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Game on! Smartphone sales have shot up 85% compared to last year and global revenues for mobile gaming have risen accordingly: they’re now projected to top $16 billion by 2016.
To take advantage of this phenomenon, both corporate and independent developers need to position themselves for success.
The first requirement for a successful outcome, when it comes to mobile games, is good content. This simply can’t be stated often enough. Entertaining subject matter and engrossing play are the most important ingredients in a great game. The content can come from anywhere – just look at Angry Birds, Farmville or Diner Dash – but it must come together in a way that leaves players coming back for more.
The social angle is another key factor that determines success. People love playing with – and against – their friends. Multiplayer functionality, online leaderboards, and in-game buttons that allow players to post achievements to social networking sites are a must in this connected age.
The final, and ultimately most important, element is its potential profitability. The bottom line is what determines whether a game gets made or remains in development limbo. Lately, the industry seems to be heading toward a “freemium” model, meaning that a game can be downloaded for free, but contains in-app purchase options. While free-to-play, ad-supported and paid (one-time upfront fee) models do work, a $500 in-game purchase might be better still.
After a game is successfully developed, proper marketing – ensuring that a game is noticed, played, reviewed, and recommended – is the critical next step. When it comes to creating marketing materials, press releases and planning events, an experienced team of professionals is often the best choice.
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