Three Ways to Start Creating a Better Player Experience Now!

In the competitive and crowded mobile gaming market, game makers need to be armed with key in-app tactics to guide their game to success.

As a support system for mobile, Helpshift is arming mobile gaming publishers with the ability to serve their players and connect with them in the place they love to be — in the game.

Since the mobile gaming world converged at the PocketGamer Connects (PGC) conference in San Francisco, we’re spilling three of our tried and tested tactics to create a better player experience — for indie studios and blockbusters alike.

VIP Programs

VIP programs are one of the most salient ways in which mobile games make money. Yvolver, a platform that automates VIP programs, found that during its test period, the average in-app purchase revenue per user rose by more than 18 percent when users had access to the VIP Events & Achievements program, with similar lifts for average revenue per daily active user and average revenue per paying user. In order to craft a fantastic VIP program, you have to identify what these players want, and then offer it as incentives to keep them playing (and paying).

Be it VIP events, in-game rewards, swag, or even personal touches, some mobile games have figured out exactly how to make customers feel special. Zynga (a Helpshift customer), for instance, has VIP agents that friend request VIP players and build up a relationship with them not just trying to sell, but by being a friend. Gemma Doyle, head of VIP Operations at Zynga, has said that she will message her VIP players on Christmas morning.

Establishing Micro-Communities

Micro-greens, micro-usbs, and micro-apartments. It’s seems (especially in San Francisco!) that “micro” is having a moment — and for good reason. Micro-communities, or small groups gathering over a shared purpose, action, or idea, is one way that mobile gaming publishers can organize, and then nurture, specific subsets of their players with highly-specialized incentives and tactics. For instance, we at Helpshift have a “Helpshift Clan,” in Clash of Clans for which players must request access. This mix of exclusivity within communities drives engagement, players compete to join groups, as well as to beat other groups (in tournaments).

You can establish communities based on shared interests, shared IRL communities (like our Helpshift clan), or a shared dedication to the app (in many games you must earn entry into a “clan” or similar community). By creating micro-communities within the larger community of your app, you enable your users to become true evangelists, and encourage them to seek out your app as a means of finding other evangelists.

Proactive Push Notifications

Say you have a product update: traditionally, you might send emails to your players announcing and explaining the new feature. The email probably gets deleted, and the user is not informed as to how to use the new feature. Social media promotion is a huge component to finding and acquiring new players, but your messages are subject to algorithms and might be missed by some of your most engaged and active users. With two-way push notifications, though, you send a push saying “check out the new ways that you can earn coins in level 42” and then direct the customer from the push into the in-app FAQ page about the new feature.

In the FAQ page, the user can see photos and videos on the new feature (which is important, since users increasingly rely on video ), and then directly engage with it since they are already in the app. It is more direct and creates a more cohesive, native experience for the player. You can also solicit feedback (“You’ve been playing for 30 days, we’d love to get your feedback!”) and send users into support (“You’ve been on level 41 for 5 days, want some tips?”).

The global mobile gaming market is expected to hit $160 billion this year, and game publishers have huge opportunities to enhance player experience and rise above the noise.

PocketGamer Connects San Francisco included panels on how to unlock the global mobile games market, monetize like a mastermind, and how to grow your game organically. PocketGamer Connects is a must attend event for those looking to get ahead, and stay ahead, in the mobile gaming industry.

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