In the competitive world of mobile gaming, developers need to continuously incorporate innovative new features into their apps to keep users coming back for more. Haptics plays an essential role in maintaining user engagement. By activating a player’s sense of touch and providing vibrotactile feedback that corresponds to player actions and key game events, haptics can immerse players in the game.
Virtually all of today’s mobile games incorporate basic haptics. But because those basic haptic effects are very common, many developers are looking for a new competitive edge.
Amanotes — Southeast Asia’s top mobile game developer and publisher — excels at delivering fun, easy-to-play hyper-casual games. The company’s music-infused games have been downloaded more than 1.6 billion times and have earned the company over 95 million monthly active users. Magic Tiles 3 and Tiles Hop are among the most successful titles.
Like other content creators, Amanotes developers are eager to explore new technologies that can enhance user experiences and differentiate their games from those of competitors. Recently, the Amanotes team decided to test whether incorporating high-definition (HD) haptics into its games could help improve player engagement.
Enriching Beat Blader 3D with HD haptics
Amanotes chose the company’s Beat Blader 3D game for a test using HD haptics. Released in 2020, Beat Blader 3D features a cyberpunk character who slashes glowing cubes and avoids obstacles — all in time with pulsating music from 2,000 licensed songs. In its first month, Beat Blader 3D garnered 2 million downloads and became the top music game on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Beat Blader 3D has used basic haptics since its initial release, but the Amanotes team saw an opportunity to deliver more nuanced experiences. Beyond sending notification-like buzzes when a player slashes a cube, developers wanted to provide subtly distinct sensations for different player actions and different songs. The Amanotes team believed that providing a unique, engaging tactile experience could have a positive effect on KPIs — such as the time users spend playing the game and watching in-game ads.
Boosting player engagement — and value — with HD haptics
Amanotes constructed a large-scale A/B test in which one group of users received the enhanced, HD haptics version of Beat Blader 3D for iOS while a control group used a version of the game with basic haptics. Each group included more than 8,000 players. The company ran the test for two weeks, exclusively in the United States.
The results were impressive. The test showed that HD haptics had a significant positive effect on player engagement and revenue-generating activities, as demonstrated through several KPIs.
- Time in app: Players using the HD haptics version of Beat Blader 3D spent 3.61% more time in the app than the control group. More time in the app means more opportunities for watching ads, which generate even more revenue for the game than the subscription option.
- Song impressions: With Beat Blader 3D, users can choose from a library of songs that play as their character slashes cubes. The test group users with the HD haptics version of the app browsed through 8.9% more songs than the control group. The more they scroll through song options and find songs they want to hear, the more likely they will keep playing the game.
- Interstitial ad impressions: The test group did in fact watch more revenue-generating ads than the control group. Impressions of interstitial ads — the ads that play at the end of songs — were 6.35% higher in the test group than in the control group.
- Daily active users: The two-week test showed that players with the HD haptics version of the game were more likely to return to the game day after day. The test group had nearly 1% more daily active users than the control group.
- User value: Since test group users spent more time in the game, and watched more ads, they represented a greater value to the publisher than control group users. Overall, the value of test group users was 2 to 3% higher than control group users.
Rapidly building hundreds of new haptic assets
The HD haptic assets for the Amanotes test were generated through the Lofelt Studio desktop app. The Amanotes team provided audio files, and our Lofelt Haptic Design team used the new batch processing feature in the soon to be released Lofelt Studio 2.0 to automatically convert the audio into haptic assets. The batch processing feature allowed our Lofelt team to generate more than 420 HD haptic assets in just a few hours. That speed was on par with previous tests: We’ve found that Lofelt Studio can help produce haptic assets 10 times faster than other methods.
The Amanotes team then implemented the Lofelt SDK for iOS within the iOS version of Beat Blader 3D using the Unity plug-in for Lofelt Studio. The SDK enables HD playback of the haptic assets on the iPhone.
Delivering HD haptics to all players
Given the test’s strong KPI metrics, Amanotes decided to deploy HD haptics more widely. The company plans to provide the HD haptics version of Beat Blader 3D to all iOS users, across all of the company’s international markets.
“We constantly explore new ways to deliver the most fun and exciting user experiences,” says Linh Hoàng, product owner at Amanotes. “As we’ve seen with Beat Blader 3D, Lofelt Studio enables us to create HD haptics that keep our users engaged and generating revenue — without requiring excessive coding. As we roll out the new version of Beat Blader 3D with HD haptics, we’re looking forward to seeing the positive impact on millions of our users.”
Discover how Lofelt can help your team quickly and easily implement HD haptics. To begin designing HD haptic effects in just a few seconds, start a free trial of the Lofelt Studio desktop app. If you’re ready to jump straight into integration, our free Lofelt Studio plug-in on the Unity Asset Store includes royalty-free haptic packs as well as iOS and Android libraries to get you going.