Game development is one of the most lucrative niches in mobile applications. There are around 96% free games on Google Play and App stores. They earn through a variety of monetization models. The app stores know around 15 game genres, which means there is something for every age when it comes to gaming. That’s why it is ideal to target a specific audience who would love your game app and help you achieve your financial and business goals. If you too are an aspiring appreneur and want to start a game app business in 2022, here is a quick guide to help you with the subject.
1. Generate a game app idea
As mentioned earlier, there are around 13 game genres and you need to choose one to start with game development. You can develop a real-time strategy or a puzzle game. Or, you can start a battle or shooting game.
To decide this, you need to identify what age group you want to target. Also, whether you want your app to be free or premium. Decide if you wish to have different characters. Choose a story play, high-intensity audio, and animations or make it a minimal one.
To make your game development a profitable venture, make sure to add to it an innovative tech stack. Examples are NFTs, play-to-earn cryptos, Augmented and Virtual Reality, the Internet of Things, chatbots or robotics.
2. Create a business plan
Your business plan and development platform will ultimately affect your hiring decision. Here are 5 things to decide when you are creating your business plan:
- platform or device you are developing for (Android, iOS or cross-platform)
- monetization model through which you’ll earn (free, paid, freemium, subscription)
- estimated revenue for 1st quarter and 1st year
- estimated no. of downloads
- app development budget (along with design, testing, deployment and maintenance)
- marketing budget (web development, social media marketing, app store optimization)
- app development timelines (6 months to 2 years)
- payment structures (one-time upfront payment, subscription model, down payment, and installments)
Once you have created a business plan, it’s time to hire the A-team: developers, designers, and testers!
3. Hire a game developer
Your hiring decision will significantly depend on your business plan, in short. Before approaching a developer, create a detailed development strategy with your development budget, platform, or operating system you need to develop for, your marketing budget, game development timeline, your targeted revenues, and your preferred methods of monetization.
If you are a newbie in the game development business, we suggest you go for either cross-platform or Android. That’s because flutter and Android game developers are easier to hire and offer economic hourly rates. Know that the budget will be low for developers with general technical expertise. However, it can go high if you are hiring a blockchain developer, or a swift developer, or a node.js developer.
For hiring a developer, make sure to assess their previous clientele, portfolio, technical expertise and user experience of their previously developed apps.
4. Test the game
Keep monitoring the previously established milestones of game development. Once you have a game with its digital assets and source code, make sure to battle-test the game for loading time, performance and user experience, the accuracy of data, sign up and sign in, social media integration, bugs, viruses, crashes, and so on.
Also, circulate the app’s initial version in your little social circle and seek the feedback of real users. Identify the errors you would like your developer to fix, create a report and send it to the team for improvement.
5. Launch the game
When you receive the error-free version of the game, it’s time to launch on respective app stores. Android games go on Google Play and iOS games on App Store. Cross-platform games go on both of the app stores.
Store approvals can take anywhere between 2 weeks to 3 months. During this period, app store bots test the games for viruses, storage size, credentials, the accuracy of app description, features, and type of content.
6. Market the game
To survive the competition in the gaming industry, whether on Android or iOS, you need to aggressively market your game application. Here are 5 best steps to market your game
- Ask your game developer to publish the case study on their website. Then share this case study on your social media channels, Medium account, and Quora spaces.
- Get a WordPress website or hire custom web development Then publish relevant content, receive search engine traffic and direct it to Google Play and App stores with download CTA buttons.
- Complete ASO (App Store Optimization) techniques and target relevant keywords in your app description on the stores.
- Create social media pages for your game app. post about different features and how players are enjoying the game.
- Build a community and generate discussions around your game. Seek feedback, respond to users’ feedback and ratings on the store, and talk about your game on Quora, LinkedIn, and Reddit.
Know that you’ll need to continuously market the game for 1 year to establish the narrative and make your game a household name.
7. Maintain the game
Like every other asset, digital assets like games need regular tuning and maintenance. During the maintenance stages, developers look into the overall health of the app, come up with issues in user experience, fix problems that users have pointed in the review section of the app store, optimize the game app screens and ensure there are no bugs or crashes in the game app.
8. Send updates
Sending updates after every 6 months is crucial for the popularity and earning potential of the game. While you add updates, make sure they are about improvements and the addition of new features. Also, when you update the app, tell your players to switch to the updated version, but don’t force and don’t ask for ratings on the new version.
Game development is not a challenging business, but it surely requires immense mental concentration, continuous investment of effort, and financial resources, at least in the first year of development. As a startup, you can optimize the development process by hiring a team that shares the same vision as yours. Work with a team that is ready to put in equal time and energy and is committed to deadlines.