Tag Archives: data

5 ways to make your game feel like a service, not a product

16 July 2018 Liz Corney Leave a comment RevIQ

Do you have something to give to people that will delight them? Of course! You’ve made something that you are proud of, and it’s your baby. We applaud you! But have you designed an experience that people want and will keep them coming back? Are you able to delight them over and over? In 4 years will you still have customers who are excited and loyal to your cause? Producers, developers, entrepreneurs, designers, and dreamers like yourself must be willing to confront the data and be flexible if the answers move them in a different direction.

1-Use your data

In order to do that, you must collect the data, make sure you’re collecting the right data, parse through everything, and then USE the data! It’s all about asking the tough questions and making sure those questions are pointing to a better understanding of your players; this is what makes you stand out in a saturated market. Your players already know what they want and will look anywhere to get it. By understanding Elastic Revenue (the idea of knowing what people want before they ask for it), your game could be their answer to where and how they will spend their money. If you feel in over your head and have no idea how to use your data, please contact us! (I’m sure we’ve mentioned this before but, we LOVE data!)

2-Listen to your users

If you sat 10 people in front of your product who had never seen it before, what feedback would they give? By collecting that kind of information and listening to new and old players alike, you will be ahead of the conversation.

Ultimately, Elastic Revenue is about supporting your foundation and being willing to evolve. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your way is the only way to engage; because your customers might not think so. They don’t know what you’re thinking, or what it took to get your game to where it is now. You have to bridge those gaps for them, and bring them alongside of your dream! You made it for a reason: tell your customers your story and listen to (and watch) how they respond. But most importantly, listen!

3-Rework your Core User Experience Loop

The main loop that ties your customer experience together has to be airtight. These checkpoints are a great way to ensure the loop brings users on the journey you intended:

4-Hire a great Community Manager

This is a sure thing. Great community managers can move mountains. Community management is all about connecting, listening, engaging, and relating. Whether it’s on a chat forum, through social media, or via a customer support portal; your community manager is the first line of defense. They are also a customer’s direct interaction with your brand; they are telling your story. It is so important to make sure that your community managers understand your product vision and your comprehensive brand story. Since they are living, breathing, awesome people; they can make your story and product seem new and exciting at every point, even many years into a project.


5-Check back in!

So now your product is a couple years old. Most of your team has moved on to new projects. That doesn’t mean your first, second, or third successes have to die! Existing products, games, platforms, and experiences can be re-energized, reinvented, and repositioned at any time, with the right team. While looking ahead is definitely exciting and exhilarating; don’t be afraid to look back and check in with your first loves.

Ultimately, if you treat your portfolio like a service, not a product, your users will feel like engaged participants and not like customers or consumers. Your data will inform your decisions, user feedback will frame the conversation, your loop will continually bring people back, your community manager will manage the message, and revisiting your old projects will reinvigorate your confidence and inspire new initiatives.


*This is the third instalment of articles that will contribute to our first Ebook! Stay tuned for details!

About the author: Liz is RevIQ’s Manager of Strategic Marketing. She is an intensely positive social engagement and client strategy ninja. She loves being outside, singing, writing, and enjoys puns a little too much.

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Pay Attention to Your Players. It Matters!

14 June 2018 Liz Corney Leave a comment RevIQ

If you aren’t giving your players an enticing and delightful opportunity to spend money in your game right now, you are years behind. There are many big game companies that are realizing the potential of elastic revenue (see our blog post on elastic revenue here) and they are capitalizing on knowing what their users want. The market is mature and the players are savvy. Not only are game makers employing the concept of elastic revenue, but players have also been trained to seek out games that they really love. Players no longer have to settle for just any game that’s out there. They can and will find games that are tailored to their tastes and habits, and they don’t have patience to spend time playing if they aren’t captured early in the game’s lifecycle.

