Why do people play Game of War

If you haven't played Game of War you should. It represents a genre which kickstarted f2p in Europe. Among the originators was OGame, Tribal Wars, Travian, Ikariam, Grepolis and more. They all follow the same principles invented by a game called Planetarion - which failed to monetize as f2p wasn't invented back then.

And believe me every single game I mentioned is better than Game of War. So why do people play it and why is it so successful?

Game of War violates pretty much any f2p fair play rules. When you log back in after some days absence you have to close sales pop ups like crazy. Generally this game tries to sell you something at every corner of the UI. And it gets on your nerves, it disturbs game play. It is bad.

But it makes tons of money.

Why? Several reasons.

It was a first mover. Game of War was one of the first games of that successful genre being on mobile in a pretty solid quality.

It is a whale hunting game. The conversion of the game is bad but the ones who pay do so in exorbitant value. From stats I know it is by far the game with the highest average spending per paying user (ARPPU). Note: the value shown in the link is average YEARLY spending. Note 2: Some games excluded like Puzzle & Dragons which features a higher but only in Japan. Lets stick to world wide.

It is attractive to new gamers who don't know better. Yes. This. This is the prime reason. You should know that most gamers on mobile are new to games. This is a fact. So when they play Gamer of War they simply do not know the better ones. The the competition is either copying the bad style of Age of War or isn't known to them due to less marketing spend.

And the operator of Game of War knows this and puts their marketing where the new gamers are: on TV. TV ads attract a lot of users who aren't experience much in games. And when they are attracted ti strategy games they might try Game of War. The bad things of the game like the push to sales and pop ups are just something they think is normal. They accept this. Experienced gamers wouldn't. But those are the minority compared to the vast size of the mobile market.

There you have it. Game of War is successful as most of their players are new to games but fascinated by this successful genre. Competition is fierce. There are literally hundreds of these games in the App stores. And many of them are better. Some company make their living out of them like Kabam or Plarium.

The sad side story? German f2p publishers established f2p in Europe with this genre pre 2010 but lost the lead 60% market share (!) as they were too slow to move to mobile. Very sad.


Why Apps might be dead (Update)

We remember. Years ago we called them Programs or Software. Since Apple launched the App Store we call them Apps, even on PC or other devices. Even the TV now has apps. Researchers forecasted the Web is dead, as its content and interaction move to App's of the provider instead. This is already happening as statistics prove (google for access numbers of mobile for Google, Youtube etc.)

Now Apple opened maps, messenger, Fotos and more of their apps to developers, allowing them to develop plugins. In my opinion Apple isn't doing this for fun, they are forced to do this.

The trend is less App switching. We have so many apps now that people simply no longer want to switch between them. Like going to maps to look for a restaurant, reserve in another app, book an Uber in their app to drive there.

This also explains the incredible value WeChat and Line have now. Check this out:


This means WhatsApp is under pressure. The big secret of those new chat programs in Asia is their plugins. You can do everything inside the chat you normally do in Apps. In fact in China WeChat is so massive that if you aren't in WeChat with your service you virtually don' exist.

Facebook looks into this direction with their Messenger, but WhatsApp seems to sleep regarding this matter.

We'll see. the world of apps is changing again.

How this effects mobile games? Well, the first games making millions are inside WeChat. The other way around works too: why isn't your chat and clan chat no in those chat apps instead doing your own? There is my hint.

(Update) Techrunch well written article on the Messaging War:



I am wondering .. a f2p Masterclass a good idea?

I play with this idea since some time and wonder how large the interest would be. Assume I do a 2 (or 3?) day Masterclass in f2p design covering all topics from monetization, system design, KPI optimization, Event design etc.

Of course the content would differ from the workshop you can find on youtube. That one was rather basic, this one is a designers in depth thing.

Would that be something you would be interested in? I would book a conference room in a Hotel you can stay and negotiate special deals. The evenings would be spend to mingle and talk about our favorite topics. Timeframe would be sometime mid/end of July. Or maybe the weekend before Gamescom?

The goal of the workshop would be to give you the weapons to properly design f2p games or optimize yours.

If you are interested shoot me an email and how many people would like to attend and what special interests you would have regarding topics and way how the master class would work.

Contact: teut986@gmail.com