Indie game developers in Latin America sustain growth after launch on Google Play

In mobile development, size doesn't matter. Companies large and small exist on the same playing field and now more than ever, there's a growing spotlight on the Indie Corner on Google Play. While launching a game is a tremendous achievement, gone are the days where you hit publish and turn your back, moving on to the next project. Below, we'll learn how a few Indie developers in Latin America leverage user insights to improve engagement and monetization.

Leverage user feedback

Oktagon Games is a development studio based in Brazil. While they identify many issues through analytics, after launching their puzzle game Pooks, the team immediately looked to the ratings and reviews section in the Play store. "Reviews provide great qualitative insight on the game helping us identify problems that may not be caught by analytics," said Ronaldo Cruz Co-Founder & CEO. For a quick overview of what users are saying, the team checks the review highlights section. They've also found that actively responding to reviews has helped improve their star rating from 3.5 to 4.

Optimize user experience

Once launched, it's imperative to understand user behavior in your game. Using Play games services, Tiny Bytes, the publisher of Monkey Rope, is able to see several KPIs around session length, retention, and conversion to identify where they can improve the in-game experience. For example, the team saw a 5% reduction in churn by users who completed the game's tutorial. Using this insight, the team identified churn points throughout their game and altered the in-game rewards to drop earlier to incentivize players to complete the tutorial. This lead to higher overall retention. The team also uses checkpoints throughout the game to test in-game currency payout rates, IAP pricing models, and the overall gameplay difficulty level to create the optimal user experience.

Diversify revenue streams

After better understanding users' in-game behavior, the makers of Tower Crush introduced in-app purchases (IAPs) to increase monetization on top of their existing in-game ads. "The objective is to have a revenue stream that can make the game profitable and self sustainable," said Cleverson Schmidt, Founder at Impossible Apps. To do this, the team offers currency packs as IAPs which can then be used to expedite gameplay and acquire new weapons and weapon upgrades. This increases user engagement offering deeper player customization. At the same time, the team tested different price points from $.99 to $49.99, and were surprised to find an appetite existed for all levels. IAPs now drive more than 60% of the revenue for Tower Crush.

As the growth in mobile games continues to rise, emphasis is quickly shifting beyond acquisition, to improving engagement and retention. With greater access to feedback and incredible behavioral analytics, there’s a growing need for developers to find meaning within their data. The three indie developers highlighted above have gained invaluable user insights to help build successful businesses.

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