10 Essential Features for Social Games

Our good friend Michael (Kalkowski), co-founder of GameDuell, gave a stimulating talk this morning at the Virtual Goods Summit in London where he revealed the most important factors that contribute to the success of a social game. The list was compiled by GameDuell after extensive analysis of the top social games in the market today.

While Social Times describes all these features in more detail (link below), we thought we’d add our two cents based on our experiences as a monetization platform. Specifically, we’d like to emphasize the importance of “limited offers”, a feature that took pole position on Michael’s list.

Inserting special offers into the payment flow is an effective way to curb user drop-off during the payment process. In fact, we’ve seen such incentives provide a tremendous boost to conversion — often by up to 30%, especially during the initial days after their introduction. Another method — that of showcasing offers or items that are limited in time or quantity — is also an effective monetization strategy. In particular, deep in-game integration of such offers can be a powerful driver in converting non-paying users to paying customers. We experienced excellent results [PDF] from in-game integration with virtual world Smeet.

As Michael duly noted, limited offers have the intrinsic limitation of being short-lived and so demand regular refreshing. On the flip side, they present an opportunity for constant innovation and, in turn, not only keep users engaged but also help publishers reap tremendous rewards.

Read more about the rest of the list from GameDuell here.

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