Our report with Facebook gaming and Facebook IQ showed that genres make up 49% of the reason why players play the games they play. We covered 4 markets and 4 genres with an 88 page deep dive into the topic. We couldn’t fit everything in one report, though, so in this blog post series, we’ll focus on some key highlights from the report and look at some subgenre level insights we salvaged from the cutting room floor. In this highlight, we’ll turn our attention to Strategy games and stand out features you should definitely consider for your next Strategy game.
Strategy is one of the most successful mobile game genres in the west
Strategy may not be the most popular genre on the mobile games market based on downloads. Yet in the US, UK, and South Korea, a quarter of mobile gamers play strategy games, and out of the genres covered in our Genre and Great Games report in terms of revenue, it is only eclipsed by Puzzle in Western markets.
Key Strategy game features – engagement
We identified some clear differentiating features found in top Strategy games. These each enhance player engagement by adding variation to the gameplay and providing players with incentives to keep coming back and grinding more rewards.
What other engagement features could you use. Here are a few to keep in mind from Multiplayer Battle Arenas and 4X Strategy.
Multiplayer Battle Arena – Promotional Collaboration Events
Crossover events can be powerful tools to boost your engagement metrics, both in terms of pulling back an existing player base as well as introducing your game to new audiences. Collaboration events work best when combined with a compelling reward pool as possible – they go extremely well with games that use collecting as one of their key meta drivers.
And what do players often deem as exciting content in games? Characters and character cosmetics.
And what are the game types that live and breathe on characters & character cosmetics?
Arena of Valor had a collaboration event with Sword Art Online.
4X Strategy – Live Event Currencies
4X Strategy games are probably the ones with the most sophisticated game economies in the mobile game landscape. Having separate, limited-time “mini economies” during live events is a great way to create more sinks & sources to your game without meddling with the game’s primary economy.
With limited time currency, it is possible to have, e.g., a limited-time shop or gachas open during the event where players can acquire exclusive limited-time content. It is also a fun way to engage your players – perhaps the source for the live currency is a special limited-time boss raid?
Limited-time shop in State of Survival
Key Strategy game features – community
Key features that drive community engagement in top mobile strategy games include guild wars, co-op tasks, and the option to donate items & resources. This provides players with avenues of working together and helping one another and ways to compete against other guilds.
There are quite a few things you can do to increase the sense of community in Strategy games though. Here are some co-op examples from 4X Strategy and Build & Battle.
4X Strategy – Non-competitive Co-Op Development efforts
Pretty much all strategy games have social aspects at the very core of their game loop. One very popular example of a social feature in 4X Strategy games is the possibility to develop something together with your friends/guildmates. For example, many games offer a chance to develop and upgrade your guild with the unlocked perks/boosts varying game-by-game.
Rise of Kingdoms has plenty of long term power progression for Alliances with its Technology system.
Build & Battle – Non-competitive Co-Op Asynchronous PvE
Fighting monsters and completing dungeons is a lot of fun, but doing it together with friends can be even more exciting. That’s why many games have various built-in Co-Op modes. In the Strategy genre, the modes are often Asynchronous as players can participate in dungeons on their own time but still work towards a common goal.
Hustle Castle’s Dungeon feature allows players to team up and complete a dungeon asynchronously over 24 hours.
Key Strategy game features – monetization
As we can see yet again, Battle Passes are a great monetization mechanic because they provide players with a healthy amount of rewards while keeping them engaged. Other effective monetization mechanics found in nearly all top Strategy games include character and gear purchases. These are both effective monetization mechanics as they provide players with a faster alternative to power progression.
But what else can you add to your puzzle game to bolster its monetization? Let’s take a look at Tactical Battler and 4X Strategy games.
Tactical Battler – Gachas
Gachas are a popular monetization mechanic in games that have loads of characters or items to collect. Many strategy games, especially Tactical Battlers such as Clash Royale, utilize gachas in some form or another. In Clash Royale’s case, gachas are the main monetization method of the game and are used to collect different cards to strengthen the player’s deck in battles. The game’s main gacha mechanic is the chests gained from winning battles, which have opening timers that can be skipped with payments. Of course, the game also sells loads of other gachas in their shop.
Clash Royale’s monetization revolves highly around different gachas
4x Strategy – Progressive IAP rewards
Almost every top-performing 4x Strategy game utilizes Progressive IAP reward mechanics to boost their monetization. Progressive IAP rewards are usually introduced to these games as events where players progressively gain rewards based on the amount of premium currency they have bought or spent during the event. This mechanic is a great way to boost monetization during certain periods or events, i.e., anniversaries.
Progressive IAP reward events in Game of Thrones: Conquest and War & Order
Download the report for more insights
For even more insights on RPG, Strategy, Casual, and Hyper-Casual games, download your copy of the Genres and Great Games report here!