How to Develop a Game That Makes a Profit?
At the end of the day, a return on investment (ROI) defines the success and efficiency of any business. It’s not surprising that the iGaming industry, which reached US$66.67 billion in 2020 (The European Business Review), is an alluring pie that everybody wants a piece of. What’s most important here, this pie volume is expected to grow to US$92.9 billion in 2023 (Statista).
Games are golden assets that generate profits for the businesses across the iGaming industry, therefore, these should be maximally attractive, relevant and beneficial to every player.
As a developer with a rich expertise in game creation, one that has proven to be very successful in acquiring and retaining players, Evoplay has defined the recipe that produces a highly profitable casino game.
For more information, visit Evoplay landing page.
Know your target audience
Developing a high-quality game isn’t enough, it must also function to fulfil the specific needs of players.
To avoid a hit-or-miss approach, a developer should clearly understand the end-user’s profile by researching and segmenting the audience. It is a win-win situation for suppliers, casino operators and players, as the data says:
56% of consumers say that businesses should know and understand their needs. Moreover, 51% of consumers believe that companies display too much irrelevant content to them.
Marketo Engagement Gap report
Present-day trends prove that personalisation is key for generating high revenue, as it gives customers what they really want, making the ‘purchase’ easy to accomplish.
Netflix and YouTube boast one of the most powerful recommendation engines, which learn and analyse user data in a highly efficient manner. As a result, 70% of a user’s time on YouTube is spent watching videos suggested by algorithms, which makes it a global choice for both music and video.
Netflix on the other hand, conducts 250 A/B tests on different users and markets on an annual basis that enables it to produce $1 billion a year in value from customer retention.
As a consequence, the iGaming vertical should regard personalisation as a must-have in order to keep up with the dynamic pace of the entertainment industry – just as it is for Netflix and YouTube. Targeting a game to a specific audience saves time, effort and budget, when a supplier transfers a customer to the ‘intention’ stage, it can achieve the required action much faster.
The flow of customers’ decision making
So how to understand your player?
Segment the audience by groups and target them with the relevant offer.
Evoplay’s experience allowed us to single out two strategies that increase a game’s GGR using player classification:
- Aim at all players’ types and concentrate efforts on all markets.
Classic casino games with familiar and easy-to-understand mechanics that engage conservative players, seem to be a perfect solution. These players have a particular understanding of what the game should look like. However, it doesn’t mean that a supplier can go with out-of-date ideas: even with traditional mechanics, a product should still stand out from other games to be interesting for a player and have value for them.
- Develop a product for a specific audience.
This includes those who are tired of stereotypical casino games and those who haven’t tried gambling before but are generally keen on gaming. This group of players actively search for brand-new, unconventional content that will allow them to meet the excitement of a novel title.
Of course, This is something that’s not easy to achieve, as it requires extensive research and development of an original product in its type and offer.
Millennials or Generation Y, are prominent representatives of this group: they have experience in video games but aren’t too familiar with gambling. A developer’s major challenge is to find the approach to this audience via transferring the video gaming experience to a gambling product.
Evoplay’s Star Guardians is a perfect example of a game that can appeal to modern players. It incorporates many features seen in video games and adapts these to the gambling world, e. g., manual control, the opportunity to choose a character and change at any point of their playing journey, the third-person shooter genre that, according to Statista, is the most popular game genre for all age groups.
The game’s success as an eye-catching innovative product that is interesting for Millennials is proven by the figures.
Polished technology and UI/UX
There are five crucial aspects that influence a player’s decision to stay with a game:
1) User-friendly and easy to understand UI/UX
A well-designed UI/UX and seamless game operation increases the quality of a player’s journey and therefore, improves interaction with a product.
The experience should be dynamic, intriguing, engaging and rewarding, but at the same time, remain easy-to-understand and easy to play. Players should clearly understand the game flow, what will happen next, and what actions are needed to accomplish rewards.
2) Intuitive navigation
Make sure that a game has an intuitive design, which doesn’t require additional instructions when switching between menu options or using in-game navigation. A user-friendly interface on a smartphone encompasses calling functions by swipes or other effortless actions on a touch screen.
3) Fast load
With the appearance of games, which are more technically demanding, e. g., 3D titles, it is highly important to optimise them to ensure the overall game’s fast loading. The purpose is clear, to make sure the game’s elements appear synchronously and without delays, not to leave a player irritated with the game’s speed.
4) Absence of bugs and glitches
A profitable casino game is, first of all, one that operates smoothly and seamlessly. It means that there should be no room for bugs and glitches or the post-game experience would be one of irritation and dissatisfaction.
Measure thrice and cut once or test thrice and release once.
Before releasing a product, test it and double-check to be sure that it works well on all devices – from the oldest to newest generations of smartphones and all operating systems.
5) Full mobile adaptation
Five years ago, mobile optimisation was a privilege for iGaming, now it’s an absolute must, as mobile phones appear to be the preferred device for playing now.
