7 Mobile Game Soft Launch Strategies You Need

by Game Marketing Genie, on 11-Jan-2019 09:51:07

You’ll no doubt be itching to get to the global launch of your game, but a soft launch should be the first priority in your mobile game strategy. This means you can release your game into a few smaller areas before you take on larger markets such as the US, India, or China.

This can all be done with limited marketing spend and will give you insight into how the game fares in the market, how it is perceived, that the game operates as it should, and that monetization methods are working. Some developers and publishers will go so far as to leave their names off the game so that there are no biases or preconceived ideas.

What can a soft launch do?

By carrying out a soft launch for your new release, you can do a lot of valuable things including:

  • Gauge how your game will be received and monitor performance analytics through gathering data
  • Receive feedback from early players and understand what they like and don’t like
  • Pinpoint any bugs that may be affecting play
  • Test your server infrastructure
  • Test the monetization and retention mechanics on free games and those with in-app purchases
  • Test marketing strategies
  • Test creative assets
  • Important: A soft launch is essential if you are wanting to be picked up by a publisher

Mobile Game Soft Launch Strategy

Strategies for your soft launch

The two key things that need to be done before a soft launch are planning and setting goals and ensuring that your build is ready to go to market. Without these, you cannot meet the critical objectives of a technical and gameplay test, and a monetization test and the future marketing for your mobile game may be a waste of time and money. Getting your game out in the market earlier via soft launch means you can make required adjustments sooner.

Many developers have a traditional launch playbook for their mobile game advertising strategy, which is their go-to for covering extensive internal and external testing with each new game release. These include points such as:

  • Choosing a country to launch in
  • Setting KPIs
  • Deciding on a marketing plan
  • Having a team in place for making iterations as needed
  • Measuring analytics

If you are new to developing, then of course you won’t have a launch playbook as yet, but you can create your very own launch strategy by taking note of the following seven launch strategies:

  1. Understand your soft launch facts
  2. Work out the KPIs that you want to measure
  3. Ensure your game is the best it can be
  4. Sustain engagement with enough content and social features
  5. Test for longer
  6. Don’t hold anything back
  7. Think of your game as a long-term investment

So, let's get into it!

1. Understand your soft launch facts

There are some key things that you need to decide for your soft launch including:

  • How long will your soft launch be for?
  • What platforms are you utilizing?
  • How many users do you want to acquire in this time?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What countries will you be launching in?

2. Work out the KPIs that you want to measure

You can create an Excel worksheet that lists the KPIs that you want to measure during your soft launch, so you can analyze your mobile game advertising strategy. As you keep an eye on your mobile game analytics, such as player progression, app store optimization, and monetization, you can understand what is working and what isn’t.

This will factor into your marketing plan as well. Learn how to do this will the following resources:

3. Ensure your game is the best it can be

If you are not 100% happy with your game before a soft launch, then it’s likely that your players won’t be either. If your game lacks performance and quality, then early player churn and bad reviews will hit you like the plague. Strong app health should be a key focus before launch.

If you're reading this because your game is still in the development process, then you've still got time to clean it up before release! Use our tips in 10 Things a Good Game Narrative Needs to ensure it hits the mark!

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4. Sustain engagement with enough content and social features

Retaining players is much easier when engaged, so ensure your game has enough content to sustain them while they work through levels.

But it's not just the content in the game that they'll need! Ensuring you have plenty of content on your social media pages and website before launch will keep them up to date and ready for any new developments coming for your game.

Learn more in The Relevance of Content Marketing for a Successful Video Game Launch.

5. Test for longer

Long-term metrics will give you a much better idea of how your game is really performing, so plan for your soft launch to be as long as possible. The longer you put into testing and ironing out bugs, the better your chance of retention.

6. Don’t hold back

It may be tempting to initiate a beta version of your game that will exclude some important features or events in your game. In doing this, you may risk losing the excitement for the game, which could damage your KPIs, so don’t hold anything back that is essential to your overall game experience.

7. Think of your game as a long-term investment

Many mobile games indeed have a short life span, but it’s becoming more and more common for games to still be popular for years after release. Think about how you can make your game evergreen so that it will still be relevant years from now, with appropriate content updates as they are needed.

Mobile Video Game Marketing

When is it time for global release?

You should only begin a worldwide release marketing campaign after you're satisfied that your game will be successful. This means that you can put your marketing budget to work after you have had a successful soft launch in your chosen countries, feedback and analytics have been scrutinized, and the necessary iterations made. Unless all of these are done, and you are confident with where the game is, your global launch will not be successful.

Fulfill your quest with the best mobile game marketing strategies

Mobile game marketing is your key to the quest for success! Take control of your new game and make its marketing matter with the help of our insider tips in Mobile Game Marketing: Your Complete Guide to Success.

Reach for the stars

Launching a title is a daunting job. At Game Marketing Genie, we will help you prepare for launch and arm you with valuable post-launch follow up.Our game marketing agency team has been assembled from the industry's best, and our experience is second to none. Don’t believe us? Let’s have a chat!

Click here for more information on our strategy services.

Topics:Mobile Game MarketingVideo Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingGame LaunchDigital Marketing

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