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The Father of Video Games, Facebook’s & Apple’s Games of the Year and Facebook Retargeting for Indies

Posted by Greg Kathol

Dec 11, 2014 1:31:00 PM

Ninja MetricsFacebook’s & Apple’s Games of the Year

On Wednesday, Facebook announced their favorite Facebook and mobile games of the year for 2014. Facebook chose Cookie Jam as their top game of the year, a puzzle-based game where players try to match ingredients and complete recipes. As for mobile games, take a look at Facebook’s top picks below - most of which were dominated by the base-building strategy (think Clash of Clans) type of games:

  1. Boom Beach
  2. Crazy Taxi
  3. Disco Bees
  4. Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff
  5. Star Wars: Commander

Earlier this week, Apple released their mobile picks of the year (including both apps and games). Apple’s favorite mobile games included the wildly popular Monument Valley, Threes!, Device 6, Blek and Leo’s Fortune - all games that we love here at Ninja Metrics. What are your favorite mobile games from 2014? Share your picks in the comments below.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game Development, Game Industry, Mobile Game Industry

F2P Goes From Free to Get, Mobile Discovery Tips and The Death of Launch Dates

Posted by Greg Kathol

Nov 20, 2014 1:33:00 PM

F2P Goes From “Free” to “Get”Ninja Round-up

Earlier this week, Apple decided to change the wording on their Mac and iTunes App Stores for free-to-play games. Instead of a free “Free” download button, the F2P games now display “Get”.

The new change in wording is most likely a response to the negativity that F2P games have been receiving over the past few years, in an effort avoid complaints over misleading F2P games. Regulations laid down by the European Commission earlier this year provided similar guidelines: “Games advertised as 'free' should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved”. Other app stores like Google Play’s have already conformed to a few of these regulations in Europe. You can learn more about the changes here on Gamasutra.

Mobile Discovery Tips

Google Developer Relations executive Rupert Whitehead recently spoke at the London Games Conference to provide advice on how mobile game developers can improve the discovery of their video games.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game Industry, Mobile Games

Games Industry Growth, The Business of Games and Mobile TV Gaming

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Nov 13, 2014 3:56:38 PM

Ninja Metrics Inc.Games Industry Growth

ESA, known as the Entertainment Software Association, released a report earlier this week in partnership with Economists Incorporated, about the impact of the video games industry on economy in the United States.

Surprisingly, the key takeaway from the study found that the video games industry is growing 4 times faster than the U.S. economy.

Other interesting statistics from the study revealed that from 2009 to 2012, video game industry job growth increased 13 times the rate of the U.S. labor market - and the average annual salary of someone directly employed in the video games industry is $95,000.

You can take a look at more of the report’s findings here on GamesIndustry.

The Business of Games

Because video games have a relatively short life cycle and highly competitive nature compared to other industries, it can be difficult to create a long-term and sustainable business out of them.

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Topics: Game Development, Game News, Game Industry, Mobile Games, Mobile Game Industry

App User Acquisition Stats, Male vs Female Gamers and Starting an Indie Studio

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Oct 31, 2014 8:07:00 AM

Mobile-App User Acquisition Costs on the RiseGame Industry News Round-Up

A new study by mobile marketing firm Fiksu revealed some unfortunate news this week for mobile developerswho plan on making money. According to the report, the cost of acquiring a mobile-app user has risen 34% since last year - peaking just last month in September, at roughly $2.25 per loyal user.

Fortunately, there’s some good news to all of this - enthusiasm for devices has also increased, giving developers more opportunity to acquire users and take advantage of the latest technology. Fiksu’s data revealed that during the first 30 day launch-period for each device, the iPhone 6 outsold the iPhone 5 by 116%.

Mobile app adoption rates have also increased, at 5.5 million daily App Store downloads versus only 5.3 million a month before. You can take a look at more of Fiksu’s report here on VentureBeat.

Poll: Male vs Female Gamers

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game Industry, Video Game Marketing, Mobile Game Industry

Mobile Spending, Google Play Growth and Games Trailers

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Oct 16, 2014 3:37:00 PM

Ninja Metrics Covering the Game NewsMobile Spending

Earlier this week, a new study by mobile gaming firm Everyplay (owned by Unity) revealed some surprising statistics about mobile spending habits. The study, which surveyed over 3,000 people, found that 35-44 year-olds are the biggest spenders in mobile games - spending up to $6.07 per month. Contrastingly, the 18-24 year-old demographic was found to onlyspend up to $3.73 per month.

What about gender? According to the study, males spend an average of $5.63 per month on mobile games, $2 more than females do. Moving up to the highest-spending whales (which Everyplay defines as players who spend $50+ per month), the study found that while whales are less than 1% of your user population, they can make up 29% of your total revenue.

One of the biggest reasons why whales contribute so much to your bottom line is because of their social influence among peers – these types are called “Social Whales”. Social whales are the most influential players that cause other people to play because of their social connectedness, charisma and positive effect on others.

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Topics: Game Development, Game Industry, Video Game Marketing, Mobile Game Industry

Twitter Marketing - F2P Retention - Native Mobile Ads

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Oct 9, 2014 4:47:58 PM

Ninja Metrics

Marketing on Twitter for Game Developers

It can be overwhelming when choosing a social network to promote your game with, since there are so many options - including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Facebook is usually the first choice for many people, because of its huge 1+ billion user base, established advertising platform, and large focus on visual content.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry, Mobile Game Industry

Landing Pages, Plus Smartwatch Game Dev and iPhone 6 Challenges

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Oct 4, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Indie Game Marketing: Landing PagesGame Industry News by Ninja Metrics

Once the development process of your video game is complete, it’s time to start thinking about marketing - since just putting your game out in the wild among the hundred of thousands of other games won’t do any good.

