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Mobile game lifespan is shortening, but there’s a way to extend it

There’s no way you haven’t heard about Pokémon Go. The summer of 2017 saw hordes of players running around the city with mobiles in hand, trying to “Catch ’Em All.”

There is no question about it — for a while the game changed the way we played and interacted with each other, bordering on the verge of becoming a cultural phenomenon. Then it lost 12 million users in a month and that was just the beginning of the decline.

Game Lifespan is Getting Shorter

We can blame Pokémon Go for no real endgame and the essentially aimless gameplay, but the truth is: people don’t play one single game forever. We get bored — we move on.

It’s said that a typical mobile game “lives” about 3 months, but it’s true only for about 10%. Most users drop the app within three days. That’s because the mobile game market is growing at a rapid pace. In 2017 alone, mobile games generated $40.6 billion in revenue. Every day new games are launched on the App Store. The competition is insane.

How can we extend a game’s life beyond the initial fad, before it slides into obscurity and gets buried in the App Store?

Usual Recipe

It’s all a matter of a perfect balance between the game concept, design, user experience, and smooth glitchless execution. The gameplay must be simple, yet not simplistic. Constant updates are needed to increase user retention by keeping players hooked. Let’s not forget about marketing.

You may say it sounds like a big dose of luck, whether the player abandons the game or becomes a loyal user. You either hit the jackpot, or you’re doomed.

When everything fails, the advice you hear is that the best recourse is a brand-new course.

Then how do mobile games like Angry Birds “live” for so long?

This is How You Do It

The answer lies in a combo of extending players’ in-game experience and adding a real-life value.

The simple truth is: the more time players spend in a game, the more likely they are to become loyal long-term users, spend money, view ads, and promote the game.

Angry Birds keeps its players hooked longer with clever in-game response time, but it’s accompanied by aggressive in-app purchase prompts that are increasingly annoying the players. Bit by bit the game is turning into a lengthy crescendo of ads and — as you can imagine — it’s not a good idea to get on your fans’ bad side.

Monetizr offers something refreshingly new — a system of rewards for players’ achievements, skills, and the time they spend in the game. Our game reward engine gives developers a way to reward their most loyal fans for their time and skill — with physical rewards that can be earned and purchased across multiple games. It’s simple — the longer you play, the more you earn.

Players can purchase physical game-branded products like t-shirts or figurines, sponsored services like Amazon gift cards or Uber rideshares. The Monetizr Platform creates a better player experience and encourages longer play while adding instant real-life dimensions (and value) to the game.

It’s the appreciation of the time spent on the game and the real-life value that in the end makes a difference.

Are you tired of pop-up ads ruining your game experience? A developer looking for ways to increase retention, engagement and revenue — while delivering an amazing player experience? Give us a few claps below!



We help game companies to retain paying players.

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Martins Bratuskins @Monetizr

Founder at Monetizr. We create new revenue streams for game publishers. Unlockable badge-of-honor game merchandise, gift cards, brand-sponsored rewards