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This Week in LiveOps #1: How Royal Match Uses "Almost Wins" to Retain Players
Making your game more difficult can actually increase player retention and revenue by tapping into player's sense of excitement and victory. Let's break down how that works.
Royal Match is consistently the gold standard of match-3 games and liveops. Simply put, they do things well. But there’s one thing they do really well that you may not have noticed. They create the game for their player’s core motivation: competition.
Recently, Playliner analyzed over 500 levels of gameplay and found an interesting bit of information: you “almost win” most of the games you play.
Look at how it compares to Candy Crush and Homescapes.
You “almost win” most of your matches. You don’t easily win them. And you don’t flat-out lose. You “almost win”.
You sorta feel like this:
And for many people that could frustrate you. But not for the true Royal Match players. Oh no. They can’t help themselves.
They have to beat it.
So they play again.
And again. And again.
Let’s see why this works:
1. “Almost winning” energizes the player.
There’s a psychological theory surrounding this called the Near Miss Theory. It basically states that “the occurrence of a near miss may be taken as an encouraging sign, confirming the player’s strategy and raising hopes for future success.”
Near misses are widely believed to encourage future play, even in games of chance where the probability of winning remains constant from trial to trial.
2. “Almost winning” makes you believe you can win.
When you almost win - you say to yourself “if I just played one more game, I could beat this and move on to the next level.” This feeling can become addictive and boost engagement for players. So tread lightly.
3. “Almost winning” makes the game exciting.
Almost winning is exciting. When a player feels excited, they are more likely to continue playing in order to experience the positive emotion again.
Royal Match understands this concept well and uses it to its advantage. By making it difficult to achieve victory, but still possible, the game creates a sense of excitement in the player that keeps them coming back for more.
In addition, the game's gradual increase in difficulty ensures that players always feel like they are making progress and getting closer to winning, furthering their motivation to keep playing.
See you next week with more liveops tips - The UserWise Team