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This Week In LiveOps #6: How Marvel Snap Retains Players
This week we'll discuss some of MARVEL Snap's brilliant UX designs and highlight some of the key design choices that have contributed to its success in retaining players.
Marvel Snap is a mobile game that has been receiving a lot of attention recently. So we sat down with user experience expert Neil Edwards, Co-Founder of UX is Fine! to discuss the game's brilliant UX design and highlight a few of the key retention mechanics they use to retain players.
Let’s dive in.
What is UX and why is it important?
Neil is a UX expert. It’s what he does for a living. Here’s how he defines UX: User experience (UX) is the “umbrella” of all experiences in a game including design, motivations, emotional experiences, and more. UX is not just about making the inventory screen intuitive or easy to navigate. Instead, UX focuses on ensuring that players want to engage with the game and that their emotional needs are satisfied.
In Marvel Snap, UX is at the forefront of the game's design. The game's core gameplay is nothing less than phenomenal. It’s not just designed well. It’s an engaging and emotionally compelling experience.
Three Key Retention Mechanics
Small deck size
One of the key design choices that make Marvel Snap stand out is its small deck size. The game's deck size is a brilliant design choice that has effects for both the player and the design itself. Edwards says that having a small deck size makes it easier for players to build different decks, try out new strategies, and experiment with different cards.
It also means that players can get to the point where they are seeing different strategies and making different decks faster, which is key to the game's long-term retention.
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Another design choice that contributes to Marvel Snap's success is its progression systems. Instead of opening booster packs, players collect cards similar to a Battle Pass. By moving up the Collection Level, players earn cards and Variants, as well as other currencies that can help them acquire more cards.
It consists of a progression tree similar to a battle pass (and everyone loves a battle pass), where every few tiers the player is rewarded with a variety of prizes, including full cards, boosters, and credits.
Marvel Snap's snap mechanic is one of the most emotionally exciting experiences. It creates emotionally potent moments that keep players engaged. These moments are key to the game's long-term retention because they drive player engagement and keep players coming back for more.
The Snap mechanic is used to raise the stakes in a battle. Typically, you use the Snap when you think you’re guaranteed to win.
“There is not a better hook I can recently think of than when someone snaps on you and they don't realize your strategy and you snap back on them and you just mop the floor with them and it's just this really rich emotional moment.”
Marvel Snap is an excellent example of how a game can deliver a compelling user experience that keeps players engaged and coming back for more. The game's brilliant design choices, such as its small deck size, progression systems, and snap mechanic, contribute to its success.
If you're a game developer, there's a lot to learn from Marvel Snap's success. By delivering a user experience that satisfies emotional needs and keeps players engaged, you can create a game that players will love and keep coming back to.
This article covers only a few highlights from the full podcast. There’s a bunch more gold dust in the full interview. We highly recommend listening to it.
Click below to listen to the full interview:
🗣️ Read all about it!
Stanislav Stankovic shares his advice on how to build a LiveOps Calendar for seasonal events around the world. The key is to pair a limited-time seasonal event every month, with a recurrence of live events such as premium passes or weekly or daily competitions and limited-time offers. There is Easter, Christmas, and New Years Eve, of course. But do not forget Hanami, Diwali, Qixi, Golden Week, and Ramadan!
🧠 Some highlights we pulled for you to think over:
Limited-time events are central to any live game strategy
Aim for at least one limited-time event per month
Pair limited-time events with periodic live events such as premium passes or weekly or daily competitions and limited-time offers
Global consumerist holidays are a no-brainer, but specific cultural holidays can create an emotional bond with players and cater to diverse audiences
Getting an app store featuring lowers the cost of user acquisition
There are many holidays from different cultures around the world that can be used as themes for limited-time events
The summer months are typically devoid of big international holidays
GameRefinery updated it blog post on seasonal events, sharing 2022 best practices and examples of seasonal events by popular games, including Angry Birds Journey – The ‘Easter Kiosk’ Easter Event, Merge Mansion: Valentine’s Day Event, Sky: Children of the Light Cherry Blossom Event, and many more.
🧠 Some highlights we pulled for you to think over:
Seasonal events are a great way for mobile games to increase player engagement and boost revenue.
Most significant seasonal events in the mobile game markets are New Year, Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Giving your UI a seasonal makeover is a simple and effective way of getting in the holiday spirit.
Limited-time event skins are not only a great way to boost revenues, but they’re also a great way to build retention and UA by encouraging players to play the game for limited-time items.
Bringing new content, event tasks, and rewards as part of a comprehensive seasonal content update is also a good option.
Mobile games can also celebrate charity initiatives and wider awareness days.
🏆 A Helpful Hint from UserWise
To scale your game, reuse elements that were used in their previous seasonal events.
To super-scale your seasonal events, create one template in UserWise for one seasonal event.
Then, use that template to create and customize different seasonal events for different holidays in UserWise’s web dashboard and online calendar. Minimal coding required (sorry, programmers)!
Click here to schedule a demo, and we’ll show you how.
Here’s an overview on what UserWise can do: