Want to keep your mobile game’s momentum going? Release new content fast, says new data

Andy Boxall | October 19, 2016

App Business


Releasing new content is the key to success for your sudden hit mobile game, according to intelligence company Nielsen, after examining several big mobile releases that rapidly captured the public’s interest, but quickly fell from a chart-topping position. It keeps players engaged, and could avoid using costly user-acquisition techniques in the near future.

Nielsen’s data shows users lose interest between between weeks 3 and 5

nielson game demand

Nielsen calls games that suddenly top the charts before falling away, “big bang titles,” and says the likely cause of this change is “unmet demand for new content.” The report says a possible key to maintaining momentum is to, “re-engage early adopters before they lose interest and switch to a different title,” adding that by doing so, momentum can be retained, “ and lead to more sustained user acquisition.”

A chart shows early adopters begin losing interest between weeks three and five, after they have consumed all the available content and played through what the game offers. Nielsen says the model applied to most of the games it analysed, singling out Pokémon Go, Fallout Shelter, and Clash Royale as examples.

It’s suggested new content released at this stage will help keep the early adopter player’s attention,  avoids future costs associated with re-engagement, and maintains news coverage and social sharing from exciting players and outlets. However, what content will satisfy needs?

Different genres need different types of content

nielson game satisfaction

This depends on the genre of game, according to Nielsen. Puzzle game players want new gameplay features, and better features, while sports gamers want improved graphics and gameplay. Role-playing games may benefit from gameplay enhancements too, but also require new storylines, and more player interaction.

Breaking the “big bang” trend is crucial to long-term success. “As commendable as it is to break into the top download charts, maintaining a top spot is a far greater achievement that few ever achieve,” says the Nielsen report.

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