Month of Fun…
  74. 74. To build the next hit: Focus on creating games that last for years. Stop games that don’t show they can scale to 1 month of fun.
  75. 75. Thank You! @adamwtelfer mobilefreetoplay.com
  76. 76. Sebastian Nußbaum Head of Studio
  77. 77. Challenges of a Scalable Narrative Sebastian Nußbaum Head of Studio
  78. 78. Statue Coins Medal Fish FlowerSkull
  79. 79. Statue Coins Medal Fish FlowerSkull
  80. 80. Statue Coins Medal Fish FlowerSkull
  81. 81. Q1 2013 Q4 2014 RevenueRevenue
  82. 82. Q1 2013 Q4 2014 Revenue
  83. 83. 5 Challenges! That almost KILLED the game…
  84. 84. 5 Challenges! That almost KILLED the game…
  85. 85. Challenge#1: Does the STORY scale?
  86. 86. Challenge#1: Does the STORY scale?
  87. 87. 4-6 weeks
  88. 88. A couple of months in to production
  89. 89. Main Arc 2 years +
  90. 90. Main Arc 2 years +
  91. 91. Main Arc 2 years +
  92. 92. Main Arc 2 years +
  93. 93. Main Arc
  94. 94. Main Arc
  95. 95. Main Arc Mid Arc 6 weeks 6 weeks 6 weeks
  96. 96. Main Arc Mid Arc 6 weeks
  97. 97. Main Arc Mid Arc 6 weeks
  98. 98. Main Arc Mid Arc Weekly Arcs
  99. 99. Main Arc Mid Arc Weekly Arcs
  100. 100. Use cliffhangers to make the weekly rhythm work
  101. 101. Challenge#2: Does the Protagonist scale?
  102. 102. Challenge#2: Does the Protagonist scale?
  103. 103. Challenge#3: How do you PRESENT the story?
  104. 104. Challenge#3: How do you PRESENT the story?
  105. 105. 2 seconds: skipping
  106. 106. 2 seconds: skipping 4 seconds: skimming
  107. 107. 2 seconds: skipping 4 seconds: skimming 8 seconds: reading
  108. 108. 2 seconds: skipping 4 seconds: skimming 8 seconds: reading 20 seconds: went shopping
  109. 109. All users Read 60% 30% 45% 0% 15%
  110. 110. All users Read Skim 60% 30% 45% 0% 15%
  111. 111. All users Read Skim Skip 60% 30% 45% 0% 15%
  112. 112. All users Payers Read Skim Skip 60% 30% 45% 0% 15%
  113. 113. Challenge#4: How will you PRODUCE all the content?
  114. 114. Challenge#4: How will you PRODUCE all the content?
  115. 115. Believe in small teams and communcation
  116. 116. Internal Team External Teams
  117. 117. Murphy’s Law “ If anything can go wrong, it will! “
  118. 118. Challenge#5: How do you keep the PLAYER busy?
  119. 119. Challenge#5: How do you keep the PLAYER busy?
  120. 120. For 1 week of content for a player...
  121. 121. 200 Man days...
  122. 122. 200 Man days... 3 Hours! ● it takes 75 man days
  123. 123. Support the narrative
  124. 124. Support the narrative
  125. 125. Support the narrative
  126. 126. Support the narrative
  127. 127. Support the narrative Grind
  128. 128. Support the narrative Grind
  129. 129. Support the narrative Grind
  130. 130. Support the narrative Grind Master it
  131. 131. Q1 2013 Q4 2014 Revenue
  132. 132. 90 chapters
  133. 133. Reset button
  134. 134. 80%of the players
  135. 135. Focus on creating games that last for years! Adam Telfer
  136. 136. Focus on creating games that last for years! Adam Telfer
  137. 137. Thank You! sebastian.nussbaum@wooga.com
  138. 138. Questions? adam.telfer@wooga.com sebastian.nussbaum@wooga.com

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