Mobile gaming looks like a solitary pursuit, but it’s increasingly clear that lifetime value relies on users who make your game — and their fellow players — a part of their lives. Join our panel of game experts to find out how exactly how you can build a community that wins hearts, minds, and revenue.
“Everyone in the games industry talks about lifetime value — it’s the key for making money, especially on mobile,” says Mathieu Nouzareth, CEO of FreshPlanet. “And there is no way you can have a game that lasts years and years without having a strong community built around the game.”
In 2012, FreshPlanet released SongPop, a mobile music trivia game that has more than 100 million players, 1.8 million Facebook fans, 200K Twitter followers, and more than a few love connections.
“We’ve had so many people meeting on the game,” says Nouzareth. “We’ve actually had lots of weddings. Almost every week I receive an email from someone thanking us, saying thanks to SongPop I met my wife or my husband.”
And the company is very aware that users like these are the key to their success. The social aspect of the game began organically when the game took off in 2012, with players sharing their scores and their results on social media platforms from Twitter and Facebook to Tumblr and YouTube. FreshPlanet knew they had unlocked a powerful strategy.
“Because it was so overwhelming, we decided to integrate those features right into the game,” Nouzareth says. “Right now you can share your achievements throughout social networks, and it’s a way also to build community. Friends see that you just posted something and they’re going to play with you, they’re going to talk to you about the game.”
That’s how the ground-level buzz builds, but FreshPlanet keeps a sharp eye on the communities that are growing up around the game. “It’s not as easy as saying, I’m going to build a community and people will come,” Nouzareth explains. “Today we’re very attentive to what’s happening on the social media community. We post things and we talk to the community. We also listen a lot.”
To that end, they’ve developed a private community to which they’ve inviting a core group of highly engaged players to create discussion and solicit feedback — as well as beta test new features every time they’re launched.
There are still many challenges, however. “The first one is obviously you need a great game — and more than a great game, you need a game that inspires people,” says Nouzareth. “Not every game is well suited to have a community built around it.”
And not every user is suited to being part of your game’s community, Nouzareth warns — you need to attract the right users right at the top of the funnel, if you want the players who are going to stay for a long time.
“You can target very precisely, especially with today’s tools, the type of users you want in your game,” he says. “By targeting exactly the users we want to get, it’s also more likely that once in the game they’re going to be good citizens — good players, highly involved in the game, and they’re going to contribute to the community.”
And with a connected, thriving community full of like-minded people, SongPop will continue to grow.
Don’t miss out!
Join our panel of gaming experts as they dig into exactly what it takes to build and maintain a thriving games community.
Attendees will learn how to:
- Understand the aspects of gaming platforms that can help a community succeed
- Define and refine the elements of community success
- Turn content marketing opportunities into actionable insights
- Utilize Google to harness unique insights and tools to maximize community performance.
- Mathieu Nouzareth, CEO of FreshPlanet
- Wright Bagwell, CEO of OutPost Games
- Alexis Fritzsche, Developer Partner Manager, Mobile Apps, Google
- Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat
- Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat