So you’ve decided to commission a branded game. You’ve convinced your boss it’s a great idea, you’re clear about what to expect during the process and what sort of engagement to expect. Congratulations, you are awesome. But what steps can you take to make sure your game performs at its best?
1. Offer a prize incentive
Sure, games are fun enough on their own, but having a competition with a great prize up for grabs will give your players that little extra incentive to play and submit their scores to the leaderboard. A prize competition is also a good way to structure the campaign period.
Got more than one prize to give away? Even better! Offering up daily or weekly prizes encourages players to keep coming back to your game again and again for additional chances to win.
2. Get on social media
Promote the game on your social media channels throughout the campaign (not just at the start!). Challenge your followers to beat your staff scores, respond to their comments and questions and keep those conversations going. If you can build up a rapport with the people coming to your social media page, organically or via tags from friends, they are more likely to play your game and potentially sign up to your marketing lists. GDPR win!
3. Don’t make it about the top spot, make it about the experience.
Logically, it makes sense to offer the competition prize to the person at the tippy top of the leaderboard. That’s how it’s typically done, right?
Well, put yourself in the shoes of a potential player. You’ve come through to the game only to see that the top spots on the leaderboard are already quite high. Unless you’re a pro-gamer or the ultra-competitive type, it’s likely you’ll not even bother trying.
In drawing a winner from everyone who’s submitted a score, you’re letting your players know that it doesn’t matter if they’re not very good at the game. It’s just a bit of fun. This removes the pressure and players are more likely to keep coming back to play for fun against their friends and themselves, keeping the experience positive.
Also, where there is competition there will always (sadly) be the cheaters. Whilst we’ve built our games to flag up or prevent potential cheats where possible, some players will always find cheeky ways to inflate their scores and it’s difficult to stay on top of those most creative of crooks. A free prize draw takes the heat off the top spot and discourages people from cheating their way to the front.
4. Make use of your mailing lists
In your mailing list you have a collection of people who have already expressed interest in what you have to offer – why not reward that loyalty and send them an invite to play your game and win some prizes!
5. Promote the game on your website
Make the most of the natural traffic to your website by hosting a promotional banner linking out to the game. This can help convert window-shoppers to engaged players and build that positive and lasting connection with your brand.
Bringing it all together
Carrying out any one of the above actions will help your audience engage with the game, but they are most effective when combined together. The games with the highest total average engagement times we have seen (almost 90 minutes per player) have done just that.