More than 75% of the traffic of Evoplay games comes from mobile.
Thus, develop a mobile first game, one with a UI that can be fully adapted to a smartphone, including: intuitive swipe function, the appropriate size of buttons and icons, adjustment to screen resolution and a touch display. A game should be optimised for all models of mobile devices and the internet speed, regardless of players’ location.
High-quality game engine
To save time spent on the creation of a game’s basic features, developers use an engine, which is a framework containing all necessary tools. This approach optimises the process, allowing them to focus on creative solutions for a product.
A game engine is a core of a product, which performs a vast number of responsibilities:
- graphics rendering;
- physics rendering;
- memory management;
- collision detection;
- sound creation;
- game logic;
- artificial intelligence;
- and many others.
For example, in 2020, Evoplay presented its branded customised game engine, Spinential, which increased game load performance and enhanced storage by 10 times.
Spinential proved to be a real solution for Evoplay appealing to different audiences, both emerging and developed markets that have different Internet speeds such as Latin America, Eastern Europe etc.
Also, we’ve presented our prize possession, Elven Princesses, on the Spinential engine, optimising the game’s load time by 10 times and boosting its graphics. That, as a result, helped us widen the player reach across all markets.
Innovative game mechanics and fresh themes
Mechanics and themes have a direct influence on a game’s success and revenue. The task of game mechanics, in this case, is to provide mathematics, which allow players to experience the excitement of winning and explore the game to the full extent.
Speaking about themes, there are two possible approaches:
1) Innovative twists on retro themes, e. g., fruit or ancient Egypt, which have proved to be players’ all-time favourites. Technologically advanced graphics and cutting-edge features will refresh the game and make it more appealing to a modern player.
From our portfolio, the Fruit Super Nova series of games is a demonstrative example of a popular classic slot, which has got a new lease on life with modernised faceting. The title has astonishing visuals and is perfectly adaptable to mobile phones, attracting both conservative and modern players.
2) Creating based on innovative mechanics and scenarios is interesting for modern players.
Experiments and new solutions are the only way to create unique and profitable products.
Art of storytelling
A game title, which has an interesting plot and invites players to an exciting journey, has more chances to get on the list of users’ favourite games.
Storytelling can increase the conversion rate by 30%.
Search Engine Watch: https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2019/12/20/how-storytelling-boosts-content-marketing/
A story usually provides a game with depth – going from one episode to another, a player discovers settings, becomes closer acquainted with characters and explores features. It creates a connection between a player and a game, this influences their desire to keep returning to the product.
With the help of a unique storyline, which is developing step by step, gamblers get a sense of achievement, completion, engagement in the events occurring and immerse themselves fully in the game.
Сharacters also play an essential role in a game: antagonists and protagonists complement the plot with confrontation and add dynamics to a game. To make it impactful, a developer’s task is to write a story behind a title, one which will provide the interpretation of its episodes and engross the attention of players.
Evoplay’s flagship game, Star Guardians, is a good example of successful storytelling. The industry’s first slot inspired by a third-person shooter is built on a fantasy world. It is a thrilling adventure, where a brave squad fights against mutated insects. Each character has their own story, which continues when they confront dangerous creatures.
The unparalleled plot of Star Guardians is corroborated by an artbook describing the story and its characters, as well as digital content, including videos and social media activities. It allowed introducing a novel world, which has an emotional context for a player.
Essential duo: graphics and sounding
Game visuals require detailed attention as they are responsible for attracting new audiences. The entertainment sector, namely its consumers, is especially picky and demanding when it comes to visuals. This is why a profitable iGaming product needs to be one that is both aesthetically pleasing and offers high-quality graphics.
The perfect blend of eye-catching impressive graphics and simple but engaging mechanics with a player-centric approach can create an absolute winning combo for a developer.
Sounds and background music also play a vital role in regard to the game’s atmosphere and have a considerable impact on players’ engagement. Soundtrack and additional sounds help immerse players in a game’s world and make settings more realistic.
The musical component allows emphasises the most significant moments of a game, thus capturing players’ attention. This establishes emotional ties between a product and a user, influencing retention directly. Moreover, it creates a so-called audial engagement:
Sound carries the biggest amount of emotional content than any other component. Hearing is connected with a limbic system, which allows sounds to recall certain memories.
(S. Brown, M. J. Martinez, and L. M. Parsons, “Passive music listening spontaneously engages limbic and paralimbic systems,” NeuroReport, vol. 15, no. 13, pp. 2033–2037, 2004).
Every developer has its own recipe for how to cook a perfect dish named ‘a profitable game’. While some players might prefer to enjoy classic ‘sweet’ fruit slots, others taste hot ‘chilli’ titles with innovative solutions, the ingredients and their portion will be dependent on your target – the player.
Knowing a perfect recipe, a blend of all the necessary components – makes the player return to the game and increasingly beneficial to both suppliers and casino operators.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions.