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8 key factors to make a mobile game succeed (part II)

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Addictive elements

A game could be deemed “successful” when people could play it over and over without getting bored. How can we lable a product “successful” if even people think it good, but don’t want to play it for a second or third time? Just like a foreign dishes could be praised for its new taste, but it could never replace rice, bread… as daily meals, which people could never grow tired of.

In order to do this, the game itself must have a simple gameplay, and at the same time, having something to addict the players for hours. Take Tetris for example: it was first released in the 70s, and even nowadays it could still be deemed as an amazing game that you can’t be fed of.feat_mob_8mobile (5)

This phenomenon must have an attracting effect to lure the players into it, regardless the ages, the genders, the gaming levels of theirs
Another example is Bejeweled, which is the pioneer of the “match-three” games: you just have to line 3 adjacent gems with the same color to break them and earn points. But from that simple rule, a tons of different tweaks were made. And finally, take a look at Flappy Bird – the one who topped the downloading chart of AppStore for a very long time: you just control the bird to fly through poles and repeating the same process.

All the examples above point at one thing: in order to succeed, you have to create a phenomenon – and this phenomenon must have an attracting effect to lure the players into it, regardless the ages, the genders, the gaming levels of theirs.

Challenging

feat_mob_8mobile (4)feat_mob_8mobile (7)There was a philosopher who said this: “The effort to achieve something is actually the best reward there is, not the result itself”. Although almost everyone says that they just want an easy life – but deep down inside, all wants to meet something really challenging, to prove themselves worthy.

It might sound contrary at first, when saying that a game aiming toward the mass must have challenges. But think again, it’s the truth – because the players won’t be satisfied by winning something too easy. They’re not idiots to be hoaxed by parlor tricks.

It must be something really challenging the players to pass their limits, to make them think: “I could do that!”
Back to the topic of mobile games – it’s all the same: a successful game must be challenging. And that’s not the ridiculous quizs or twisted riddles – of course, not the difficulty that the developers intentionally made to make the players cough up money to solve. It must be something really challenging the players to pass their limits, to make them think: “I could do that!”

Take Angry Birds for the example: when you passed a level with 1 star, you always want to pass again with 3 stars – and Flappy Bird: when you passed the first pole without falling down, you always thrive for more. The thing to do is to make the players have the feeling as long as they try hard and long enough, they can achieve success.

Social network

feat_mob_8mobile (3)In the old days of videogames, most of the titles only focus on single playing modes. And at that time, playing games itself could be considered as a luxury entertainment, without real attention from the mass. And so, old-school gaming only favors into single joy – or we could say, “emo”.

Gradually, with the rise of technologies and culture, an omnipresent being arose: internet. It brought people together easily, thanks to their natural instinct of flocking together. And when the term of “social network” became widely popular, the world was truly connected seamlessly.

We could say that sociel network existed for people to share things and enjoys together. That’s why a game without social network connecting couldn’t be deemed “successful”
Almost 70% or more stuffs to do with a smartphone relies entirely on internet connection – because it was born to do so. The same applies for mobile gaming, since the word “mobile” would be nonsense if you couldn’t play games anywhere, anywhen – with the help of internet connection.Playing a good game, having great achievements… doesn’t have a meaning if it wasn’t known by others. We could say that sociel network existed for people to share things and enjoys together. That’s why a game without social network connecting couldn’t be deemed “successful” – just like a beautiful portrait without the audience to admire it.

Playing for free

It’s common sense for people to like… free stuffs. Even if they fully awared that free stuffs could never be good – but the attraction from getting something without paying is very… interesting. I’ve met a lot of ladies who could go crazy when let loose in a shopping mall, buying stuffs that they would never need to use, just to get extra useless stuffs.

Back to the gaming market, there’re many methods of selling a game, one is lifetile purchase. This method is common with PC/console games when you buy a whole package of the game without paying any extra fee (called microtransaction). However, this method came with a big risk: you couldn’t know the game you bought is good or bad, until you play it.Java Printing

Because having to pay, even by the smallest amount, could build up a mental hesitation in the players
For mobile gaming market, the best and smartest method is Free To Play. The players could download the game with 100% features provided and the publisher could sell necessary stuffs via in-game cash shop. This is called In-App Purchase – and it worked really well if you could flexibly ultilize it.

And so, a successful game must be free – because having to pay, even by the smallest amount, could build up a mental hesitation in the players. A good game could be a bad one if people feel hesistated to buy it. Just give it away for free, and if it’s really good, you can gain unlimited profit later.feat_mob_8mobile (1)