With the huge growth for mobile gaming in 2020, there are some new challenges in 2021 that need to be taken into consideration. Among these challenges are new laws and more competition between companies for users. In this analysis written by Andrey Mikhlin for Pocket Gamer, these challenges are brought to light. Here are some changes to prepare for 2021.
The majority of US (79 per cent) and South Korean (85 per cent) hyper-casual players understand the value exchange of ads and are okay with seeing in-app ads instead of in-app purchases.
However, a fresh update to Apple’s operating system ensures that ad networks will no longer be able to define a user’s profile, meaning they will not be able to segment the audience and games will not be able to generate as much money.
When logging onto products that are using IDFA, iOS14 will present users with a pop-up asking for permission to track their activity. Typically, most users will opt-out, meaning that advertisers won’t be able to target those users in their ad campaigns. Facebook will potentially be losing out on a large proportion of user acquisition spend. Facebook warning the opt-in could halve publishers’ revenues on its advertising platform, while some publishers are loudly concerned.
However, every update from Apple is expected to be something that will cause significant damage, but, as it’s been proven many times, after a few months the industry manages to adapt to the new norm, and this will be no exception. This is only one of the new challenges in 2021.
The recent Voodoo/Rollic lawsuit demonstrates the seriousness of plagiarism disputes. Voodoo successfully sued Rolic for stealing attributes from Voodoo’s popular Woodturning game. Rolic added polishing and painting stages, and incorporating them into Rolic’s hyper-casual title Wood Shop.
Whilst such a precedent will protect developers from plagiarism, the reverse is also inevitable. Developers are usually inspired by real-life when creating game scenarios, but when games are built around simple themes, they can become similar to other games.
For example, if two companies were to make a game about modeling clay, it becomes difficult to distinguish whether it’s just a coincidence. The premise is so broad, or whether it’s plagiarism. The likelihood is that the companies that have more financial resources and more experienced lawyers will benefit most. Smaller developers will be left in a more vulnerable position.
Ultimately, and the harsh reality is that plagiarism in the creative industry is inevitable. The publisher who scales the game faster and attracts the larger following will be the most successful.
Accelerating battle for users
It’s no longer enough to just make a good game and expect it to become a hit. Hypercasual gaming has less of a chance of commercial success without an effective marketing strategy. A budget is needed for promoting it and acquiring new users.
In 2020, gaming apps boosted their spending on app install ads; these include campaigns that push a bulk of downloads during a short period, increasing the app’s ranking in app stores.
57 per cent of mobile gamers look for new games in the app store. This means dedicated UA and marketing teams are essential to regularly ensure games are visible on the major app stores.
More competition among publishers
The market has become increasingly saturated, which has made it more difficult for developers to come up with fresh ideas that will resonate with a wide audience.
You also have to be quick to release games so that your audience is not taken by competing publishers. This can create a feeling of urgency. Publishers will need to develop internal tools so that. In a team with developers, they can analyse and refine the game.
Assuming the platform is desirable for developers to work with, this will create a pool of developers that are generating games for a specific publisher and help to ensure much longer-term success.
Cafrino is ready to tackle these new challenges in 2021 with its mobile friendly casino products. Let’s make this the best year yet for mobile gaming!