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Print 21 comment(s) - last by retrospooty.. on Jun 17 at 6:29 PM

Users quickly get bored of apps and move on. So what will developers have to do to keep on keepin' on?

Mobile gaming has exploded in popularity with the release of smartphones and tablets in recent years, but what are developers to do when users get bored with their casual games and that flame fizzles out?

That's the question many mobile game developers are currently trying to answer. While some have launched game apps that are hits, it's difficult to maintain that popularity -- and that popularity is the key to that mobile gaming company's livelihood.

The problem is that users get bored with a certain game app over time, since the number of app developers (thus, app choices) is much higher than back in 2007 when the first iPhone was released. Users have a large amount of app choices, meaning they can easily get bored with one app and move to another.

Another issue is that many game developers sell their app for free through either Apple's App Store or Google Play and depend on in-app purchases to make money. But over time, users tire of in-game purchases in order to progress in the game. Not everyone wants to open their wallets constantly just for items in a game. 

OMGPOP, which developed the game app "Draw Something," is the perfect example of a failed mobile app company that skyrocketed to fame and then came crashing down. Over a year ago, the company had peaked to 14.5 million players and even attracted gaming company Zynga. Zynga bought OMGPOP for $180 million, and the number of users fell month after month to the point where Zynga was forced to close down its New York-based studio and lay off the OMGPOP team. 


So with all this trouble, why are mobile game developers sticking with the business? The answer: mobile is continuing to grow rapidly.

According to David Cole, an analyst at research group DFC Intelligence, revenue from games on mobile devices is expected to increase about 38 percent to $8 billion in 2013 and hit $20 billion in 2018. 

With this kind of growth in sight, app developers are now searching for new ways to keep customers onboard longer. For instance, EA is using data analytics to keep an eye on its players' gaming patterns and behavior; Noodlecake, a Canadian indie gaming company known for "Zombie Road Trip," is launching loyalty programs that offer daily virtual currency rewards for first-time and frequent players, and DeNA, a Japanese gaming company, is making adjustments to its games depending on what players do -- right on the spot. 

Even Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, said 45 percent of its revenue now comes from merchandise like stuffed animals and shirts. 

Mobile games now account for 9 percent of overall gaming industry revenue. Mobile games have an edge over console games, for instance, because mobile games are cheaper and can be played anywhere at anytime. 

Just last week, gaming company Zynga announced that it is laying off 18 percent of its workforce (or about 520 employees) by August 2013. It currently has about 2,900 employees. The latest layoffs will affect all parts of the social gaming company, and San Francisco-based Zynga will even have to close its offices in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York. 

The layoffs are expected to save Zynga about $70 million to $80 million.  

Source: Reuters



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kind of obvious but...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 11:29:10 AM , Rating: 2
"The problem is that users get bored with a certain game app over time, since the number of app developers (thus, app choices) is much higher than back in 2007 when the first iPhone was released. Users have a large amount of app choices, meaning they can easily get bored with one app and move to another."

The answer is in the problem statement... You have to keep coming up with new games or new things within games of people will move on.




RE: kind of obvious but...
By BRB29 on 6/10/2013 11:38:21 AM , Rating: 4
you mean stop reusing games, put a new skin/theme on it, change the words around, and call it a new game.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 11:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... Yes, that too. Same-game new skin is not going to keep anyone for long.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By KentState on 6/10/2013 11:49:19 AM , Rating: 2
EA seems to be on a good run with this concept.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By Totally on 6/10/2013 12:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ActivisionBlizzard seems to be on a good run with this concept.
FTFY. At least EA will poop out something original now and then. Now, excuse me I just defended EA and have to go take a shower.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By Mitch101 on 6/10/2013 2:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
Rare to get originals that work.

90%
Re-skin the weapons, scenery, time period = New FPS title.
Update Stats, minor graphic improvements, few new plays = New EA Sports title.

I think bigger innovation comes with controls/platform now basically new ways to play the same games like the (Styus Screen Ninetendo DS), Tablets (More touch thinking games), Wii (motion activation/detections), and Kinect (Motion Tracking). Your mostly playing the same games as before just different ways then before.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By amelia321 on 6/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: kind of obvious but...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 6:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
"If you think Amelia's post is is impressive..., " you should really check out this? http://retrospooty.imgur.com/all/


RE: kind of obvious but...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 6:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
Doh... Sarcastic ass posts wrong link. http://i.imgur.com/yaLox.jpg


RE: kind of obvious but...
By rountad on 6/11/2013 10:24:13 AM , Rating: 2
There was nothing unfunny about that picture. Even the bar code on the jeans! haha!


