You, the game developer, of all people should know that the gaming industry has always been susceptible to volatility in the market and nothing has changed about this since the past. Therefore, it is not unseemly to notice that popular and viral games such as Candy Crush Saga and FarmVille 2 have seen declines in user expenditures as well as total user base in February. Social game spending in general has declined from $205 million to just $167 million in the month of February and this can be because of many reasons.
First, online interactive games such as Candy Crush Saga peak at certain points within the industry with revenues flattening eventually. In Candy Crush Saga’s case, expenditure per user flat-lined at $0.58 with a 3% drop in monthly user base and a 2% drop in total revenue. This is because of the fact that the audience who play Candy Crush Saga is made up of casual gamers which make the industry very susceptible to change in preferences. In direct result of this, the focus of the company, King, had to switch from trying to expand their user base to retention of current user base. If you may not know already, these are two completely different business and advertising models and this switch does not happen in just a day easily.
However, not all games follow the same trend in decline of revenue and profits. The all popular Clash of Clans is still booming with revenues per user expanding from $1.29 to $1.34 in February because of the fact that Clash of Clans is a much more interactive and demanding game. With a successful combination of a high difficulty curve and wide customer reach, Clash of Clans has found a model in which uniquely new customer base is achieved as well as retaining their devoted users over time. If you are interested in a successful model at the moment, Supercell’s Clash of Clans is a great example to build off of.
Whether the customer is in the gaming industry as a hard-core gamer or just as a casual user, the game developer and company need to realize that there is always room for improvement because the industry is always shifting. What was once popular in the past is today’s distant memory and what’s working right now may not work in the near future. Through innovative designs and interactive features, you can find that sweet spot in locating new active users while retaining your devoted followers at the same time much like Clash of Clans is doing at the moment.