Thanks to the widespread popularity of the mobile device, social gaming is more popular than ever. In fact, a study by Newzoo reported that players spend approximately 1 billion hours a day playing social games. For comparison’s sake, this is 5 times more time than is spent on YouTube or Facebook. In fact, industry experts expect mobile gaming to generate about $100 billion in revenue by 2017.
So, why is social gaming growing at such a tremendous rate? Keep reading for a concise, but comprehensive look at the trends as well as the strategies being used to keep gamers engaged.
Astounding Variety of Gamers
Nowadays, social gaming encompasses just about every genre that you can think of, include strategy, RPG, and MMO games. It’s safe to say that in the social gambling area, players are not lacking in choice. In fact, you can say the lines between the different genres are becoming more blurry as time goes by.
This is happening for a variety of reasons, one of the biggest being that gaming developers are no longer sticking with tradition and instead are incorporating sub-genres within the main genre of the game. Take for example Puzzle Quest, it is an excellent combination of an MMO and RPG strategy game.
Developers are even adding casual elements into social games, that without this element, would be considered hardcore. This mixing of genres results in a unique combination of games, unlike anything the gaming world has seen before. This blending of genres also helps increase player engagement, which eventually leads to more monetization opportunity for game developers.
Event Driven Challenges
Special events are an excellent way to excite players with lots of thrilling gameplay. Every player likes a challenge and these games help maximize entertainment and engagement, without giving the developers extra work to do. Some examples include:
** Player Tournaments:
It cannot be said enough, players love a challenge, which makes tournaments a perfect way to engage them. Tournaments task players to kill the most opponents, train the most troops and get the most points.
** Time Constraints:
This is an excellent way to challenge players to complete a set of mission goals within a certain amount of time.
On their most fundamental level, mobile and social games are designed to keep gamers interested and coming back. Like casino games, it doesn’t matter if they win or lose, it’s about getting them to play for short spells when they have free time. To prevent the usual distraction that keep gamers from playing their favorite games, developers crafted in-game appointments to entice them back to their applications.
Known as push notifications, they require gamers to join or login to certain events at specific times. You may receive a notification that tells you that your soldiers are ready or that it’s time to log in to claim a specific reward. These in-game appointments are designed to remind you to fit the game in your busy daily schedule.
Most people have one of two reactions towards push notifications, they either hate them or love them. The good news is that players who use social gaming apps tend to like getting notifications about important game updates These notifications can also help you connect with games on their level, especially if you use humor.
Accord to Distimo, in January of 2014, almost 80% of Google Play and iOS app revenues in the US were generated by free to play games. This is probably because micro-transactions give players complete control over how they want to pay when they want to pay, and if they want to pay.
Microtransactions provide developers with many monetization opportunities. This makes a variety of new creative ideas possible, like new characters, items, features, levels, etc. From a gamers point of view, $1 is a reasonable price if it provides access to something that makes the game even better.
Functionality Across Platforms
Players are now gaming on several different devices, which makes cross-platform functionality more important than ever, especially for online casinos. Plus, each individual mobile gaming platform has its own software kit, language, processing abilities, and even screen size. Still, the goal is to optimize the gaming experience, no matter the platform being used.
What Can Be Expected
In the future, we can expect social gaming trends to mimic past progress and leverage it to reach even higher heights of success. Another thing to watch out for is cross promotions, in this way when new games are released, it’s easy to interest players who’ve played old titles, instead of trying to attract a new audience.
Developers must also learn how to target players in their personal social networks. When players like a game and recommend it to their friends, they are more likely to try it out. In this way, existing players should be looked at as investors, after all, they are an essential marketing tool.
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