RE: kind of obvious but...
By retrospooty on 6/11/2013 10:43:30 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... I never even noticed that. I was too busy laughing at the sick mind that came up with it in the first place.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By augiem on 6/10/2013 3:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
The answer is you have to start charging for games instead of trying to trick people out of their money piecemeal and hoping they'll keep playing forever. Bargain basement priced and fremium games have devastated profits in the the industry and their reprocussions will be with us for years to come. The key word from the article above is REVENUE, not profit. Sure a few are banking it big like Farmville 2, but overall things are in a pretty bad state.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By TakinYourPoints on 6/10/2013 3:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. The best tablet and phone games aren't freemium, they're solid products out of the box.

Frozen Synapse, one of the best PC games from the last few years, got released on the iPad a few weeks ago and it is fantastic. Since it is a tactics game it translates perfectly and is a 100% port of the original. It is also $7 and well worth it. The PC version is $25 for a bundle of two copies.

The great board game Agricola is getting an iPad release very shortly, and I reckon it'll cost about the same.

If you want quality then you pay for it, and the success of these games proves that there's a market for mobile games beyond casual shovelware.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By retrospooty on 6/10/2013 5:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
You are making the assumption that people are only getting bored with free to play games. What exactly makes you think the same thing isn't happening with paid games? Gaming itself just isnt great on mobile OS's. Partly, they arent as powerful and partly touchscreens suck for most games. Its a platform issue as well as game quality.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By DT_Reader on 6/11/2013 12:21:42 AM , Rating: 2
You're not making a case that mobile games are bad, but you are making the case that developers haven't yet discovered what mobile is best at. Angry Birds can't be all you can do with a touchscreen.

What would be nice is a PC/tablet tie-in. For example (and for all I know you can do this so perhaps I'm using a bad example) if you could work on the same Minecraft file from both your PC and your mobile without having to transfer the file.

I also wonder why there aren't more Myst-like games for tablets. The ability to touch something to open or access it seems a no-brainer, and response time isn't an issue.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By retrospooty on 6/11/2013 10:57:40 AM , Rating: 2
"What would be nice is a PC/tablet tie-in. For example (and for all I know you can do this so perhaps I'm using a bad example) if you could work on the same Minecraft file from both your PC and your mobile without having to transfer the file."

That would be nice, but still doesnt fix the underlying problems of mobile gaming. What is "good" is a moving target. In the 80's Asteroids was "good" In the 90's Nintendo/Mario Bros was "good" but those standards change as better things come out. Tablets just cant match their PC and Console counter parts and when you play on those, the best thing a tablet can be, is "good, for a tablet". Now on top of that, most games just suck on a touch screen. You need tactile buttons for the best response and comfort. There are some controllers out there that you can pair with tablets, but it doesn't work well with all games and is just a pain in the ass.

Anyhow, back to the point. A "good" mobile game when compared to a good PC/Console game at its very best, most generous assessment is merely "good for a tablet". People are getting bored with games because they aren't as good as the other games they play on the more powerful platforms. Any real gamer isnt using a mobile device as their primary gaming system, they use it mainly when they are mobile and return to thier platform of choice (PC, Console) when they are home and really in gaming mode.


RE: kind of obvious but...
By retrospooty on 6/17/2013 6:29:06 PM , Rating: 2
and BTW, I just watched your link... What you have with Xcom isnt a great PC/Console game that was ported to mobile and works great. It's a low end PC/Console game (tech wise) that works well on mobile. In the end, its the same = "Good for mobile".


Zyngas workforce
By DanNeely on 6/10/2013 11:28:31 AM , Rating: 2
The math only works for 520 laid off being 18% of the workforce if they had 2900 before swinging the axe. If they originally had ~3420 people 520 would only have been a 15% reduction.




RE: Zyngas workforce
By Totally on 6/10/2013 12:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
Just last week, gaming company Zynga announced that it is laying off 18 percent of its workforce (or about 520 employees) by August 2013.

Reading fail.


Not Surprising
By Red Storm on 6/10/2013 11:34:40 AM , Rating: 2
When 99% of mobile games are nothing more than time wasters equivalent to internet Flash games, of course people quickly lose interest.




Attention span
By Motoman on 6/10/2013 2:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why it's so hard to keep people's attentOH LOOK A SKWIRREL!




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