Every company should aim at building a strong community. It is key for keeping advanced players engaged and aware of updates in the game, especially new content they can enjoy. But a very important and unspoken reason for building a community is being able to get players to your new games. And here’s where one of our most important strategic decisions comes into play: all of our games are made for the same players, with the same tastes. All casual brain puzzle games, a genre we aspire to get to be the #1 in the world. Because of that, we decrease our acquisition costs by moving players across all of our games, which they are very likely to enjoy, increasing retention. Building a strong community with people who enjoy casual brain puzzle games is a huge advantage.
If you think about someone playing games, it’s unlikely you are going to think about our players. They are mostly women over 35 years old, not by accident. Cupcake Entertainment and our games were built with that audience in mind. Not that people are not used to seeing women playing games, the Change the Game research by Google Play found out that 65% of women aged 10-65 in the US play mobile games and 49% of mobile gamers are women.
Managing such a community requires a particular set of skills, especially clear and precise communication, as well as patience. They are usually very polite, much more than other groups of gamers I’m aware of, and appreciate having someone listen to their problems with the games, to which they frequently say “No one has ever responded to my complaints in other games”. For most of them, taking a screenshot is considered an advanced skill. Bug fixes require a lot of figuring out between the team to pinpoint specific questions to ask the players, so that we can get the best information back. The whole team is aware of our concern with the players and is used to prioritizing their problems. That’s how we get the fame of being the most responsive company out there, which makes the players comfortable playing and spending in our games.
Our communities are all based on Facebook Groups because that is where our players hang out. Not on forums, not reddit, but Facebook Groups. We incentivize the players to join our Facebook Groups by offering free gold they can redeem once they join. But the groups go way beyond free gold, with players discussing the games, making new friends to trade gifts in the games, sharing their strategy for specific levels, their progress and also reporting bugs. Even churned players are still part of our community, interacting with other players and eventually going back into each of the games or trying new ones.
Having such a strong and engaged community has a direct impact in the company performance, as we can easily get players back to the games to engage with new content or try new games that we launch (remember that all of our games are made for the same demographic). Our player community is certainly one of the key pillars in our strategy to be the #1 casual brain puzzle company in the world.
Particularly in casual games, where socializing is a big part of why people play, a strong community is a differentiation factor that will make people stick around for much longer. The goal of a well run community is to be a place where players feel comfortable interacting with each other, sharing what they like and what they don’t like about the game, and knowing that they are being heard by those who are in charge of taking care of the games they love.