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GDC Online 12: PopCap's Contestabile on keeping Bejeweled Blitz an 'evergreen success'

GDC Online 12: PopCap's Contestabile on keeping Bejeweled Blitz an 'evergreen success'
Kicking off the Smartphone and Tablet Summit at GDC Online 2012, PopCap's Giordano Contestabile continued his series about the Bejeweled brand.

After all, he is the Bejeweled franchise manager.

Entitled 'One year of Bejeweled Blitz: Learning to expect the unexpected', he pointed to the longevity of the game.

"It's a relatively old social game. It's been out for three years on Facebook, now also on iOS, but it's still consistently popular; it's an evergreen," he said.

Small changes, often

His point is that this success doesn't happen by chance. For example, the Bejeweled Blitz team is now the largest - and most multi-disciplinary - it has ever been at 30 people.

And PopCap works hard improving all aspects of the game. For example, recent tweaks to the user interface have seen big results.

Changing the UI of the Daily Spin increased the daily revenue by 131 percent, while streamlining a mode selection screen doubled the number of Party mode games played.

"Don't let UI be an after thought. You'll be selling your game short," said Contestabile.

And it's this attention to detail that keeps the audience engaged; something that's reflected in play patterns.

86 percent of Bejeweled Blitz players play ever day. This is particularly seen on mobile, where people play more, shorter sessions than on Facebook. And iOS players monetise twice as well as (205 percent) Facebook gamers.

With friends

"Bejeweled will be around for a long time, and we want it to be available on as many platforms as possible," Contestabile added. It will soon be released on Android, including with cross-platform features.

Indeed, cross-platform is very important for Bejeweled BlitzInterestingly, only 18 percent of iOS player have activated Facebook Connect. They are some of the most active players, however, according for 40 percent of daily users on the platform.
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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