In our previous story, we saw how Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) gaming has gained immense popularity among mobile gamers, so much so that today it contributes to a large chunk of mobile gaming revenues. But this popularity comes with its own set of challenges. In a space that is swarming with game publishers both large and small, it is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire new users.
Smartphones can do much more than before and as a result, consumer expectations have gone up even further. Today’s mobile gamer is more demanding, asking for a gaming experience that is visually appealing and highly engaging. Developers are therefore focusing on creating enriched gaming experiences that are innovative, fresh and aimed at capturing the user’s attention for as long as possible.
This pushes development costs further, which in turn is resulting in increasing cost of user acquisition as the only way the developer can offset these costs is by offering the game as a paid app.
In the mobile gaming space, especially the MMO gaming format, where free-to-play or freemium gaming content is preferred over paid content, this is creating a challenge for game developers. This has led to acquisition taking a backseat and retention becoming the focus for game developers.
However, a SuperData Research study indicates that to achieve the best retention rates, game developers also need to acquire users at the launch stage itself. According to the study, among MMO free-to-play gamers, 83% who logged in for the first time during the same month as the game’s release, also logged in on the following day. During the first 30 days, retention fell drastically, as only 20% of the players who logged in for the first time during launch month played the game 30 days later.
Game developers will therefore need to have strong pre-launch mobile ad campaigns that encourage both new and recently acquired users, to either unlock new content, extend gameplay or progress quicker by engaging with the ad, thus helping retain users from the beginning itself. An intelligent mobile marketing campaign strategy is thus key for developers to acquire and retain more users in this highly demanding freemium mobile MMO gaming market.