Top 10 Tips for Social Gaming Success

February 17, 2011 - by jacksonwest

By Carly Guarcello

After working with hundreds of companies, including some of the largest social gaming firms, we’ve identified the top 10 essential tips to maximize your game’s success. So while you are brainstorming for the next big hit, keep these in mind.

10. Know your competition

Do your research. See what’s out there. It’s likely that your first few ideas, or something similar, have already been done. But, there is always room for a new twist. What’s important is how you differentiate your game from the rest. That is what will make it succeed.

9. Identify and set your goals

Whether you’re going for profit or for number of users, have numbers in mind to help you establish a timeline for your game’s success.

8. Pick a monetization strategy

With a monetization strategy in place you can calculate the usage required to achieve success. You will be able to maximize the return and meet the goals you have set for your game.

7. Marketability

Create a strategy and tactical plan that you can implement to promote your game and attract as many players as possible. Your plan needs to include advertising, news mentions, and a presence on one or more social networks since that is where your audience will be found. So make sure you get the word out and make your game “The Game” that users want to play.

6. Blazing speed

Your game has to have phenomenal performance and no latency. The fastest way to lose players is with a game that takes five minutes to load or freezes in the middle of an exciting moment.

5. Inviting look and feel

The game experience should be even better than described in components of your promotion plan. Keep text to a minimum. Players won’t read it because they want to play the game, not read a novel.

4. Achieve success on one platform and then, expand to others

Although you want to reach as many potential players as possible, the most successful games focus on one platform to start and then expand to others. By getting the kinks out of game logistics on one platform you will be able handle issues cost-effectively. Your focus will create a great game experience and you’ll be able to grow a loyal, rabid fan base. Expanding to additional platforms and devices should be your end goal.

3. Provide great player rewards

Your game has to be rewarding in some way. Rewards can be emotional, social, or financial. The rewards have to compel gamers to keep playing. Be sure to monitor key metrics including duration and frequency of play. Understanding these metrics will help you keep engagement and retention rates high.

2. Cultivate all players

Successful games welcome new players as well as nurture existing players. Social media platforms should play a large role in player cultivation. The most successful games have consistent player engagement both in the game and in discussions about the game.

And the number one success tip…

1. Keep the space between your ears open

After you release your game, listen to the feedback from players. Not only will you get some great ideas for enhancements, but you’ll grow player loyalty.

Photo by Flickr user terren in Virginia.