App Store Optimization is a great place to start (see here for more on that) once your game is live on the App Store, and you can even keep things minimal by pitching directly to Apple. But one of the most effective ways to kick off your marketing campaign is by creating a landing page for your game, since it serves two very important purposes: giving players a place to learn about your game and driving conversions.

Best of all, a landing page can be set up well before other marketing efforts to build hype about your video game and provide updates. Landing pages are also a great resource for future investors, journalists and bloggers since they’re meant to be a concise, all-in-one place for information about your game.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry, Mobile Game Industry

Kickstarter Marketing, Free Game Dev Tools, and the Chinese Games Market

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Sep 25, 2014 9:58:42 AM

Ninja Metrics Covering Game NewsKickstarter Marketing

Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms were all the hype last year, but this year the suspicion has finally caught up with many of the successfully funded projects being shut down or abandoned.

Fortunately there is still hope in the platform, thanks to developers who have more than delivered what they promised. A great example of this is Wasteland 2, which raised over $4M on Kickstarter, is now out of beta, and recently made over $1.5M in commercial sales.

The first obstacle to overcome in any Kickstarter project is of course reaching the goal, which is largely reliant on marketing efforts and often hindered by the flooded market of other projects. That being said, having the right marketing approach can make or break your campaign - thankfully, Joe Chang of a recent Kickstarter project called Phantasmal has provided some insight about the topic on Develop Online. Take a look at what he has to say about Kickstarter marketing here.

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Topics: Game Industry, Mobile Games, Video Game Marketing

Ninja News Roundup: Pitching your Game to Apple, Microsoft’s Minecraft Acquisition and a Games Marketing Survey

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Sep 18, 2014 12:51:35 PM

Ninja Round-upHow to Pitch your Mobile Game to Apple

Apple is well known for having high standards across each of their products, and those same expectations extend to developers who choose to use the company’s platform. This means that as an iOS developer, you’ll want to make sure that everything works correctly and is highly polished - because Apple pays attention to the little details such as interface/UI design and minor bugs.

During the app submission process, you’ll also want to maximize the SEO and App Store Optimization of your app for increased visibility. Once your app has been approved and listed on the App Store, it’s time to think about marketing and advertising - but you don’t necessarily have to go as far as hiring a PR firm for your marketing efforts.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: Optimizing your F2P Game for Monetization, Mobile Apps Companies Valuation and Mobile Insight from Final Fantasy Creator

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Sep 5, 2014 8:37:02 AM

Ninja Metrics Game Industry News Round-upOptimizing your F2P Game for Monetization

With so many video game business models such as F2P (free-to-play), early adopter/beta (think Steam games), and traditional premium-play, it can be tough to choose whichone will work best for your game. The rise of F2P is undoubtedly the most popular choice for video game business models these days, and it’s a great place to start if you plan on making money.

Opening up your F2P game to a wider audience (think casual gaming vs hardcore) will allow you to reach a larger demographic of players, and including social/multiplayer features lets you hone in on the social value of your players.

Once you’ve reached an audience that works for your video game, it’s time to start thinking about monetization. In-app purchases are great for targeting your social whales and high-spending players, but if you want a truly free-to-play game, ads are the way to go. There are a few different types to start with - full screen interstitials, banner ads and native ads. Take a look at this article on Inside Social Games for a description of each ad format. Which type of ad has been most effective in your game?

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Topics: Social Value, Game Industry, Social Whales

Ninja News Roundup: Multiplayer Gaming Woes, Mobile Consumption, Amazon buys Twitch

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Aug 28, 2014 9:48:43 AM

Ninja Metrics Game NewsOvercoming a Poor Multiplayer Mobile Game Experience

Mobile gaming is the currently the fastest growing video game industry, as revenue tripled last year to over $16B. Since smartphones and tablets have the capability to be connected to the virtual world from anywhere, they can be a great opportunity for players who want a convenient multiplayer experience without having to be confined to an at-home console.

Unfortunately, many multiplayer mobile games don’t provide the same lag-free and real-time experience that their console counterparts do - and this can be tough on the developer who is often only given one chance to get it right, due to low player retention in the flooded mobile games market.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry, Mobile Game Industry

Ninja News Roundup: Top Games Spending Countries, Mobile Games Industry Growth and Open Source Game Development

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Aug 21, 2014 7:51:00 AM

Ninja Game News Round-upTop Video Games Spending Countries

Games market research firms GlobalCollect and Newzoo recently compiled a report of the top 20 countries sorted by average transaction value in video gaming, based on information collected from April-June 2014.

The number one games spending country based on millions of monthly transactions was the Netherlands, closely followed by Switzerland and Australia in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.  Surprisingly, the United States, which currently holds the title for the largest global games market, didn’t even make the list. The report further broke down video game transactions by payment method - with credit card transactions dominating the list, and eWallets starting to become a popular form of payment. Take a look at the full report

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry, Video Game Marketing, Mobile Game Industry, Mobile Game Analytics

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