Game Development Reference
How to Acquire,
Keep, and Regain
7.1 How to Build It So They'll Come
Let's look at the core challenges for the current business model for social
1. How do I gain new users?
2. How do I retain these users?
3. How do I make money?
We'll talk about the concept of the “funnel,” which describes the life cycle
of a social game user. We'll talk about acquiring new players: both how to
do so and how much to spend. We'll talk about virality and how you can
turn fans into advocates. We'll look at how Zynga and other top companies
turned their disparate tribes into a coherent nation by unifying them under
one “family” of games. We'll look at some of the recent data that has come out
about the near-collusion between Zynga and Facebook, and we'll explore how
smaller shops might stand a chance against the monopolistic might of these
bedfellows. We'll consider how to hold on to users once you've got them and
how to stay aware of when and why your users quit playing. We'll talk about
the ways that leaderboards and other social gameplay features can help user
retention numbers and other best practices for bringing lapsed players back
into the fold.
We'll start with the core theory behind the consumer purchase business
model and how it differs for social games.