From Angry Birds to Subway Surfers, instances of most successful casual games are numerous. They are easy to play, quick to savour a fun gaming experience while all that you need is to download the game for free.
A majority of studies and statistics show casual games are just not on the rise; eventually, they are supposed to be the mainstream of mobile gaming industry. As per the recent revelation of Statista in the first quarter of 2017 itself casual games were the most popular game genre for Android platform. They enjoyed more than 60% reach across mobile devices worldwide. Today, almost any mobile game development company find them central to their game publishing strategy. The best thing is people who are not so much into gaming even find these games enjoyable at times.
A casual game boasts of the highest number of game players from all ages. Naturally, while developing a mobile game, you can target a wider game playing audience with casual games. But, casual games are also the most competitive game genre with thousands of titles groping for a pie of this billion dollar market. Wondering about how to ensure a higher discoverability and engagement for your game? Well, follow these killer marketing strategies for your casual game.
Creative Freemium Promotion
While casual games will always be relevant as far as knowing your game niche and competition is considered. Unlike hardcore gamers of strategy games, people like playing simple games for free, and that is precisely the reason casual games remain popular. So, a majority of the casual games come free while depending on premium upgrades or in-app purchases for monetisation. A blunt freemium approach is too common, and most game players just do not like being pestered about premium upgrades.
Until you can convince them about the distinct difference in game playing experience, they can't be lured for premium upgrades. So, promoting the premium upgrade from free game playing requires some creative approaches. You can push premium upgrades in numerous creative ways, but all of them may not be applicable for every casual game. Consider the following.
- Offer them premium upgrade only when they face challenges with free game resources.
- At the end of every game victory or accomplishment, remind them how the upgraded version can add more value to their experience.
- Allow game players get a free upgrade to premium version by just inviting their friends and social contacts in gameplay.
- Offer in-app gifts and free premium upgrades for each social contact or player upgrading to a premium version.
- You can link in-app purchases with the premium upgrade. For resource-heavy games, it is a good option to allow a free upgrade to premium with a certain amount of in-app purchases.
Playable game ads
Casual games will always remain a mainstay in the mobile game developer strategies, but maintaining optimum engagement requires dealing with in-app ads as well. Game videos are already perceived like nasty disturbances in the middle of game playing. Casual game players who have a terribly low attention span for giving attention to games at their leisure hours detest such ads. What about allowing them playing a small instant game within the game without expressly making them feel that it is an advertisement or promotion? Well, that is where playable game ads come as a life saver promotional tool.
Playable ads are interactive, engaging and instantly attention grabbing while not leaving an impression typical of commercial ads. These ads are perfect for in-game promotion and marketing as they mingle perfectly with the gaming experience of the app. There are two ways you can utilise playable ads as an in-app marketing strategy for casual games.
- Minigames: Minigames are mainly smaller and quick to play versions of other games being promoted. They offer a glimpse of the game quickly. Game players actually play the small version of the game and hence do not feel really like an ad. Mini games are also used for promoting in-app purchases like buying coins and other game resources.
- Streaming Ad: Streaming video of another app displayed within the game app offering a glimpse of a new game is what we call streaming video ad. Streaming video ads can be pushed for watching in exchange for some free game coins or other resources. These ads play with players consent and give players a sense of purpose when playing a streaming video ad.
Social game playing linked with in-app purchase
Social gaming is a massive trend that for years influenced the way we connect with others while playing a game. In casual games, social communication happens even more frequently because of the very nature of the game as casual. Now, by inviting your social friends into the game, you can earn more reward points, get freebies from game resources, can be promoted to the next level and gain recognition as an expert. Social gaming connected with in-app purchases is the latest and most formidable trend that keeps on affecting casual game playing.
- By linking social gaming with game resources, recognition and game levels, you boost new player acquisition and frequent engagement for the game.
- Social gaming helps players stay updated about the gaming actions even when they are not playing the game. For instance, a Facebook notification can give a casual gamer latest updates on wins and losses of the friends in a game.
- Social gaming can allow game marketers more creative ways to link rewards and recognition with the increase of game playing friends for an individual player.
Casual games are played now and then. By their very nature of quick game playing experience, they attract game players of all ages and interest groups. With such a broad and diversified audience, they are very likely to represent a very contested zone for advertisers and marketers. But, unlike other marketing and advertising channels, casual games require a more creative approach to ensure engagement and interaction.