One of the hardest decisions in any game, whether in production or already Liveops, is to categorize and decide on what would be considered must-have features. For these purposes, many game developers utilize the MoSCoW-list method to groom the backlog and keep it in order. The real question is though which features belong to this list and where to place them, which becomes a source of constant stress!
Market Explorers feature tools give developers great insight into what features should be considered must-have. In this Tips & Tricks article, we’ll see how developers can utilize Market Explorer to find those must-have features. As a case study, we’ll be looking into the top 100 grossing RPG-genre games in the United States.
By this point, you should already be familiar with GameRefinery’s genre taxonomy. If your not, we recommend you read our article on it here first!
As I mentioned earlier, we’re using the RPG genre as an example.
These are the three steps that help you to find out the must-have features based on market data. To make life easier, I’ve scattered hyperlinks all around the article. Note: to access all the data points you need to have Market Explorer unlocked 😉
- Market Explorer – Narrowing your search to essential games
- Setting the listing parameters correctly
- Features explained and more
1. Market Explorer – Narrowing your search to essential games
Market Explorer allows us to not only visualize but also break down our segments at a feature level to see specific feature popularities – exactly what we’re after!
We start by limiting our search range in Market explorer to the RPG genre in the US market.
The segment settings we’ll be using are the following:
- Selected market – US
- Genre – RPG
- Sustained grossing rank between 1-100.
Time to visualize our segment to see that 14 RPG games in the US market fit our search criteria.
Time to move to the third tab visible in the bar, Features data.
2. Setting the listing parameters correctly
Thus far, we’ve visualized all of the top 100 grossing RPG games in the United States market. What we’re interested in are the must-have features in this genre in this specific market place. We have also moved to the third page, Features data.
Time to start ranking features based on their importance!
Do you see one of the columns ”Overall Popularity”? Click it until you have a list of features starting from 100%. Now we can see all the must-have features that are currently found in the top 100 RPG games in the US market.
You can utilize this list in planning all the must-have features when designing the MoSCoW-list of your next smash hit, especially if you aim to launch the next top 100 grossing RPG game in the US.
We know all top 100 grossing games have these features, so it’s a crucial indicator of a market trend.
You can also utilize our 2nd cornerstone Feature Groups and limit yourself, for example, to monetization features by clicking the Feature Groups button! Now that is handy!
3. Features explained and more
The list can give you more information than you might think at first glance with further breakdowns.
The little blue stars indicate differentiating feature in this segment. Therefore, they can be considered a high priority for the specific genre we’re looking into.
If a features name is not clear enough, you can always click the name for a more detailed explanation of what it is and what it is not.
You can also click the percentages to get an accurate list of all the games which have this feature.
When you click the 57%, you get access to the list, including all the games that have this feature implemented!
Remember, if you are interested in certain feature sets, you can always limit the search range from the ”Features Group” selection to single or multiple feature groups. This makes browsing and researching key features fast and easy!
What Market Explorer and feature data give you is the vital information you need for planning your prototypes or the product roadmap of your lives games product and assisting with backlog grooming.
Having the right features is critical to success, but don’t forget that real success if always measured by how they are implemented. Having all the possible features sloppily implemented can never replace the KPI effect of a single well-implemented feature. But that is another article for another day 😉