A question that all game developers ask; how can we attract more players to play our game? New or old, it's a challenge all developers and development studios face.
As the space is becoming extremely crowded, it is evident that it is now much harder to attract players to your games, especially for indie developers. Unless you are a AAA title with a loyal player base, you are going to struggle to gain initial traction and exposure of your game.
However, there are things you can do in order to attract the player base you desire. Although, this shouldn’t be taken lightly, attracting players is a job within itself.
Below are some suggestions to help you build a strong framework for your player acquisition strategy.
Marketing & Advertising
First things first, you need to create exposure. Let gamers know that your game exists.
In order to do this, you NEED to do the following:
Identify Target Audience — First, you need to identify your ideal gamer. Although this may seem obvious, it is something that is more often than not missed. It is crucial that you understand who your target audience is. Start by generating an ideal buyer persona, to help you understand your target audiences ideal demographic. By understanding your target audience, you can best structure your marketing and advertising efforts to target those individuals.
Marketing Creativity — Just as important in understanding who your target audience is, it is crucial to have some creativity to your marketing campaigns. In such a crowded space, it is imperative that your marketing efforts stand out from the crowd. Don’t just follow the trends, find put some of that creative energy used to create your game into your marketing campaigns and efforts. Be bold, be unique and stand out.
Tailor Accordingly — Tailor your game description to your target audience’s tastes. Identify keywords that are relevant to your target audience and create a compelling description of your game. Like the blurb on a book, the description needs to sell the game. Read, re-read and read again. Are there spelling and grammar mistakes? Is your description compelling?
Multi-Channel Marketing — With a large amount of social media networks out there to date, you need to use a broad range of them to hit your target audience. Start by identifying the social channels your target audience is more than likely to use, then tailor your marketing material to each channel. Utilise each channel’s resources by posting videos, pictures, voting polls and live streamers of your game. Don’t forget to acknowledge your community and audience, speaking directly to your community will give you the best possible insight into their likes and dislikes. Use this to your advantage.
Optimise and Amend! — There is no one size fits all for marketing. A lot of marketing efforts are trial and error, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get it right the first time. It may take a couple of attempts to find what works best for you and your game. Tweak your marketing material, content and message until you find what works.
In-Game User Acquisition
Alongside creating exposure around your games, you need to focus your efforts on in-game player acquisition. The best methods to use are out-of-game campaigns that give way to in-game promotions. The following points are what really require attention;
User Experience — Your game needs to be fun and engaging, but equally as easy to play. Overcomplicated controls or mechanics can be hugely off-putting for players. The game needs to be challenging enough to ensure attention rates don’t drop, but the game needs to be easy to follow a basic strategy and grasp.
Incentivised Outreach — In-game incentives are one of the best ways to both attract and retain players; who doesn’t like a freebie!? If players are rewarded for their in-game activities, connecting to social profiles or even inviting friends, the game is more than likely to see an increase in player numbers. We live in a world fuelled by instant gratification, give players what they want and they will most likely give you what you want in return.
Social Integration — This allows players to connect to their social media profiles, you can expand your reach to players within their networks. Take Candy Crush as an example, posting on players Facebook walls, it helps to create extra exposure about that game for free.
Game Publishers are a great way to get massive exposure, reach different markets and regions as well as distribution channels. Although publishers might not be the answer for all games, a games publisher is something that all developers should consider somewhere down the line. Game publishers tend to help with the following, although not limited to;
- Marketing & Negotiation — They tend to have vast networks and partners that can help gain the games needs. This can include managing and promoting the game's brand, protecting the intellectual property and negotiating partnerships on your behalf.
- Distribution — Publishers specialise in getting your game on multiple game stores or marketplaces around the globe.
- Resources — Most publishers will offer resources to help with the development, launch or marketing of the game, depending on the games needs.
- Player Attraction — Publishers specialise in player attraction, using multiple techniques. Publishers will take the tedious trial and error away from the developers. This can include things like getting the game listed on Humble Bundle or using third-party attraction software.
Third Party Solutions
There are many third party software and solutions on the market that help and solely focus on player attraction. However, be wary, not every solution will provide the results you expect.
- Pay Per Download — There are many companies that will offer you pay per download solutions. These are normally via banner ads or player reward apps. However, be wary of these as a lot of the time these can be bot farms which are designed to simply download your game with no intention of playing it. If the app or game stores catch onto this, your game may be removed.
- Player Reward Apps — As explained above, these apps are designed to increase player attraction to games by rewarding players for downloading games. However, most of these apps only reward players for downloading and reaching a certain level or play time, meaning the players are only playing the game for the rewards and have no real interest or intention to continue playing your game.
- Referral Partners — These are a great way to increase player retention. This normally means rewarding the referrer either through sales commission or other means. However, referral schemes can be a great way to help increase player attraction. These are usually coupled up with other player attraction methods, such as influencer marketing.
We hope these suggestions have helped you in building a strong player acquisition strategy. These are only a few suggestions, we suggest you identify your target audience and then use the appropriate player attraction methods. If you feel that we have missed anything, feel free to let us know in the comments. Likewise, let us know what has worked best for you.
If you are looking for help and assistance with both player attraction and retention, please feel free to get in touch. We have a vast technology stack that has proven to increase both player attraction, retention and revenue generation. We’d be happy to help: https://triforcetokens.io
In need of a successful games publisher? Why not reach out to our publishing arm: firstname.lastname@example.org