Gladiator! Honing skills in the mobile game arena

Games dominate the mobile content market.  I mean, they’re really huge.  According to App Annie: in 2016, games generates 75% of iOS App Store revenie, and 90% of Google Play revenue. To the kind of super-engaged audience that we attract to this blog, that’s no great surprise, but think about all the different things that you can (and do) do with your mobile device.  Almost certainly, game playing doesn’t come close to 75% or 90% of what you do, yet that is the revenue that games generate.  It’s a lot of money, and where there is money, there is inevitably a hoard of people trying to secure their share of the proceeds. 

For sure, it’s a genuine opportunity, not a bubble: there is real consumer demand for mobile games, and there is real consumer appetite to spend money on the games that they enjoy or become addicted to.  In some ways, at least superficially, the barriers to entry for new competition are quite low: all you need to do is develop a game, submit it to the stores, and you have distribution to anyone who’s interested. (Simple!  Of course, we know that the real challenge is getting people to be interested in the first place, and then - more importantly - to stay interested, but, despite our best efforts, this is not always immediately obvious to new entrants to the market).

More important than that though, the big players in mobile gaming are really good at what they do.  They dominate marketing, the attention of the app stores, and the monetization of their players. Which means that there is a lot of money to be made for sure, but also a LOT of competition.  To survive that competition and to make a mark against both the behemoths and the neophytes, you have to be good.  Really good.  And good in all aspects of the value chain: finding users, understanding their value relative to their costs of acquisition, and figuring out to maximize that value. 

That is what we at Thumbspire have done with considerable success.  In fact, we just created a new page on our website: Success Stories, which highlights some of what we’ve been able to do.  Take a look:  it’s not a heavy page, but it is highly informative.  It features just a few examples of the many ways we have enhanced our partners’ apps and ultimately, their bottom lines.  It bears restating:  to do this in the mobile games market, the graveyard of the dreams of far too many developers and publishers, means not only that you have to be good, but that you constantly have to get better.

All the examples relate to games that we have worked on, but the fundamentals of what we’ve done really apply to any app or service.  All businesses need to acquire users (through paid acquisition campaigns and PR), to increase those users’ engagement in the product, and most importantly, to use creative (but always transparent) techniques to persuade their users to become valuable customers. 

It hardly needs to be said that there are obvious differences between games and other verticals:  you need to find different users; you need to talk to different media channels; persuading a user to buy virtual currency is not quite the same as getting them to subscribe to a streaming video service or to purchase something from an e-commerce site.  But at their essential level, there is much more that unites them than divides them. 

And with skills honed in the gladiatorial arena of mobile games, Thumbspire is brilliantly positioned to help you with marketing, engagement, and monetization, whether you’re selling digital jewels or Tiffany rings. Get in touch, and let’s work together!