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Sega Shares 'Insight' From Customer Feedback On Super Monkey Ball

Sega used App Store feedback from Super Monkey Ball to produce its sequel -- and learned about the core/casual "split," what fans of older properties expect,
Sega says it closely monitors App Store feedback about its iPhone games and that it "takes that information very seriously" for its updates and sequels. In fact, much of the feature set for Sega and Other Ocean's Super Monkey Ball 2 for iPhone came from feedback on the first game, says associate creative director Ethan Einhorn in a new feature postmortem on the game, in which he shares some of the company's lessons from iPhone development. "Customers who reviewed the first game gave us insight into the existence of a real split between the needs and patience levels of core and casual players," Einhorn explains. "Core users will take the time to master challenging mechanics, and will even come back to rewrite review posts once they have a better handle on the experience," he continues. "Casual players are less interested in an intense challenge; they want consistent rewards, and they need them to pop up frequently." Another lesson Einhorn says Sega learned is that developers on old-school properties should expect fans to ask them to stick closely to the qualities of the original. "There was a clear demand for mini-games, given the SMB1 user feedback," he says. "We also learned that people tend to love or hate a game -- most users will give you either 5 stars (highest score) or 1 star (lowest score)," he adds. "And users will make it very clear when they don't understand a specific mechanic. All this information helped us better tailor the SMB2 experience to the broadest possible audience."

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