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This Week in LiveOps #9: Boost Sales By Starting Small
Today we're taking a look at how hyper and hybrid casual games can boost sales by using one of the industries best kept secrets - starting small.
Getting players to buy something in your game…now that’s a challenge.
Sure they want to play. Sure they have free time. Sure your game is great. But getting them to actually purchase something? That’s a whole different level of frustration.
Today we’re bringing you a small tip on how to get players to start purchasing AND how to get them to spend more and more each time they do purchase.
The Big Secret
Here’s a little secret that we’ll let you in on. It’s WAY easier to get someone to purchase something once they have already made their first purchase.
In case that’s not clear here it is in money talk:
It’s harder to get someone to go from $0 to $0.01 in spending than it is to get someone to go from $1.99 to $4.99 in spending.
If you’re not seeing dollar signs then please keep re-reading that sentence until you do.
There are a whole lot of psychological principles that we could bore you with, but what you need to know right now is that getting someone to make their FIRST purchase is your biggest challenge.
Here’s another one of the industry’s best-kept secrets. Start small. 🤫
Don’t throw out offers that overwhelm your users, and don’t throw out offers that include more items, capabilities, or boosts than they could possibly need or want in the early stages.
Keep things mellow. Keep them succinct. Reel them in.
Don’t display high-spend offers until they’ve already dipped their toes in the pool. Once they see how much value a small purchase can add to the gameplay experience -start ramping it up.
And then, once they’ve spent some pocket change on a necessary offer and derived real value from it, you’ve got them. You’re able to offer them more -- more items, abilities, and boosts -- at higher price tags.
Don’t try to capitalize on a huge purchase immediately. Instead, start small with an offer that’s easier to warm up to.
Begin by offering small, low-cost items or upgrades that provide immediate value to the player. These could be power-ups, extra lives, or cosmetic items that enhance the gaming experience. The goal is to make the first purchase a no-brainer for the player, breaking down the initial barrier to spending.
Slowly Increase Value and Loyalty
Now that you have players purchasing and loving what you have to offer, it's time to gently introduce higher-priced items or packages. Because once a user’s made a purchase, it takes far less persuading to get them to buy in again.
Something like this:
BUT let me also be clear on something. I’m not stating that you simply charge more money for the same items. I’m suggesting that you begin scaling the value of what you are selling as well.
Your goal here is to instill loyalty and show players that you are giving them huge value when they spend hard-earned money.
Once they feel comfortable spending some money in your game, they will continue to slowly trickle more money into your pockets down the road.
This is a highly simplified graph, but here’s the idea of how this plays out over time:
Once players have made a few small purchases and seen the value you provide, you can begin to introduce higher-priced items or packages. These could be bundle deals that offer a set of items at a discounted price, premium content that enhances gameplay, or exclusive items that offer a sense of uniqueness and prestige.
🗣️ Read all about it!
⚔️ Designing premium pass systems in games by Stanislav Stankovic
Stanislav is at it again with a fantastic piece on Premium Passes. He walks you through the structure, mechanism, limits, and key takeaways of the Premium Pass system, highlighting its dual role in retention and monetization.
Here are some key highlights we pulled for you:
Structure and Mechanism: The Premium Pass system consists of two parallel reward tracks, one free and one premium. Players unlock rewards by accumulating points through gameplay. The system rewards participation rather than winning, making it attractive to players of all skill levels.
Seasonality and Incentives: The time-limited nature of the reward track, known as a season, creates a sense of urgency and encourages repeated spending. Players can purchase the Premium Pass at any time during the season, even retroactively, to unlock premium rewards.
Limits and Challenges: The success of the Premium Pass system depends on the value proposition of the rewards. The article discusses the challenges of maintaining value through cosmetic items and the risks associated with items that have direct gameplay value.
Everyone is saying that hypercasual is dead. Maybe it’s just changing?
Despite all the claims that the hypercasual gaming space is dying, Homa cofounder Olivier Le Bas, says that it's far from dead; rather, it's evolving.
Here are some highlights we pulled for you:
Evolution of Hypercasual: Le Bas acknowledges that the hypercasual game genre is changing. The standards and expectations for quality and longevity are increasing, leading to new opportunities. Homa is focusing on these opportunities and diversifying with hybridcasual games.
Quality and Retention Focus: The expectations for production quality are higher, aiming to build longer-term products to counterbalance the cost of acquisition increase. Homa is now targeting higher retention rates, aiming for 15% and above for day seven retention.
Future Plans: Homa is not abandoning hypercasual games but is expanding into hybridcasual and casual games. They are also exploring blockchain technology and considering platforms like TikTok and Nintendo's Switch for future game releases.
That’s all for this week. 🖖
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