Mobile games are both the most popular and the most profitable genre among mobile apps. According to statistics, they generate more than 70% of the total revenue in the mobile app market with about 22 to 25% of the total downloads.
Even when you look at the market potential superficially, such figures will not allow you to stay indifferent. It is not surprising that many companies and independent developers eventually try their hand at creating games.
However, because this business direction is highly popular, the competition is strong in this niche. Tens of thousands of games are available on the market, and new ones appear regularly. Therefore, it is important not only to develop the game, but also to make it popular. In this article, we will share some tips that will help you in this endeavor.
Define a Genre First, Search for an Idea after That
You can find a huge number of games on any topic in app stores. That is why brainstorming aimed at finding the right idea can take quite a lot of time. Nevertheless, that is an important and necessary step, because if you release a clone of an existing product, your chances for success are very slim.
A hint: to make this task easier for you, start from identifying the right genre, and then it will be much easier to find an interesting, specific idea.
You can find statistics on popularity, profits, user engagement, and other features of different mobile game genres on Statista.com:
Plan Game Monetization before You Launch It
Many developers are too keen on the technical aspects of mobile game development, forgetting that this is a product that should generate income. You should think about the monetization mechanisms when you start, because they may require certain functionality implemented in the game, for example, mobile payments.
Monetization in successful mobile games is based on the “Goal in the game” level. Social, competitive game mechanics actually increase engagement and desire to reach the goal.
Proper monetization should be natural for players. That is, gamers should be able to reach the goal of the game without resorting to purchases, but it should be more difficult for them to do so than with purchases. Purchases should become a help to gamers, not a necessity.
This is a rather extensive topic, and in the near future our blog will publish a separate article dedicated to this issue.
Work by Short Iterations
One of the key mistakes that many mobile game developers make is that they spend a lot of time and other resources to create a large-scale product, which does not provide the results expected in the end. That is why it is better to make a list of the features planned and focus on the gradual introduction of small iterative alterations after that.
Analyzing user feedback, you can see their reactions to specific alterations, as well as comprehend what they like and what they dislike. Iterative approach to mobile game development allows you to reduce time and effort spent on things that do not affect product success in any way.
Put Off the Most Complex Features for the Future
Before you start a serious game project, you have to try your hand at something a little more casual. If this is one of your first projects, it is worth spending some time working on small apps. After all, even a simple mobile game takes time, patience, and creativity to shape up a concept, write code, and eliminate bugs.
To complete game creation on time and avoid being bogged down by an endless development process, abandon the most complex elements unless, of course, they are a central part of the project concept.
The game’s multiplayer mode and open world are some examples of such functions. Even for large teams with great experience, this type of idea can be difficult to implement.
Promotional Materials and Marketing Importance
The quality of promotional materials directly affects the number of game downloads. In fact, the prospective player who visits an app page will decide whether or not to download the game based almost solely on how the product is marketed. At the very least, you must make an icon, take some screenshots, write a text description, and a film video trailer with a gameplay demo in action. You can easily order all the necessary materials from outside parties.
Marketing is very important for any mobile product, especially at its release stage — the most important period for the project. Will the audience see the product? What evaluation reviews will it receive from specialized media? How can the product get the most attention possible? The marketing task at this stage is to do everything you can to help the game get its “foot in the door.”
Our blog has a detailed article on this topic, and we encourage anyone who plans to develop their own mobile app to read it — 17 Efficient Ways to Promote a Mobile App that You Need to Know.
A Few Tips to Conclude
As a bonus for you, we will share several recommendations, which we have come up with based on our own experience in mobile game development.
1. Avoid making the game for everyone. Never try to please everyone. After all, people are all different with diverse tastes. If you try to make a game for a wide audience with a variety of interests, someone will still dislike your game one way or another.
2. Properly evaluate your capabilities. If you want to make a World of Warcraft killer, you must understand that you do not have the experience, time, or money necessary to create an AAA game. Teams of several tens — or even hundreds — of people develop such games over the course of several years. A lifetime is not enough for one person to cope with this challenge.
3. Play other games regularly. This way, you can learn new ideas, as well as get inspiration for creating your own game. Moreover, if you break down the mechanics of other games and try to figure out what, how, and why it works, your own product will benefit, as well.
Mobile game development is not an easy task. At the same time, it is not so difficult that it will make you abandon this idea if you have ambitions to try yourself in this area.
We hope this article will help you find interesting ideas or lay down the right direction. Besides, you can also use custom mobile game development services provided by the Lvivity team. Contact us, and let us elaborate on your project details.