Merry Christmas, unless that’s not your thing: How to treat players like individuals

If Barney the Dinosaur taught me anything, it’s that everyone is special, so it’s probably not ideal for mobile games to treat everyone like they’re the same.

PlayHaven, a company that aids developers with their relationships with players, is revealing a new addition to its suite of tools called User Segmentation. This feature enables studios to segment its audience based on any criteria, so that they aren’t pummeling users with chances to spend money that they know will never spend money. Or, more cynically, so that they aren’t offering the same kinds of discounts to the players that they know will spend the big bucks as they do to those who are less prone to entering the credit-card information.

“Most mobile game developers are not monetizing their audiences as well as they could be,” said PlayHaven chief executive Andy Yang. “The key to maximizing revenue is understanding who your users are, where they are in the lifecycle of your game, and how to manage them accordingly. PlayHaven’s User Segmentation tool is designed to help developers categorize their players and take action in real-time in order to capture what are otherwise missed opportunities.”

PlayHaven_UserSegmentation Graphic

Developers can distinguish between different kinds of users in broad categories or down to a granular level. The tool can take into consideration spending behavior, total playtime, number of play sessions, and cultural contexts like language and location.

For example, a developer can quickly set up a promotion that will only appear to Americans during Thanksgiving weekend, while the rest of the world continues on as normal. Studios could even hold a Hanukkah special in Israel while simultaneously — and completely separately — airing a Christmas special in Rome.

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