Players understand that they are being asked to spend money on something, but they need and expect the sale to be enticing. From an analytics and data insights perspective, the mobile free-to-play market has been at the tip of the spear and the most mature market segment for years, and yet it is still defined by its failures and not by its successes. There are tools and resources available and honestly, there is no worse time to be bad at this. Venture capital is no longer flowing and developers who are climbing to the top 10, know exactly what they’re doing and how to keep it going.

Elastic revenue is a positive thing. Game developers should be interested in making a good game, understanding their audience’s desire for a great user experience, and anticipating their willingness to spend money on a worthwhile transaction. There is a perfect game out there for everyone. A game that they will have absolutely no problem spending one hundred, two hundred, or even five hundred dollars on every month. It is only a matter of time.

It is no longer good enough to create a good game, throw in some advertisements, and be done with it. We must remain engaged, connected and aware of players and their needs. By building a virtuous cycle of learning from what the data tells us about gameplay experience in the aggregate player experience, and then using best practices in user experience research and user interface research to understand more of how this data is emotionally relevant for the target audience, anyone can build a better Free to Play game that captures high-quality player experience data to continuously improve the product.


*This is the second instalment of articles that will contribute to our first Ebook! Stay tuned for details!

About the author: Liz is RevIQ’s Manager of Strategic Marketing. She is an intensely positive social engagement and client strategy ninja. She loves being outside, singing, writing, and enjoys puns a little too much.

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The Dos and Don’ts: Designing Customer Event Systems

24 May 2018 RevIQ Hive Mind Leave a comment RevIQ

By now you know that RevIQ is all about optimization; specifically, revenue optimization. This is something that we look at through the entire life cycle of a product; through development, beta, launch, marketing, user acquisition, A/B testing and ongoing live operations. (Sorry, we get very excited and then we ramble 😛 ) Seeing through this lens gives us the unique opportunity to put our passion to paper through testing, iteration, and optimizing our own processes. And since sharing is caring, here are some insights into a very important approach in F2P games: designing custom event systems.

Lucky for you, this is actually one of our core offerings. We see designing custom events as necessary to maximizing business intelligence and informing ongoing development. One important consideration we always warn our clients about, is to frontload as much as possible. While adding new events is not a problem (it is quite necessary for changing and adding features), event data doesn’t regress, which means that data will only start collecting once the event is in the game. Depending on your audience size this can negatively impact speed of iteration while you wait for data collection.

As an example, we designed an enormous custom event system for a client. The client wasn’t sure what player behaviour trends they were looking for, so we wanted to be thorough and ensure that we captured everything! The game was still in its conception stage and our team continued adding new and changed events and payloads (parameters) for every additional feature and every conceivable question. We then used this data to visualize trends and answer questions from the client on a live, proprietary dashboard.

This worked very well for a while, and then the game started lagging, potentially because of the amount of data being sent back and forth. Fortunately, by this stage both the client and the RevIQ team knew the game and the vision well enough to be able to quickly cull unnecessary events and payloads. And as a team we were very happy to learn a few things from this experience:

What NOT to do:

  • Overly complex or bulky event systems can actually compromise players’ experience by taking up too much memory and/or bandwidth.
  • Uploading and storing too much data can take an enormous amount of time, and grow quickly and exponentially. This becomes an inefficient way to process in a highly competitive industry where pre-emptive and quick iteration is crucial to sustained success.

What TO do:

  • Custom events should always be informed by clearly articulated hypotheses. These hypotheses should aim to separate relevant data for high-impact design changes from the weeds.
  • Some initial questions that will inform these hypotheses include:  
    • Which mechanics, balances or features are you most concerned about?
    • How do you presume players will respond to different aspects of the game and why?
    • How would you want to test these assumptions?
    • Which features do you think players will want or want more of, but had to be cut out of the initial development scope due to time pressures? What data in the current version of the game could help inform or prove your gut feeling? (so that you can convince your executive team to let you see your awesome design through 🙂 )
  • Consider which parameters are necessary for each custom event to be meaningful. If there are some that are more generic and not necessary, cut them!

