Adeven's 5 top tips to ensure your game flies at launch

Christian Henschel gives good advice

Adeven's 5 top tips to ensure your game flies at launch
Adeven's CEO and co-founder, Christian Henschel comes from a digital marketing background and now specialises in mobile analytics and app performance measurement.

With competition for app users alarmingly high in the gaming industry, it's more important than ever to make sure your game doesn't crash and burn into oblivion after being released.

Over 74 percent of App Store games in the past month were 'zombie apps', meaning that roughly 230,000 apps of a total of around 313,500 games didn't rank and were probably not downloaded (didn't even get off the ground!).

This is much higher than the global zombie rate of 64 percent of apps.

Games also tend to have a shorter user lifetime and low user loyalty.

Competition is tough, so check out these tips to improve your chances of success.

1. Build an awesome app

Nothing beats a great game and this is what will guarantee long-term success.

I won't go into details here, but don't forget to use free tools like apptrace to check out the market and your competitors.

Apptrace also covers sentiment analysis by studying all English App Store reviews and calculating how addictive the apps are, if reviews are positive, comments about the app being 'crashy' or just plain bad..

The good news is that more addictive apps need less marketing support to fly.

2. Work out what stats you need

A tracking SDK needs to be built into your game before it goes to market.

It provides the conversion and post-install analytics that will tell you how your game is performing and it's better to think about this before rather than later, especially when dealing with the App Store (save on going through the approval process again).

I always recommend using open source SDKs. Not only can you test it but you also know what you are dealing with so you can reduce the chance of your app crashing once it is launched into the market.

If you are going to be marketing your app but aren't sure about every single network you will be using, make sure that you choose a tracking SDK that is integrated with key advertising networks such as YOC, Millennial Media, Tapjoy, Trademob, madvertise etc and also Facebook (saves on future headaches and reduces testing time).

3. Start day one with effective marketing

Whatever you do, do it properly. If a game can't out-manoeuvre the thousands of other games in the same sub-category through sheer awesomeness, then there will need to be some serious marketing.

Smart indie game developers can get ahead of big companies just through understanding how to use analytics to optimise their marketing campaign and save big bucks.

For every dollar (pound or euro) spent on development, at least twice as much should be spent on marketing. My advice is not to put your whole budget into development, because you may have built the most incredible game that ever existed, but no one will see it unless you market it well.

Many developers also make the mistake of releasing a new app, seeing how it goes and then start a marketing campaign when nothing happens.

Marketing needs to hit hard from day, one especially in iOS because an App Store ranking is based on the average downloads from the previous three to five days and the momentum during this period.

If a lot of downloads are generated in the first day, then there is a one off chance of getting a cheaper, more effective App Store ranking. This means a better chance of securing more organic users.

Timing is also important - think about planning a launch with a relevant global or local event.

Once your game is launched you can use marketing campaign 'flights' to discover what sources, creative and strategies work best for your game.

4. Avoid headaches! Respect user privacy

Quality control is tight in the gaming industry.

As of 1 May, Apple longer accepts new apps or updates that use privacy violating UDID tracking technology. Safari 'flip-flop' tracking technology is also being rejected.

The iOS 6 operating system is essential for Apple's privacy safe Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and some companies in the industry have argued that not enough people are on iOS 6. This is simply not true.

We recently analysed a million app installs and found that over 93 percent of devices were operating on iOS 6. With the increasing international industry focus on mobile privacy and new EU legislation currently being debated, there is no excuse for developers to put their heads in the sand.

5. Planning is the key

Make your flight plan.

Include product optimisation, launch planning, and ongoing marketing and performance monitoring to make sure your game takes off.

You can find out more about adeven services via its website.