Allen Sokol, a Candy crush player – addictive to play the game in his free lunch hours. He often finished up with free turns. Instead of waiting for 20 more minutes to get one more turn, he prefers to pay 99 cents for 5 turns. When he runs out of paid 5 turns, he again pays for more turns. Players like this are extremely important to mobile gaming industry. And mobile gaming industries are constantly trying to increase the quantity of such players.
Successful mobile game developers are aware of strategies turning free-to-play mobile gamers into money-givers. They have a good bunch of players like Allen Sokol. Let’s have a look on what’s the secret hidden behind their mind.
Create a fear of losing or a desire to win
Users have different personality factors: some have a strong desire to win while some are afraid of fear. You have to motivate both types of users. You can provide reward for success or a punishment for failure (just like in school).
Candy Crush Saga creates a fear of losing with warnings like “only 3 moves remain”. It creates a desire to win when users are out of moves with its offers like “you need 6 more moves to win the game”.
Allen Sokol when entered to Candy crush world decided that he will not spend a penny on it. He was stick with its promise till two months. One day he was out of its free turns, and he had some more time to spend with Candy Crush. At that time, one more thing was pushing him to buy moves i.e. beating friends with high scores. Situation plus desire to beat the competitors forced him to reach within deep pockets. So, create a competitive environment and let the situation work for you.
Don’t interrupt with ads
Some game developers still believe that banner ads are the only way to earn through free-to-play mobile games. But the fact is: such types of bombarding ads are riskier than other revenue methods. If you interrupt users with banner ads or stop them to see a 30-second video pitch, you will lose users as soon as they find another alternative (which is not a big deal, today). Best selling games like Candy Crush Saga, Soda Saga and Farm Heroes Saga, never rely on banner ads to earn some pennies from users.
Watch-to-Earn Strategy (Optional In-game Advertising)
Have you ever played “Cut the Rope”? If yes, you must remember that candy-loving monster cutely trying to eat all those candies. Cut the Rope has different strategy than Candy Crush Saga. It either let the users wait till hours to unlock next level or allow them to view a 30-second video to unlock the level.
I know I said not to interrupt users with ads. But here the strategy is unique. Cut the Rope is not forcing users to see ads. It’s completely optional.
Buying weapon, more lives, extra energy, etc., all are popular strategies, but they are now out-of-style. With such strategies, users sometime feel over tricked, forced or manipulated. So, it’s better to be flexible.
To deepen the users’ loyalty, you have to be flexible with all your virtual goods or in-game purchases. For e.g. a weapon costs 500 coins, make it 300 coins after a while – when you notice that user is not ready to pay the amount. Another example is: if in-game currencies like 500 coins cost $4.99, make 600 coins available at the same price. This will change the mind of users.
With Free-to-play mobile games, you must accept the fact that majority of users are not going to spend a penny – at least till one month. You have to keep this in mind while putting magic ingredients into the game that can take the money out of the pocket. Keep making your efforts more and more effective until the user surrender to pay for the game. Also, remember not to overdo it.