The next time you download a new social game on mobile, or return to a loved favorite, you might want to stop and think exactly why. Chances are, your gaming decisions are more likely emotionally driven than any other reason.
MediaBrix just released their latest Social and Mobile Gaming Report, which shows that the most successful advertising involved emotional targeting. Statistics from 2012 to 2013 indicate at least a 30 percent boost to social gaming on mobile and 15 percent for the web.
Considering that so many more games encourage players to invite all their friends to play, keeping people hooked is a big business. Throw “freemium” format games – where the game is free to play but offers in app purchases (IAP) – on top of ad revenue and we’re talking about some serious dough.
How much more effective are social games at ad-revenue generation? Quite a bit. Social gaming ads are 19 times more effective for click-through-rates than online banner ads. Value exchange (in-game) ads? Social games boost those 47 times more than online banner ads.
If you’re curious as to ‘when’ and ‘how’ the game designers hook you, just pay attention to what you’re feeling while playing. Frustration, excitement, and sense of accomplishment are key points when gamers might be targeted with messages. Familiar with those games that encourage you to post scores or acquired items to your social media accounts? It’s a method to leverage a positive emotional moment.
So the next time you fire up your favorite game, you might want to take a moment and think about why you still play it. Is it because the game is actually that good or stimulating, or have you been wrapped up in some clever yet effective marketing? I will admit, though, that the best ones out there make sure to combine both.