Mobile game app developers find ways to engage user during COVID lockdowns

During the Covid-19 pandemic, mobile game developers have refined their apps to meet demand and improve the experience of gamers under lockdown.

New research by GameRefinery took a closer look at these modifications and found that publishers and developers reacted to lockdowns in several ways:

  • Raising awareness and notifying users (e.g. Hero Wars)
  • Adding free gifts (e.g. in-game currency) (e.g. RAID:Shadow Legends)
  • Extending events and rolling out more playable content (e.g. Candy Crush Saga)
  • Cooperating with partners and building long-term COVID-19 campaigns (e.g. Empires & Puzzles)
  • Introducing related special items
  • Major gameplay and balance fixes to location-based games to encourage social distancing (e.g. Pokemon Go)

The findings highlight that developers were quick to react to lockdown measures with games in different regions and genres increasing their playable content and loosening session length restrictions.

Joel Julkunen, VP of Games, adds:

“What’s also worth noting is that unlike so many other industries, mobile gaming hasn’t

dried down but actually increased, which might be one of the reasons why

development and live ops in general hasn’t seen any major slowdown. At the moment it’s hard to estimate how long the pandemic will last and what’s the eventual impact on mobile gaming and games. However, as people are slowly getting used to the new situation, it’s almost guaranteed that we will see some level of longer term changes in player behavioural, feature trends and the industry as a whole.”

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