Interview

Making games to be shared: Qaos Games on how to develop for virality

Making games to be shared: Qaos Games on how to develop for virality

Pocket Gamer Connects will be heading back to Helsinki on 5-6 September.

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.

  • Sebastian Lindén is the CEO and Creative Director of Qaos Games, who will be giving a talk on how to design a game to go viral.

PocketGamer.biz: What would you say is the key thing required for a game to go "viral"?

Sebastian Lindén: The key thing for a game to go viral is that people want to talk about it, that people love to talk about it.

Take a look at your game. Why would people talk about your game (if you had no chance in convincing them)? And why would they talk about your game over thousands of other games?

Go viral to whom? Is it to a niche group of people, hardcore players, or casual players? It's not easy to take on the task in making something universal such as Pokemon GO or Candy Crush.

Focus on a niche group of users, and ask yourself what you need to do with the game to make them talk about it with their friends.

How important is virality to a game's success in the current mobile climate?

It depends on whether you have a good relationship with Apple for constant pushes, an ability to cross-promote your games, or other safe sources for success.

Constantly tweaking to engage users is a great way to learn about virality.

As social media channels have become saturated with more competition, it is harder to succeed with viral strategies today than it was in 2012.

Understanding how virality works is key for everyone aiming to make successful games. That is often what differentiates good games from great games.

Often when people mention "viral", it is often forgotten that there is a publisher behind the game, features from Apple, massive budgets or other pushes behind it.

This has nothing to do with virality, although it lays the foundation for it.

A successful viral game can acquire users at lower cost than competitors, I would say that it is key for anyone in the mobile game industry.

Understanding the k-factor, what makes your game viral, and constantly tweaking to engage users is a great way to learn about virality.

Which recent viral games do you feel developers should take inspiration from if they want to create the next viral hit?

I would look at small games with viral strategies that is tangible for developers with small or no budget.

Look at games that got lots of traction, with little or no push from Apple, cross-promotion or publishers.

Also look at emerging social networks, and how you can spread your game through them. Or use existing social networks and use them in new ways.

The best example of recent games is Slither.io.

The developer made a mobile game that worked well for the web browser as well, which meant mobile plus Youtube.

After six months of building the game the developer had no money for marketing. Luckily he had built an infrastructure for its virality, and people on Youtube such as PewDiePie played it.

In an oversaturated market, developers need to make certain type of games and be known for making those games.

It got the push needed to prove its greatness, it was fun to talk about while playing, and went viral.

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

Drag-and-drop engines like Buildbox will get increased popularity and open up for a new type of non-technical developer that need an infrastructure around services that is easier to implement.

Then, I think we will see the first interesting virtual reality experiments in December.

Also, brand positioning will be more important than ever. In an oversaturated market, developers need to make certain type of games and be known for making those games. That’s where Apple will look for features.

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

Lots of inspiring people!


Former Editor

Ric was formerly the Editor of Pocket Gamer and the Deputy Editor of PocketGamer.biz. He still pops up time to time to review games.

Comments

No comments
View options
  • Order by latest to oldest
  • Order by oldest to latest
  • Show all replies