The 3 pillars in Developing / Publishing a successful Mobile Title

As the mobile business landscape changes every month, developers and publishers are constantly looking for creative ways to exploit the current market.  

For the purpose of this post, i will be defining “success” as a mobile title that experience a positive profit margin throughout the course of development and live operations. The post discuss’ 3 pillars that are evident in every successful mobile title that have cemented in the top 50 of any app store worldwide.  Let’s take a look at what these 3 pillars are:

1) GAME DESIGN

This is a no brainer, and for the purpose for the readers, good freemium game design can be broken down into 3 important design mechanics:

A) Battle System or core game play system:

Core gameplay will be the backbone of the game and if this game mechanic is not intuitive or innovative enough, your only option is to copy a similar battle system that is successful in the current market and hope that this battle system does not get out-dated once you hit the market.

This does not mean that a mediocre battle system will not equate to a unsuccessful title.  The biggest concern with the “me too” strategy is that the amount of competition you will be facing when you hit the market.  You won’t be the only studio releasing what the competition is doing.

B) Monetization Mechanic

The assumption is that you will be developing a freemium app, and how you monetize this will determine your bottom line.  I can go into depth about the do’s and don’ts of designing your app to maximize your ROI, but ill save this for a separate post.  

Based on your Core game play, the main objective of monetizing your app will revolve around creating demand in your game and managing the supply.  How you effectively design your in-game economy will determine your monetization rate and effectively your LTV.

C) Social Feature

As mobile technology and connectivity improves, social gameplay will be the main focal point going forward in the next couple of years.  Currently, most social mobile games creates asynchronous type gameplay.  But in the next couple of years synchronous, multiplayer gameplay will be your standard feature that users will be expecting and how you engage users to play with others will dictate the success of our title.  This concept is already happening in Asia and it’s almost imperative to have a GVE (Guild vs Environment) system in your game or publishers won’t even consider your title.

2) USER ACQUISITION

User acquisition is the topic of discussion all throughout Asia, especially Japan and Korea.  The publishers with the strongest community are the Kings in the current market as developers struggle with the growing cost of CPI. 3 Popular methods developers attempt to solve this problem are as follows:\

A) IP Licensing Strategy

Li