Old fashioned customer service works, according to the founder of Space Ape Games Simon Hade.
“The state of customer support was atrocious at the time that we released Samurai Siege,” he remembers. “When we released the game in beta, we whacked in a blue ‘Feedback button.’”
Sat in the top right-hand corner of the screen, players could contact the development team with ideas for improvement and it was Hade who responded to each individual insight or suggestion.
“As the founder of the company, I responded and would get an almost immediate email back with people surprised that they’d been listened to.
“These people then went and recruited all their friends, and we saw a strong correlation between this feature and ultimate spend in the game.”
Giving a human face to the game – or at least the people behind it – encouraged a sense of community, and therefore investment in Samurai Siege. Consequently, Hade says that 20 percent of his studio’s revenue can be attributed to “that blue button.”
It means that even today Space Ape Games continues to invest in support and community – though of course things have changed.
“The most valuable and viral players are not on your forums and will not spam their friends, but they’re all in chat apps according to our research,” Hade says.
“The top 1000 spenders in this genre were keeping in touch with friends they’d met in the game through Line and WeChat. Fast-forward a year, and nearly 30-40 percent of these players were doing the same – so we scrapped our forums and created privileged Line chat rooms and so on.”
Of course as Space Ape Games grows it’s becoming harder to provide as in-depth customer feedback, but the key point according to Hade is that growth was sparked by an investment in player support.