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Mobile hits need new content 3-5 weeks post-launch - Nielsen

Consumer research firm identifies when players most want updates, breaks down what types of content work for which games

The Nielsen Company has noticed something in common among a number of mobile games with hot launches of late. While they storm the charts right out of the gates, they tend to yield their spots back to more established and evergreen hits after a short time dominating the industry buzz. The company's new report on Long-term Mobile Game Success Beyond Awareness and Adoption looks at a number of titles that fit that pattern, and identifies a handful of things mobile game makers can do to keep interest building even after a big launch.

"In the majority of cases, new content demand among gamers reached a peak three to five weeks after a new title launched," the company said. "This plateau usually occurs when early adopters run out of content to enjoy or grow fatigued with the gameplay still available. This trend held true for most of the titles Nielsen analyzed regardless of game genre or target audience."

To capitalize on launch window buzz, Nielsen suggests planning to release new content within that three-to-five week window to retain early adopters and take advantage of those consumers who helped create the game's buzz in the first place. Of course, that's easier said than done and will differ from game to game, but Nielsen also offered some guidance on what types of new content work best for which genres and players.

"In the matching puzzle genre, for instance, gameplay and value, while graphics have little bearing on gamers' satisfaction," the company found. "Comparatively, high-quality graphics are essential in the sports genre. For role-playing games (RPGs), a strong storyline is understandably important, but social features are equally important. Developers of RPGs should spend more time crafting engaging stories and enhancing player interactions than on polishing game graphics."

The report also found difference in the types of improvements people wanted based on their gender. For example, the company noted that visual improvements are "much more important" for men than women, while gameplay and social features were slightly more appreciated by women than men.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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