2020 started with a novel corona virus outbreak in China and a direct consequence of the overall awareness about this topic has increased the organic reach for F2P mobile games like Plague Inc. like this Verge article reports (https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/27/21083737/plague-inc-developer-coronavirus-outbreak-game-popularity-china). In our highly connected world, the impact of news and trends on our attention has created a virality phenomenon for content.
With regard to the current epidemic, my thoughts and empathy are with everyone affected directly or indirectly by this. It’s a very real tragedy.
But let’s focus on what we can learn from this pandemic raising interest in games about viruses.
Hyper Casual – best positioning to ride trends and higher organic reach
If you’re in the hypercasual market, chances are your game’s development cycle is faster then most other games. You focus on developing innovative, youtube/tik tok/Instagram friendly games, snackable games that are easy to get in.
This sounds like the best position to be in to ride the virality train! The DNA of hyper-casual games is highly compatible with virality.
You can learn more about Hyper Casual games and how to build them on:
- Hyper-casual games: What are they & how do you monetize them? By Iron Source https://www.ironsrc.com/blog/what-are-hyper-casual-games-and-how-do-you-monetize-them/
- 5 Ways Voodoo Dominates the Hyper-Casual Market – By Deconstructor of Fun https://www.deconstructoroffun.com/blog/2018/8/1/5-ways-voodoo-dominates-the-hyper-casual-market
It’s difficult to predict virality and popularity, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it trying. And, if your hunch is right, your organic reach will be higher because you’ll be at the right place, at the right time.
If you have a fashion-savvy mother, chances are you’ve heard her say that fashion is cyclical. Finding cyclical trends might be the best secret to being two steps ahead of the competition.
Google Trends (https://trends.google.com/), is an amazing tool to monitor trends. For example, we can see on the two charts below that the interest in glitter has an interesting correlation with the stock market.
Maybe glitter symbolizes optimism and party vibes, and if you party too hard, then you have to sober up for a while. However, as the economy recovered the interest in glitter increased again.
This is just an anecdote but the bottom line is that there’s an opportunity in finding these cyclical waves of interest and riding them.
Using a general tool like Google Trends gives you a thought leader perspective on the world as opposed to following the latest market trends from your competition.
ASO – App store optimization
App store optimization (ASO), is all about trying to get more users to find your mobile F2P game. Think of it as SEO (search engine optimization), for apps. The higher your app ranks for certain terms the more people are going to see it and download it.
It’s all about making your front door inviting and welcoming the foot traffic.
This has enormous potential because these will be the cheapest users/players you’ll ever acquire!
In 2004, the avian flu was in the spotlight worldwide. In 2009, there was the swine flu. Viral outbreaks have had an impact on the history of videogames even before the corona virus / Plague Inc.
Did you know who saw a pattern in virus outbreaks and this ongoing biological warfare in 2009? A Finnish based company called Rovio, who launched their innovative, viral, snackable game inspired by these pandemics. You might have played that game: Angry Birds. https://www.pocketgamer.com/articles/024243/interview-rovio-on-the-origin-of-angry-birds-being-inspired-by-swine-flu-and-why-you-may-never-see-an-angry-birds-2/
Are you going to miss out on the next cyclical viral trend? Do you want to create a growth strategy based on organic reach? Could you use better App store optimization? Feel free to reach out.