Comment & Opinion

Cupcake on how to build a great community for casual games

Chief marketing officer Gabriel Stürmer discusses the studio's approach

Cupcake on how to build a great community for casual games

Gabriel Stürmer is chief marketing officer at Cupcake Entertainment.

Every company should aim at building a strong community. It is key for keeping advanced players engaged and aware of updates in the game, especially new content they can enjoy.

But a very important and unspoken reason for building a community is being able to get players to your new games. And here’s where one of our most important strategic decisions comes into play: all of our games are made for the same players, with the same tastes.

All our titles are casual brain puzzle games, a genre in which we aspire to get to be the number one in the world. Because of that, we decrease our acquisition costs by moving players across all of our games, which they are very likely to enjoy, increasing retention. Building a strong community with people who enjoy casual brain puzzle games is a huge advantage.

Targeted demographic

Our target audience is mostly women over 35 years old, and not by accident as Cupcake and our games were built with that audience in mind. The Change the Game research by Google Play found out that 65 per cent of women aged 10 to 65 in the US play mobile games and 49 per cent of mobile gamers are women.

Managing such a community requires a particular set of skills, especially clear and precise communication. They are usually very polite, much more than other groups of gamers I’m aware of, and appreciate having someone listen to their problems with the games.

Bug fixes require a lot of figuring out between the team to pinpoint specific questions to ask the players, so that we can get the best information back and fix any problems with the games. Being responsive company means players are comfortable playing and spending in our games.

Player feedback about our community management

Our communities are all based on Facebook Groups because that is where our players hang out. Not on forums, not Reddit, but Facebook Groups.

We incentivise the players to join our Facebook Groups by offering free gold they can redeem once they join.

A place to socialise

But the groups go way beyond free gold, with players discussing the games, making new friends to trade gifts with, sharing their strategy for specific levels and their progress, as well as also reporting bugs.

Even churned players are still part of our community, interacting with other players and eventually going back into our games or trying new ones.

Having such a strong and engaged community has a direct impact in the company performance, as we can easily get players back into our games to engage with new content or try new titles that we've launched - remember that all of our games are targeted at the same demographic.

Our player community is certainly one of the key pillars in our strategy. Particularly in casual games, where socialising is a big part of why people play, a strong community is a differentiation factor that will make people stick around for much longer.

The goal of a well run community is to be a place where players feel comfortable interacting with each other, sharing what they like and what they don’t like about the game, and knowing that they are being heard by those who are in charge of taking care of the games they love.

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