Every game that ranks at the top grossing charts applies this 4 growth mindsets.
In case you don't know them, you will learn about the Psychology of successful F2P games if you keep reading.
When someone approaches me looking for advice to improve x, it is hard to give a simple answer.
There is not a simple tactic to improve the KPI's of your game.
Your game is different.
Your audience is different.
You context is different.
So instead of looking for a super mega especial tactic, work with this principles to learn how to build processes that will create the tactics for...
4 Growth Mindsets about F2P games
1-Focus on the psychology of the users
How many times did you say "This is the last match!" on Clash Royale?
And then you play another 3.
That's why in the tech industry it is known that gaming companies are the best ones to understand User Psychology.
It is fundamental to understand that depending on your language, colors, images, features... the players can experience a totally different experience.
It is crucial for the success of a game to understand how the users are going to perceive the game.
I believe that behind every successful game there is a powerful insight about human psychology.
- Clash of Clans (build + conquer)
- Candy Crush (short distraction + progress)
- Clash Royale (win against other players + climb leaderboard)
Knowing what kind of human psychology emotion are you triggering, will help you to define how to approach the design of your game.
One of the most important things regards F2P games is the First Time User Experience.
The first minutes of your game are especially important, it could be the difference between a success or a failure.
Pocket Gamer Biz has a reproduction list where you can see FTUE of video games commented.
Another example is the use of language.
How you communicate a feature to your player base?
How do you push your players to take the actions that you want?
One example from Piano Tiles 2.
The first thing that you see is GET IT, the second is FREE, it doesn't matter what is it but you already want to press the button.
Another good example is Crazy Kitchen.
Guess who likes cooking games, people who cook.
So what Zynga did is recreate the same thing in-game.
But with an amazing tweak.
There is a feature in the game that allows you to take/use a photo of a friend, then you will serve them during the game.
And guess what?
Next time you meet your friends, you will add them and you both will laugh, creating a good feeling associated with the game + word of mouth.
2-Growth is never done
I can't stress this enough.
A F2P launch is the beginning of the journey, in fact, the majority of the revenue is not done during the launch of the game.
There is two different thing I want to mention here.
First, you need to keep adding new content to the game.
Players get bored.
That's why companies need to put resources to create new content.
Companies must plan updates of the game on a continuous basis.
Secondly, channels, tactics, mechanics change fast, companies have to be moving constantly.
Do you remember the explosion of Facebook games during 2011 and 2012, the channel got saturated and other cheaper channels appear.
As you can see in the chart during the last 15 years, there hasn't been a lot of channels.
Nowadays there is more than ever.
Companies must keep moving continuously.
3-Love your data enough
Companies are spending a huge amount of money on building in-house analytics, and there is a good reason.
Data allows you to understand the behavior of your players.
And it gives you a huge advantage.
Imagine, you have to redesign the map of League of Legend.
It is suspect that there is a specific part of the map that is not working well in terms of gameplay.
The data science team has collected data that can help you determinate the best approach to create a new version.
On the image bellow, they present you a heat map showing the wards used during the group phase of the 2015 World Championship.
Now you know more about the zones where the use of wards is crucial.
You can start to redesign certain parts of the map to test them.
Data must be a core part of the company culture, and the team must be familiar with it.
4-Build a culture of Growth
If you are lucky, the percent of test that will result in success is 20%.
Running experiments is hard because most of them will fail. Tactics can fail, what can't fail is the mindset to keep experimenting.
Companies and teams must be able to handle failure and try to get the maximum insight from each of them.
Also, the growth team needs to have the support of the CEO, because if the growth mindset is well applied, the team will push to the limit until the CEO says no (regarding experimentation).
No tactic will give you the leverage, but a mindset will.
The path is not easy, but in terms of F2P consistency wins.
I know that you are probably thinking about other mindsets. Please share any of your favorites in a comment below.