Game are created so that people like you and I can waste time and yet at the same time, have fun:)
As technology advances, the mobile gaming industry has become one of the most important digital platform for gamers and developers. According to a recent study, the number of smartphone users in Singapore is estimated to reach 4.2million this year.
Let’s talk about the recent hype. When you walk about in the streets, you’ll find just everyone using their index fingers to flick upwards on their handphone screen. Niantic Lab has created one of the most viral mobile game in mobile gaming history where the game generated $14.04 million across all its mobile platforms.
Pushing aside the big boys such as Clash of Clan & Pokemon Go, we realize many game publishers are making very similar mistakes, leading to their downfall.
In this Article, we’ll explore the 5 HUGE mistakes made by these game publishers/developers. Let’s go!
1. Release in different countries at the same time
It was pretty much visible to almost everyone as Pokemon Go has actually ‘used’ this method. By releasing the game to only a certain countries, and then slowly spreading it out to the other regions at a later date. Yes, it is correct and incorrect at the same time in my own opinion.
By releasing the game at certain date in a certain countries before the other actually generate grievance to some players who could not get the chance because they were not in the countries that the game was launched at. As a result, some resort to illicit means, such as using VPNs or even spoofing in Pokemon Go for example. It also causes inbalance in the game, taking Pokemon Go again as an example:
A player from country A who got the chance to start first as it was released earlier in country A got to level 30. While he was level 30, Pokemon Go launched 3 weeks later in Country B, Player A was already level 30, while player B from country B was still a level 1. Player A then traveled to country B on the first day it was launched, and took over alot of the Gyms, and no one in country B was able to defeat the person who was from country A.
In the developer point of view, by releasing countries by countries, it would generate hype, as well as revenue over time for them.And also it is a way for them to gather statistics more accurately if they were researching towards a certain region. However it causes inbalance gameplay in a few ways to the players (such as the above example).
Pokemon Go was only an example, there are alot of games that actually does the same techniques.
Generally, it is a correct method to the developer but not for the end-users.
2. Releasing servers for profit
We weren’t able to find the correct term for this, however we gave it our own term. “China gaming business model”. We coined this term because mostly, or if not all the Chinese developers actually uses this model to maximize the amount of profit that they can reap from just a game itself. This model is heavily dependent on having multiple servers ( even up to a 100+ servers) for just 1 game. The servers each has their own rankings and players. Of course there are players who are actually willing to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars just for a game. By having multiple server, they are able to fish out the gold from the players wallet more efficiently.
Example of the “China gaming business model”:
Player A started playing “MMORPG”, inside this game(Server 1). This game has a equipment point ranking as well as many other ranking such as PVP ranking, which you will get good rewards depending on your ranking every week.
Player B started the same game 2 weeks later (Server 1). However, he could not catch up to Player A at all. Player A has been playing for 2 weeks and has an equipment point of (9000), he also spent $100 for some in game purchases.
Player B could get to (9000) points in 2 weeks too, however when he gets (9000) points 2 weeks later with $100 in game purchases as well, Player A was already at (21000) points, and could not be defeated by player B. Therefore he held a higher ranking than player B in (server 1), and got a better reward. And of course he continue advancing even faster than player B.
Player B then decided to start on a new server as (Server 21) it has just been released. Player B also spent another $100 for in game purchases so that he could lead in the server. This cycle carry on in every single server until (server 2309), until the day the game shuts down. They probably already earned at least a million for each server. Now do the math by multiplying a million to 2309 servers of the same game. The ultimate winner is the publisher.
3. Paying to Win
As mentioned in the example above, Players spend money for IAP ( In game purchases) or subscription to play the game. Some games offer good stats items for cash. An example would be something like: a weapon that has 1000 attack power for $50. The player could be just level 1 in the game and use it. Or they could level up to level 50 and get a weapon of the same attack power. The player who spent the money would naturally have the lead at the very beginning. This is call pay to win. It has occured in alot of games that are published. People are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollar just the be the most powerful in the game.
A method to make a game to be not P2W(Pay to win), is of course, as a publisher, if you were to sell thing, you could be selling items that does not affect the game dynamics. Such as items that only affect the outlook of a character, and not the stats of the character.
4. Social Media Marketing (Pages, events)
We’ve started to notice that many publishers are publishing games and it’s own social media pages. However there are some games that had poor management, so their media pages got messed up really badly, players having different community but are actually playing the same game.
Let’s call a fictional game [Dark Paladin]. Dark Paladin was released in a global version, SEA version and a Chinese Version, All the versions are coincide with each other in terms of Version of the game, same date of updating as well. However, Dark Paladin actually released 3 Facebook Pages for it’s game. Dark Paladin – Global, Dark Paladin – SEA, and Dark Paladin- Chinese. The amount of fans on each page differs as well having , 90k, 1k, and 80k respectively, adding to a total of 171k total fans. The Digital Marketer for the company has to release 3 news at the same time for each of the relevant pages. wasting 2 times the amount of time to publish and spread it’s news. Which isn’t very smart. The solution was simple. Just by having 1 dedicated page for it’s game, Dark Paladin.
5. Insufficient debugging before release
As we all know, Android does not really vet it’s application when it gets released onto the app store. Therefore almost any applications can be uploaded by the publisher at any point in time. The publisher of course, release games and applications for profits. Some of the publishers/developers who are newcomer in this fields, in order to earn profit, release applications without debugging for errors properly, leading to many errors and issues that causes users to dislike the application, or even ultimately choose to remove the application from their phone.
And of course, some would offer a reward if the player finds any bugs/errors when they report it. Which is a good way to solve if there are minor bugs around the game.
We’ve seen games that are published by new companies, without proper planning and management make good games that they developed and fail badly. such as low amount of players due to marketing, errors and bugs that cause players to delete the app.
To conclude everything, We hope that developers/publishers would properly plan and test their application before they release the app, And always have a mindset of Consumers first, instead of profit.