• 7 min read
By promoting a game community where players can chat, interact, share strategies, and effectively socialize, you’ll increase their commitment and time and money spent in your gaming world.
More and more developers and companies are adding social features to their mobile gaming experiences. The reason is simple: they see that creating a game community, a space where users can stay connected and be part of a group of shared interests, can help their games go viral and promote acquisition and engagement.
The recipe for the success of a mobile game requires many ingredients, from the mechanics to the style and the monetization solutions. This said, after launch, what can really guarantee success is the community of players that grows around the game.
Here’s what you need to know and why you should care about having a community around your game.
The game community is typically abuzz with people discussing all sorts of things about the game – tricks, tips, updates, promotions, merchandising, etc. They also go beyond, reporting glitches and server availability, for example.
Many of the gaming communities are massive in scale. When we speak of people of shared interests joining together, it may not be immediately clear the scale we’re talking about. Let’s just say that the subreddit r/gaming, admittedly one of the biggest gaming communities, has over 35 million members.
Communities can meet anywhere, inside or outside the game, depending on the game’s features and the players’ profiles. An in-app text chat feature is very common for mobile games, but players gather all around – on forum-based communities, on live streaming channels, on YouTube, Twitch, Discord and many more. A large number of players will be in several of these communities, showcasing their knowledge and skills.
On top of this, frequently, from these communities’ other communities – from inside the game, for example, such as guilds or clans – are born.
When people multiply themselves around a game, it is a sure sign of success. It means the game is now officially social – is now satisfying the ever-present need for interaction with like-minded people, giving the players a feeling of digital togetherness.
But this is just the beginning of why it matters to try to build a community around your game.
To start with, creating a friendly environment of users through your game is a great opportunity to promote your brand among the most valuable customers – the seriously engaged players.
When you give them the ability to connect and share experiences, you are setting yourself up to have at your disposal, in that community, a catapult for success. Keep in mind that these sharers play for longer and drive installs, so they are very much an interesting group in every sense of the word.
That thriving community around your game is also your marketing team’s best buddy when it comes to user acquisition, since a happy, immersed gamer – one that can communicate and connect via their gaming experience – is a gamer that will probably invite their friends to play. This not only reduces marketing costs but gives you the best possible kind of marketing – word-of-mouth.
In short, especially for mobile multiplayer games, a robust, dynamic community is a critical piece for building player loyalty and brand identification – not to mention for collecting feedback to help design the game features roadmap.
If, when ‘outside’, gamers talk to one another about their experience with the game, this can make them more skilled players, thus increasing their pleasure with the game and the probability of coming back – user retention is always an existential topic.
Having a big, exciting community around your game can attract the attention of creators and influencers, involving them in your own marketing.
Don’t forget that creators and influencers, same as you, need good viral content and large audiences with the right profile. If you signal to them that your game & players community is exactly that, you’ve taken a huge marketing step.
A friendly community is also a platform for healthy communication between players and your company. When there is a problem – and there is always a problem, at some point in time – the community gives players the chance to reach you, instead of being directed to an impersonal form or web page to report the issue.
You also don’t want them giving you bad reviews because of a problem that is easily solved through good communication.
The same communication via the game community could be used to give players the sense that they are influencing the future development of their favorite game. This triple use of public relations, quality assurance, and game development are worth its development time.
Adding community-promoting social features to your mobile game will benefit both you and the players.
First, it drives user retention rates. If you want to learn more about the topic, check out some industry-tested ideas on how to do it in one of our blog posts: “13 Ways to Increase Retention in Mobile Games”.
User retention then drives monetization – an engaged, invested player is a player ready to be sold on your new revenue streams when you offer, for example, avatar personalization and other tools for customizing and enhancing the gameplay experience.
Compared to other gamers – people who, say, play mobile games mostly for non-social reasons such as discovering new worlds -, community gamers are more engaged, spend more time playing, and are more motivated to invest in in-app purchases to improve their gameplay experience.
These loyal community gamers, being more likely to share the game with other players, now play an outsized role in helping to drive the industry’s global growth, spending money to download a game or making in-app purchases.
Needless to say, the role of the community manager is vital – as vital as the close relationship between developers and their games’ communities. Developers should see them as no less than their supporting community. And so, use all their tools and creativity to make them happy and active – after all, they are also the game’s best promoters.
Play-to-earn is growing too. At the same time, not all players are as focused on competition as midcore or hardcore gamers. But the truth is that many casual players still enjoy the soft competitiveness of being part of a game community – a team where people can make friends. This is why the guild and clan features are increasingly decisive user retention tools.
Game community features are really one of the more effective user retention mechanics, having friends and communities in the game satisfaction.
Community gamers, industry numbers show, tend to invest more time and money in their gaming experience relative to other mobile gamers. They are, taken as a global phenomenon, an important driver for the growth of the mobile gaming industry.
So, dear developer, your game community is waiting for you. Pay attention to them, and they will repay you generously.
To learn more about Catappult, check out our website. It’s time to unleash your games and reach millions.
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