GDC10

10 Reasons Why Players?Are Leaving Your Game

You?ve just launched your latest F2P game. You?ve spent $50K on a launch marketing campaign and you?re getting great reviews on the app store. Players are flocking to your game. But then you check your dashboards only to find your newly acquired users are leaving in droves after only playing a handful of sessions.

Unfortunately this is not an uncommon scenario. Our game design experts at deltaDNA have collected 10 of the top reasons why players leave games to offer their suggestions on how to improve player engagement in F2P games.

Difficulty not balanced
48%
Lack of resources
33%
Poor on-boarding process
40%
Not enough rewards
38%
Poor first view
33%
Limited progression tasks
52%
Lack of appointment setting
60%
No fun
17%
Unoriginal design
63%
No repeat play
28%

1. Difficulty isn?t balanced

Often, linear games can have a difficulty level that spikes too early, making it very hard for players to progress and have fun. Players need to enjoy what the game has to offer and have the chance to experience as much of the gameplay as possible before feeling so challenged. Players will simply leave if they find that a game is too difficult too early on so it?s essential you ensure that the difficulty increases steadily as your players progress through the game.

2. A lack of resources

The large majority of games have some sort of limited resource to help players progress through the game, but if these are only obtained by real-money purchases or are too hard to come by, players will be turned off. Allow players the chance to grind in return for resources, or award them for hitting milestones such as levelling up or finishing a mission.

3. Poor on-boarding process

No player wants to have their hand held throughout the entirety of a game, but at the same time there needs to be enough guidance to help them learn the game and discover all of its features. If a player is left feeling like they don?t know what to do next too early on, they won?t play again. Ensure that the on-boarding process covers all aspects of your game and that players know what to do next at all times.

4. Lack of rewards

Rewarding players for their accomplishments in-game helps them to feel motivated and will keep them playing in order to receive the bigger and better rewards. Without this, they lose the motivation to keep going and will soon leave the game for good. Ensure that every big milestone like levelling up or finishing a mission is rewarded. You could also include other achievements with their own rewards, like finishing a mission in a certain time.

5. Poor first impressions

As in life, first impressions count, which means that those first few minutes with your game can make all the difference to whether your players return. A badly designed game with an ugly UI or that?s full of bugs will put your players off.

6. Lack of tasks

While it may seem obvious, but if your players don?t have anything to do, they won?t return to your game. As well as the main gameplay, you can give your players more to do by including side missions, mini-games or other alternative tasks.

7. Lack of appointment setting

By appointment setting, you give your players an incentive to come back to your game at a certain time. By making this a special event, your players will actively remember to come back and check it out. Hold weekly tournaments, have the game give double XP for a pre-planned period of time, or introduce a daily bonus which rewards items each day the player logs in.

8. Not fun!

If a game requires an endless task of repetitive grinding with little reward or sense of achievement is only going to put your players off coming back. Any early grinding or wait times shouldn?t be too long. Similarly, resource costs shouldn?t be too high and increase slowly as players progress.

9. Unoriginal content

If your game doesn?t offer any new experiences or challenges, players will leave your game and go back to their established favourites. Focus on something special that sets it apart, for example through the setting, story, art style or gameplay mechanic.

10. Lack of repeat play opportunities

Being able to repeat parts of your game is a great way to ensure that your players come back, otherwise they?ll stop as soon as they?ve completed certain areas. Give players a reason to replay missions or levels. These could be cosmetic unlockables for their character such as a new costume, or rewards for a higher score which make future missions easier, such as a rare weapon.

Of course the above reasons are largely down to good F2P game design. The real opportunity is to improve the experience in-game even more by better understanding your players? behaviors and personalizing the gameplay for a specific player segment. Giving players an enhanced experience based on playing styles will ensure they stay motivated in-game.

Request a demo?to try deltaDNA?s Player Relationship Management tools for yourself.

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