Pocket Gems on the importance and best implementation of in-game events

When to do them, and why they matter

Pocket Gems on the importance and best implementation of in-game events

Pocket Gamer Connects will be heading to Vancouver for the first time ever on 28-29 June.

Tickets are still available.

So, to give you a hint at what you can expect, we're shining the spotlight onto our speakers to provide a deeper look at the personalities who will be taking the stage.

  • Nicholas Pezarro is a Product Manager at Pocket Gems, and will be talking about how events are a vital way of boosting retention and monetization. What is it about events that keeps players interested in a game?

Nicholas Pezarro: Events are a key component to keeping players interested in your game because they provide a new set of objectives, tasks and incentives that differ from the regular gameplay.

Because of their ephemeral nature, events allow developers to try new things (like trying new features before rolling them out in full force) without clashing with players' expectations of your game’s functionality.

Additionally, if your events are controlled by parameters set on a server, you can make iterative improvements or fix incorrect parameters on your own schedule.

This way, you don’t have to worry about aligning your event's release with client updates, which allows your team to be much more effective at addressing the players' needs and implementing their suggestions.

How regularly do you think events should be run to be effective?

We run events once a week, but I think the answer to this question depends on your players.

Our players are super competitive and like having something different to compete in on a weekly basis. It is entirely possible that a different set of people in a different game might find that sort of cadence difficult to keep up with.

We came to our weekly cadence after getting feedback from users that they don't like it when we have two high-intensity events in a row.

We came to our weekly cadence after getting feedback from users that they don't like two high-intensity events in a row.
Nicholas Pezarro

If you take in feedback from your community and continue to experiment, you'll find the right cadence for your game over time.

That being said, I would suggest starting with a weekly cadence because of how nicely it fits into most people's' play patterns and moving forward from there.

What has been your most successful event to date?

Our most successful event to date was one of our Breeding Weekend events [in War Dragons]. In this event, players earn points and extra prizes by breeding new dragons.

Despite the simplicity of the event in comparison to some of our other more elaborate ones, our players really love it because it rewards them for advancing on one of the most fun objectives in our game: Breeding Dragons!

It is particularly interesting to see the effects of a Breeding Weekend on the makeup of players' dragon rosters as it usually leads to a number of more powerful dragons being added into the mix for upcoming war and event battles.

What other major trends do you predict for the rest of 2016?

I predict a continuing shift in the mobile games market towards more core games as they bridge the gap between the accessibility of casual games and the depth and retention of hardcore games.

Finally, we'll see games and publishers improve their social elements and the fashion in which they communicate with their players.

What are you looking forward to seeing at Pocket Gamer Connects Vancouver 2016?

Talks from my fellow presenters.

I look forward to learning more about how the mobile games industry is going to adjust now that it is more mature and whether we'll see a reemergence of pay-first games (and less of a reliance on the F2P model).

Being in beautiful Vancouver is also a plus!

You can find out more about all the speakers at Pocket Gamer Connects Vancouver here.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.