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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Does a successful game come down to the right formula? GameRefinery thinks they've found it

If you asked me a few years ago I might have told you that mobile games, like a work of art, have something undefinable that connects with a player emotionally which is the main driver of its success. But that view has changed over the years as the industry has gotten better and better with free-to-play. Certainly there needs to be the right “undefinables” behind branding, but now it’s clear that a formula of is emerging in regards to what games can become hits.

Thinking about these elements, Finland’s GameRefinery has launched to crunch the variables and numbers into determining what makes a good game so that even in your development phase, you can start getting predictions where your app would end up on the App Store charts. During the past six months GameRefinery claims they have analyzed and made predictions for hundreds of games, including multiple titles in the US top- grossing top 20 list, with a hit rate of 80%.

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To do so, they analyze 140 variables around eight themes, such as in-app purchases, social elements and retention features to spit out what they call a Game Power Score – an index between 1 and 100 that places you on the app store charts with other games they’ve analyzed.

CEO Markus Råmark tells us this is plugging into two major trends. Game developers are looking for a fact-based decision making tool earlier and earlier in their development cycle before beta testers really have the opportunity to get onboard, and additionally the top grossing App Store charts are so stagnant that it’s clear that the learning curve for Free to Play is steep, and that the winners who have already learned from their mistakes are crushing it.

With their model in place currently Game Refinery is working on more of a consultancy basis where one of their analysts takes the variables out of the game and derives the Power Score to compare them to show what elements can drive more success. Tech is on their mind though, in Q1 they will be launching a SaaS tool to give to their clients.

What do you think about a game’s success? Are you in the deterministic camp where the right touch points drive a chart topper, or do you think that reality is much more complicated than that?

Let us know in the comments after this infographic:

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