According to Statista, 2019 was another successful year for a growing Mobile Games segment. The revenue of it currently amounts to $53.6 million. This means that the average revenue per user is $30.02. It is almost the same between the two top app stores – Google’s Play Store recorded about $22 billion in 2018 and Apple’s App Store got $34. And it’s the revenue from mobile games only – the 38.3 billion mobile games that were downloaded from both of the stores, 29.4 billion of which were attributed to Google Play.
It sounds very appealing, doesn’t it? Well, then let’s define a path to the gold mine and point out the main steps of launching your mobile game startup!
Indie Game Development: Where to Start?
Do a Research
An important step that must be made once you decide to create something new is market research. If you want to find the success you need to hear the needs of consumers and create something that they want, something that will cover a particular demand and not just a random thing that came to your mind which you hope will collect some attention from the audience. That’s why first of all after you decided to launch a mobile game startup you must check app stores: top paid/free games (based on your monetization strategy), top grossing games, games recommended by the store, top categories.
If you’re reading this article not long after it was posted, then we can surely tell that the most popular games on app stores now are casual games like Color Bump 3D and Fun Race 3D that are basically hurdling of some sort and a never-ending list of .io games. Also, you can find decent puzzle games in the top paid games section alongside the timeless Minecraft and GTA which seem to be here forever by now.
Pick 3 to 5 games similar to the one you’d want to create and analyze them thoroughly. How many daily downloads are they getting? What monetization strategies do they use? Do they use any marketing techniques? What are the features that make the game successful? There are a bunch of tools like AppTweak and AppAnnie that can help you with it.
Remember that trying to reinvent the wheel and create an exact clone of some very successful titles like Clash of Clans is not a good idea. Your research must provide you with some ideas of what’s yet undone but in demand on the market. We strongly advise you to choose a less competitive genre and style for your game. The one that can be done using simple mechanics and on short notice.
Proceed to Mobile Game Design
Let’s look a little bit closer to selecting your game’s genre and theme. Of course, with the help of professional game developers, you can choose any genre you like for your mobile game startup. But if you’re an indie dev, the best start is a simple hyper-casual game. A theme you choose is also an important step in concept development. Maybe it will be a movie-/book-themed to generate a whole fandom to your project? Or maybe some kind of dress-up or a post-apocalyptic shooter? Or something neutral like a memory puzzle? Think well about the game’s genre and theme because it’s one of the main steps that form your target audience.
In case you decided to go for a light-/hyper-casual game, your main focus is making an eye-appealing visual. The plot, environment, and characters are secondary. But if the genre you chose is different, make up a story. What’s the plot of your game? Who are the main characters? During this step, a scriptwriter from the game design studio you hired or, if you haven’t done so, you personally need to create an explanation for the game’s environment, characters, sounds, music, all the details, and actions. As it’s your first project, you don’t need to create dozens of levels and characters, a couple will do. Anyway, you will have an opportunity to add more and more details to your game with regular updates.