Gaming apps have exploded in profitability and popularity over the last decade. In 2020, almost half of the total revenue made by video games was contributed by smartphone games. This mobile revolution has transformed the gaming market everywhere. And as has been popularly pointed out, if you are looking for something in particular there is likely to be ‘an app for that’.
It is estimated that by 2024 there will be 184 billion apps downloaded for a variety of uses. This constantly changing market has brought significant marketing power to the developers of the games and apps themselves. This was made evident in the recent case that saw the CEO of successful game app Fortnite embroiled in a legal battle with app stores Google and Apple.
Showcasing the unique features of games that cannot be easily replicated, the case could be a turning point in app creation. But what are the key stages of making a game app?
First of all, a developer needs to know what the current market looks like for the app they want to make. Studying apps that have done well is a key part of understanding what it takes to be successful. A developer also needs to pay attention to the fact that the gaming market has changed. The majority of gamers are no longer male adolescents, as was commonly thought in the past.
Today male and female gamers of older age groups are in the majority. There is also a wide degree of casual gamers, who favor so-called pick-and-play games. Casual games tend to have quick download times, or are fully online, and offer fast bursts of entertainment. An awareness of the demographics of gamers will offer valuable insight into potential audiences for a new app.
By carefully researching exactly what is required and who wants it, developers can make a ‘USP’. This unique selling point is what makes an idea stand out. By tapping into that, the design team will be able to offer a wholly distinct product.
Select the Software
The actual software of a gaming app is integral to the production process. In terms of a card game app, poker software will be a key part of the design process. Choosing the right software for the app will help to take care of the production of video and sound. Creatives can make use of the latest coding software for graphics and resolution while concentrating on other sides of the app.
Development tools can provide teams with little coding knowledge with powerful software to get the job done. Game engines and coding systems are integral to the success of an app. The unreal engine made by Tim Sweeney and Epic Games, who as noted above are the team behind Fortnite, is an example of a powerful coding engine.
Developers of new ideas for apps may struggle with the coding and visual language and animation needed to be successful. The right software tools can help to minimize those difficulties while presenting the means for an attractive gaming experience.
Developers hoping to create the best overall gaming experience need to take certain things into account. The most appropriate peripherals of gaming headsets, mice, and keyboards can make a difference to the working of the game app.
Test the App
Before publishing the game app, thorough testing trying out every possible action and eventuality needs to take place. Developers should ideally have a wide range of testers of different skills and experience. By going through their feedback of what they liked and didn’t like developers can make some modifications. The testers may also find previously undetected bugs in the gameplay that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Find the Right Platform
Once the app is ready and tested a developer needs to select the right platform for the app. This will usually be a choice between Google and the iOS App Store. Right now, this is an important decision, as these two are how apps get to the players.
The two platforms differ in how much they cost in fees for hosting apps, which makes the selection process something for an accounts team to also consider. There are also important differences in how they list and market the game apps on their listings.
There are now a variety of ways that developers can make money from their products. A popular resource is in-game ad revenue. This allows a game app to remain free but will use in-game ads to generate some money. Each time an ad is viewed or clicked on; the developer will receive an amount of money. Developers often make ad-free versions of the game for a subscription or one-off fee.
Market the App
Marketing the gaming app is often done via a website, social media, and video campaigns. Talking to gaming websites and specialist influencers is often a good route to finding the audience most likely to download the app.
Once all of the important pieces of the puzzle are put in place it will be time to release the finished product. Occasionally developers take too long before releasing a gaming app. Some experts feel that it is better to get the game out into the world quickly. The team can then make alterations and amendments determined by the reaction of the playing public.
Consistent updates to the gaming app help to keep it relevant and appealing. Player reviews and feedback will be important in keeping the app up to date and working well. The online world is a constantly changing landscape – a new gaming app should reflect this and remain adaptable and resilient.
Gaming apps are a rapidly growing market with massive incentives for creative developers to come up with new ideas. This looks set to continue, with more and more unique ideas coming to light all the time.