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BK Blog Post
The app economy with its slogan “the Winner takes it all” generally hostile to newcomers. But for the last year and a half, four other trends further complicated the launch of mobile games.
Additional difficulties that have brought these factors to developers of free-to-play games and bonus rounds are expressed in relation to the price: the application discovery the rich win, and the growth of the user base depends on the arbitration LTV/CPI. That is why measurement of the top growing games; few developers can compete in the level of marketing budgets with existing networks.
But adverse situations give rise to both opportunities and some mobile game developers have adapted to the complexities of the app economy, using the new growth strategy (compared to marketing, based on the metrics and advertising, which is considered to be established for the free games):
The trick (in the context of mobile games) – very simple game mechanics, which is to attempt to achieve maximum account and subsequent social sharing. Perhaps the most successful prototype in this category is Flappy Bird, but there are other examples of successful games with this model, for example, Crossy Road.
The approach does not lead to monetization – the accessibility and ease (ie is it easy for me to understand what the game is and what to do) seem to have a negative correlation with how hard to go at the games-above sale inside applications, if any.
This leaves the main source of the profit of the games that, in the era of the growth of video and native formats becomes a real alternative to in-app purchases with (very) large user base.
The most notable example is the use of the Studio Glu brand Kim Kardashian: Hollywood (followed by a game with Katy Perry). This strategy uses the name of the star, social media traffic and coverage in leading international media (although the media interest in the co-branded games may decline after they get popular).
The extension to the second screen
Watching TV allows you to use a second screen, so many games that use the television brand in mobile, can receive growing interest due to a mention in the TV programs (e.g. Madden NFL Football from EA, The Simpsons: Tapped Out or Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff TinyCo from).
Organic search is not the only reason of using the strategy of the second screen; there are new advertising solutions that allow developers to run a campaign in the broadcast TV programs, which potentially increases the performance of the campaign (and reduces the cost of advertising). Many of these solutions are imperfect, but they are harbingers of growth in this area.