Once you’ve developed your hypotheses and designed your tests, it is important to check that your events are actually answering your questions and that the data you collect is reliable, valid and generalizable. That’s where our team of awesome comes in – contact us to find out more!


About the author: Riette is a fierce customer-focused strategist who is passionate about well-designed product. She is into nerdy crafts, loves cats, and has a laugh you can hear from a mile away.

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What is RevIQ’s secret sauce?

7 May 2018 Liz Corney Leave a comment RevIQ

Elastic Revenue is our secret sauce. Oops, we weren’t supposed to jump right into the juicy part were we? Oh well, the secret’s out.

Elastic Revenue (a fancy term we’ve coined) is about giving people something they know they desire but aren’t willing to ask for explicitly – it’s making the sale by connecting the perfect offer with the perfect customer, at the perfect time. It’s the sale that wouldn’t have happened organically without those perfect circumstances.

When you’re talking about social media, online shopping, or even the music industry, it’s always been about engagement, engagement, engagement. Look at how successful the US broadcast television model was at bringing viewers back week after week, year over year, with serial content. For the gaming world, engagement is just as crucial. Games are successful when they engage with users and keep them coming back for more. And a big reason why free-to-play games are so popular right now is the enticing pull of that beautiful word; “free”. People always want to feel like they’re getting a deal and they are instantly getting that with no-obligation free-to-play games.

But there is so much opportunity beyond providing a free game. There is an audience of people now who are allocating their entire entertainment budget on digital content. They’ve decided to forgo the latest Hollywood blockbuster in theaters or box set of DVDs and instead put their money into the world of games and apps. When you have a market that is willing to commit fully to one portal and dedicate money to spend; the possibilities are endless for finding those users, positively engaging them, and putting something in front of them that they will love.

At a basic level, free-to-play games are successful because they can bring people in for free but have something so seductive to offer, that users are compelled to stay and spend. They spend because the game has given them something more; a value they believe is worthy. For so long, though, the free-to-play model has been derided as an unscrupulous way of squeezing nickels out of stingy players with artificial roadblocks. It is becoming harder and harder for players to trust that the deal they’re buying is one that’s worthwhile. And a bad sale at a bad time will turn players off and make them hate the process.

However, free-to-play games can immediately build trust by exceeding expectations and anticipating needs. Understanding your audience, their habits, and their desires by noticing the patterns and trends in their behaviour will give you the insight necessary to minimize the noise and put people in front of what they want. If you can know what they want – but are hesitant to buy – and provide them the value in justifying the purchase, that will increase conversion and engagement astronomically while eliminating buyer’s remorse. Done successfully over the long-term, you will gain and retain users that are faithful, happy, and eager to spend.

Think of this example: you are to checking into a hotel for a special honeymoon and were expecting the reasonably-priced room you had chosen online. What if the hotel staff put an upgrade in front of you that wouldn’t cost a thing? You’re thinking, “this is great, I wasn’t even expecting an upgrade!” Then they show you an even better upgrade – ocean view – that will cost a little more. You had been flagged a few years ago as someone who may be interested in a room with a view of the sea. The hotel knew this and were banking on the right opportunity. This offer connects with your immediate desire you wouldn’t have asked for, and gives you more than you expected. You simply can’t pass it up and as long as the price is reasonable, you’re 100% converted.

That’s the idea of Elastic Revenue – identifying a very specific target audience that is willing to spend a little more for a much better experience they didn’t know was available, and give them more of what they want, effortlessly.



*This is the first instalment of articles that will contribute to our first Ebook! Stay tuned for details!

About the author: Liz is RevIQ’s Manager of Strategic Marketing. She is an intensely positive social engagement and client strategy ninja. She loves being outside, singing, writing, and enjoys puns a little too much.

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