Standing Out in the Mobile Gaming Market

MPP Global Posted by MPP Global on Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Remember board games? These board games typically came in a long flat box and had a list of rules, lots of little game pieces, some kind of foldable cardboard playing surface and usually involve at least two players. When you look at the basics of board games – it is not really surprising that less and less people are breaking out the Monopoly game on a Saturday night.

But this doesn’t mean that people are no longer playing games. Just because Risk and Cluedo are no longer part of kid’s sleepovers and rainy Sunday afternoons, doesn’t mean that folks have stopped playing. No, in fact more and more people are unwinding with games. The difference being that these games don’t come in boxes; involve lots of fiddly little pieces and at least two other players… Mobile gaming has changed the way people play games.

Mobile gaming to be blunt – is huge. Everyone wants to unwind, relax and find a way to pass the time. And this is why mobile gaming is seeing such a large uptake. Everyone from little kids to teenagers to young adults to seniors are using their mobile devices to play games. Standing in line at the checkout, waiting for the bus, riding on the subway, sitting on a plane, relaxing in a coffee shop – people are playing games.

We know that most folks have a mobile device. We know that more and more people are playing games with these mobile devices. But what does this mean to gaming companies? All of this traction in the gaming market means one thing: Competition. What used to be a niche market with a few really well done mobile games has exploded into a market in which there are new mobile games released every day. There are websites devoted to the latest mobile games, magazines that focus solely on mobile gaming, podcasts centred on gaming, and even movies that have been written and produced based on mobile games.

This leaves mobile gaming companies with a tremendous amount of opportunity but also a lot of unanswered questions. The market is there but how to harness this captive audience and make some real money from it? How to stand out from the competition? The easy answer is to these two questions is to be better than the competitors. So how can mobile gaming companies actually be better?

  • Added value.It is not enough for a game to have cool sound effects and to be playable on any mobile device. Players want to be able to chat online with others who play the same game and they want to be able to post reviews of the game online quickly and easily. Using an integrated gaming solution, a company can easily provide a way for users to post to blogs and forums – and in turn provide credits or rewards for this activity.
  • Keep it simple.When a player gets hooked on a mobile game, he or she is likely willing to pay for the next levels or an ad-free game. The key is to harness the decision to pay is with a simple and intuitive payment solution. If the player has to put down his iPhone, log into a website, click through a bunch of screens, and then finalise the game purchase with a confirmation email – it is very likely that the player will stick to the free version of the game or even simply stop playing the game. But if the player can simply open the game on his iPhone, click a button, enter his credit card information, and immediately have the new game downloaded to his device – you have a guaranteed sale.
  • Challenge the players.After a while, some mobile games become a bit routine and boring. To keep folks playing they need to be stimulated and entertained – this is where gaming companies can look at their complete gaming package. Is there a way for players to easily subscribe to the latest game release or to quickly pay to add a new player to the game? When users have an easy way to upgrade and improve their gaming experience, they’ll keep coming back to the game.

What this all speaks to is an integrated solution – with both an integrated payment solution and complete game experience. By giving users a complete gaming experience that includes an integrated website, a Facebook page, an easy way to pay for the game or subscribe to game updates, get the latest gaming magazine downloaded to their iPad, or even an update to the Scrabble dictionary – gaming companies can keep folks playing.

Remember the board game? Exactly, with so many companies in the mobile gaming space, it is essential that users are getting everything they want in an integrated, secure and simple-to-use solution.