What do Large Game Publishers want?

In talking to 7 of the largest game publishers in the world the past month, here are some common problems we have been hearing.

1) How can I create a better way to enable 1:1 communication with my players across multiple titles?

2) How can make sure my top paying players keep playing and paying?

3) How can I get more Downloads at cheaper cost?

4) How can we create internally a cross platform, cross title marketing solution when we don’t have engineering resources, or have no buy-in from our studios?

5) How do I increase user sign ups for my registration system?

6) How can I create a more fun and engaging user experience?

All of these pain points we believe relate to one common problem which is making sure LTV>CAC, which means that you need big spenders to keep spending and find new ways to get non-spenders to spend.

There are several solutions, taking off our biased Gimmie hats, that companies have tried, trying or considering.


1) Build a cross title loyalty and rewards system.  Surprisingly only 2 of the 7 had done this.

2) Use third party Platforms for repeated short ‘bursts’ for User Acq. Learn, optimize, iterate, repeat. Throw in offerwalls, CPI networks, ad networks, incentivization networks.

All 7 do some of this  to some extent, especially on mobile.  Some have their own tools to handle.

3) Email Marketing-  something that the top grossing online/mobile revenue grossing publishers we found did so than those that weren’t grossing as much.  Boring, dated but still a great and cheap(er) way to get users coming back and for discovery.

4) Single Title Loyalty – Island off ‘rewards system’ that are title specific.  4 of the 7 have or had something like this.

5)some other stuff that can’t be written here or would be too obvious who we’re talking about.

The Gimmie perspective:

Airlines as we talked about before, don’t consider a frequent flyer mile program as a temporary or short term bottom of the barrel marketing tool. Why is it that some large gaming companies making millions then think otherwise ?

We suspect its equal parts trepidation and equal parts lazyness. Trepidation because the games already make so much money, and they already have such strong data mining and funnels why change a good thing that’s not broken?  Lazyness because even if marketing wants this (which more than half of the companies want), PMs from studios and engineers can’t be bothered focusing on a solution that is going to help the company, when their  own KPIs and jobs depend on getting revenue for their Game only. Full Stop. Sounds crazy right?

In the land of instant gratification (Use this tool, get XX revenue increase now ) etc, it’s important to realize it is very difficult for any third party to think they can actually drive enough new revenue to make a difference.

We fell into some of that trap ourselves, but luckily now realize through some bumps along the way, that sometimes its good to be patient.

A Frequent Flyer mile and rewards offering to work needs to solve as many of these pain points in a way that can be tailored to each publisher.

So do we really know what large game publishers want?  Not really, but we are good at asking questions:)