updated icon September 27 2016

In an article covered on develop, game developers and industry experts weighed in on the importance of active communities for the growth of games. The post also covers the competition games face from non-game sectors in the digital space and how they can be overcomed with the power of word-of-mouth.

The problem of too many

With the rise of mobile device usage, businesses are using this opportunity to deliver their products and services to their target audience via apps. Mobile games is a category that has shown tremendous growth in the app stores and the number is only rising by the day.

The mobile game opportunity is here. According to Statista, the adult smartphone user spends an average 602 minutes (approximately 10 hours) per month using mobile games. The astonishing number has led to businesses identifying an opportunity to generate revenue from current market trends.

The rising number of games in the market has led to app developers and marketers facing a challenge in not just the acquisition of players, but also their retention. An average gamer practically has at least a hundred options in the gaming niche he chooses.

“There’s no shortage of games on the market, which means games need to have notable and exciting point of difference. Why would gamers play your game over the next one? You need to have a great game with a huge amount of content that constantly delivers new experiences.”

 – Lance Winter, Nordeus Games Designer

Developers can no longer just focus on creating ‘quality games’, they need to look at effective ways of keeping their players engaged over time. The longer they remain engaged, the more number of chances you get to monetize from them.

Creating a community to make your game stand out

In one of our previous posts, we discussed the impact of having an active community of players in the growth of a game. The primary importance being the fact that 84% of smartphone users prefer personal recommendations from family and friends Vs business suggestions.

Facebook, conducted a survey on global gaming trends. The survey concludes that players are more likely to stay in the game when they get a sense of belonging to it. And the only way to make them feel that way, is to create a community of people like them.

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Source

Additionally, creating a community for your game gives you the benefit of direct player feedback. This insightful and unbiased market research helps to create a game that is tailored to keep your players interested in it.

“The influence of an active community must also not be ignored. Your players are your game’s most powerful marketers. Developers need to be tuned in, actively listen to players and update their game accordingly.”

 – Lance Winter, Nordeus Games Designer

Suggestion – Create your player community with Activity Feeds

Most developers, especially indie developers, face a challenge when it comes to effectively managing their player communities across the various social channels. Your message gets lost in the middle of all the unrelated noise and consumes more time due to continuous rise of new social channels: snapchat, youtubers, instagram, and so on.

So why not incorporate a community in your game ( and make a community manager’s life easy as well )?

The top grossing games in the industry like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Game of War have been leveraging the power of player communities effectively. They have incorporated active communities within their game to avoid having players moving to other channels to discuss their app

An example of a community effectively incorporated in the game design is that of Ruzzle Adventure. The game uses an activity feed to create a community platform for its players. It enables them to post updates about the game, track what other players are doing and interact with them as well.

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Ruzzle Adventure Activity Feed

By creating a community, you also create the means for your players to socialise with like-minded people. This keeps them in your game for longer durations, increasing the length of their app sessions, the app engagement rates and hence, the in-app conversions.

Apart from players being able to network with one another and keep each other motivated, you are also able to effectively offer support to those who are stuck. According to Forrester, about 44% of users prefer getting their concerns resolved while they are in the middle of using the app, rather than having to switch mediums and come back with a solution later.

You can keep an eye on your player activity feeds to identify concerns that haven’t been resolved and offer tips before he loses interest in your game.

What’s more?

By creating a community, you can also benefit from social driven in-app sales and personalize your monetization models effectively.

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Front Line Commando 2 Activity Feed

When a player sees ten others buy a new item p.e., he is more likely to consider that purchase also. Alternatively, using the information these players share on their activity feeds, you can create personalized purchase recommendations as well!

Both of which lead to higher in-app purchases and greater generation of revenue.

Also read: 10 simple ways to reduce your app uninstall rate by 20%

Over to you

While the in-app experience of a player will continue to matter, the future of mobile success is no longer just about creating a quality game. It is about keeping the players engaged consistently to ensure they choose you over the others every time!

Let’s just say, the longer you can retain your players, the more sustainably will your grow your game and your revenues.

Do you think games should make use of player communities or is quality and a great concept all that matters?