Mobile gaming is a fun place to be right now. It’s a landscape seeing tremendous
success year after year with great potential for additional growth and
innovation. It’s also a space where developers can express themselves with
creative game styles, mechanics, design and more. This is what the indie
community does best.
Here are 5 tips for indies by indies, shared by our gaming partners at 505
Entertainment, and Schell
1. Embrace being indie
Indies are inherently smaller operations and should embrace their agility and
ability to take risks. Petr Vodak, CEO at About
Fun, recommends getting your product out there so you can
start taking feedback and apply your learnings to future projects. Don’t be
afraid to fail! Remaining flexible and building in modularity so you can evolve
with the business needs is a strategy embraced by Pete Arden, CMO at Disruptor
Beam. For instance, with their game Star Trek Timelines, the initial user
experience was tailored to avid Star Trek fans. Over time, as user acquisition
costs increased, they’ve changed the new player experience to appeal to their
evolving user base of gamers looking for a fun entertainment experience and less
the specific Star Trek IP.
2. Find a way to stand out
To help stand out in the ultra competitive mobile space, Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell
Games, recommends doing something clever or very different. This strategy
has led them to explore the growth areas of new platforms such as AR & VR. While
new platforms present a field for opportunity and creativity, they’re best to be
approached with the long term in mind allowing you to sustain the business until
critical mass is reached.
3. Build a community
There are many ways to build communities. If you have an existing fan base on
other platforms, cross-promote to drive awareness of your mobile offerings. You
can also look at porting titles over, but be aware of the differences in mobile
gaming habits and ensure you adapt your game accordingly.
4. Engage after install
Games and Klei
Entertainment recommend running your premium titles as a service. Through
monitoring user reviews you can gain invaluable feedback and trends helping you
better understand user pain points and desires. In addition, by releasing
regular content updates and in-game events you create reason for users to get
back in the game. This not only drives reengagement, but 505 Games also sees
strong spikes in new installs aligned with major game updates.
5. Monetize in different ways
Similar strategy to above, dropping regular content refreshes and game updates
while offering a variety of monetization options gives users more ways to engage
with your game. Keeping your games fresh gives users reason to come back and
builds loyalty so you can cross-promote to your users with future game launches.
If you’re looking for a fun new game to play, check out the great selection on
Corner on Google Play. And if you’re working on a new indie game of your
own, nominate your title for
more sessions from Google Developer Day at GDC17 on the Android Developers
YouTube channel to learn tips for success. Visit the Android Developers website
to stay up-to-date with features and best practices that will help you grow a
successful business on Google Play.
Android Developers Blog