Traffic Transparency, The Little Guy & Mobile Eats The World

Growth & Monetization Weekly

We follow a ton of news and blogs about apps, growth and monetization to keep up on industry trends, so each weekend we share some delightful reads for your enjoyment and learning.

See something we missed? Let us know on Twitter.

This Week’s Best Reads

The fresh smell of transparency…

Atum Traffic Analysis – 1 year later

Elwin Verploegen, Sassybot’s lead programmer, gave everyone a transparent lookback on the year their game Atum enjoyed, including deep stats on traffic and the effect publicity had on their game.


It has been just over a year since I launched the Atum website (the first recorded data in Google Analytics is from the 8th of October 2012) and I feel that it’s time to give some insight into what happened with Atum over the course of a year.

We obviously love transparency amongst the developer community, but it’s rare that a studio will open up their analytics like this. Most are simply too proud to share such intimates (and for some it’s a competitive concern). Great to see a shop doing this so openly.

The breakdown of traffic spikes is fascinating, especially when you consider the small affect Kotaku’s coverage had and the market perception of their “weight” as an influencer.

We’re all avid readers of Kotaku articles, so this was an amazing event to us. However, it did not send over that much traffic (just over 700 visitors). This meant that for those days, YouTube was still sending over more traffic than a newly published article on Kotaku.

It’s particularly interesting the way Elwin digs into time on site, which they equate with the gameplay length per player. Check it out!

Mid-Core Success Part 3: Social

The third installment of Michail Katkoff’s excellent Mid-Core Success series is here, focused on the social elements of gameplay. Like the first two, a must read for game builders.

He’s not a fan of thinking about social as a purely viral invite mechanic, or even as a growth engine first.

Instead of K-factors and virality, I want to write about true social mechanics. The kind of social mechanics that add to the gameplay, improve overall player experience and make the game feel more alive.

From there he goes on the break down various social mechanics that today’s top games feature, broken down into collaboration and competition dynamics.

On collaboration:

The key thing to remember when designing collaboration mechanics is that collaboration between players should take place in an area of the game, where players can easily show off. Also to keep in mind is that collaboration must benefit both of the players.

Clash donate

And on competition:

Importantly, when designing competition features, social mechanics should be an important part of the conversation, as they intensify these features tremendously.

Using specific examples from games like Clash of Clans and Puzzles & Dragons, Michail breaks down different implementations of these mechanics and highlights the ways they keep players engaged and drive strong retention.

Michail’s next post will focus on monetization and we’re very much looking forward to it.

[Gamesbriefers] Is mobile over for the little guy?

This week’s collection of insights from gaming insiders, curated by Gamesbrief, is an interesting read on the future for mobile and tablet game production. Kristian Segerstrale, an early investor in Supercell recently wrote that “few mobile / tablet games will be made with combined production and marketing budgets below $1M in the future.” Gamesbrief asked industry players if they agreed.

Mark Sorell, a freemium game consultant, disagrees:

You can buy acquisition, but it’s much harder to buy retention and monetisation. So all the money in the world won’t get you a game that retains and monetises at a world-class level.

The Guardian’s Stuart Dredge sees new models playing a role:

A lot of those successful players are trying to get third-party publishing schemes rolling, to work with the small-but-talented indie developers who don’t have $1m to spend. Maybe that’s one way forward?

Kongregate’s Anthony Pecorella agrees, at least in terms of the big hits:

 I do expect that the persistent top 50 grossing games on iOS will have substantial development and marketing budgets with very few exceptions. I’m not convinced that it’s anywhere near $1M yet though, especially if early revenue can be recycled back into user acquisition.

The entire conversation is a very interesting back and forth on the topic.

Mobile is eating the world

Last but not least for this week, Benedict Evans just published a killer slideshare presentation focused on the growth of mobile. Check it out right here.

That’s it for this week!

Did we miss any? Share your favorite articles and posts of the week with us in the comments below, or tweet us at @superrewards.



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