Game Management – A new challenge for developers
Game management refers to the ongoing process of acquiring new players through marketing, retaining those players through engaging game play, and monetizing the players effectively using a combination of business models.
For nearly all games today this is an iterative or ongoing process where data gathered and analyzed at each important step leads to changes in the core game that need to go through additional design, development and deployment steps.
Traditionally, the publisher has taken on this important role. However, in response to market forces the frequency of iteration has gone right up which means the relationship between the roles of development and publishing (and now management) are closer than ever. It’s hard to separate these functions in the same way they were before.
The key aspects of game management are:
- Marketing:- Acquiring new players from a number of different channels including in-store promotions, online ads, coverage from different game review publications, cross promotion networks etc.
- Analytics:- Through collecting and analyzing data from a variety of sources (store, game itself, acquisition channels) gain an understanding of how the game is performing and being played. Based on this analysis a number of hypothesis for change are formed.
- A/B or Multivariate Testing:- Refers to the process of trying out a number of different variations of a change across a range of players and based on the results making a choice as to which of the variations works best.
- Monetization:- The process of converting players of the game into paying players. In a free to play game this means getting the players to purchase in-game goods or currencies via an in-game storefront. The ability to do this well requires eCommerce capability or more appropriately: gCommerce.
- Game updates:- The game itself will have to go through ongoing change to adapt and become more effective in its level of engagement, retention and ability to convert players into paying players. This implies the need to continually update the game. The more of the game that sits on the server, the easier this process of change becomes.
GameSparks – An integrated management console
The GameSparks platform is built to enable developers to manage their games. Once a game is launched on the platform, the management console provides developers with core functionality around analytics, A/B testing, eCommerce (or gCommerce as we like to call it) and server-side game updates which means you can update the game without having to re-publish it through the stores.