Mobile gaming is growing rapidly. The mobile gaming industry, which made $24.4 billion in 2014, is expected to cross $44.2 billion by 2018, as per research and statistics agency Statista. Smartphone games will account for 27% of all gaming revenue by 2018.
What makes smartphones indispensable for game developers is the sheer size of user base. The total number of smartphone users is expected to cross 2.5 billion by 2019. Their compact size and more affordable game titles make them even more relevant. American ratings agency Nielson has come up with a measurement system which will assess the performance and user sentiment towards mobile games. This can help developers, especially the smaller ones without deep pockets to be able to use the hit-and-try method, as it provides them valuable insights about consumer behaviour.
Researchers at Nielson have started mobile gaming tracking surveys involving 1,200 mobile gamers from the US in the age group of 7 to 54 years. The participants are interviewed every week and asked to mention the titles on top of their mind. What were the sources which led them to the game and which was the most persuasive of them all. Which age group is more interested in a particular game and are they willing to splurge money on it through in-app purchases. Most importantly, it will try to find out if the gamer is satisfied with the game or not.
The first run of the survey began in May 2015 and covered some 180 mobile game titles, including Clash Royale, Fallout Shelter and Blossom Blast Saga. The findings show that pre-market analysis, buzz on social networks and by listing to mobile gamers, developers can learn more about how the game will eventually do.
While users currently have the option to give their feedback on a game through the comments section on the app stores or by rating a game, one really doesn’t know if the user is actually still playing the game. Most of the app stores just provide information on the number of downloads and not on how many are still playing the game.
This survey can help game developers understand the needs of their consumers and whether their marketing plan to reach out to consumers is working or not.
Also, if a game crashes too often, gamers may not stick with that for long. This data from the study can warn developers if user interest is receding because of in-game issues and address them in real time. This will help developers focus more on channels to reach out to gamers as many mobile games are developed by individual developers or start-ups who may not have the resources to conduct similar surveys on their own.