Game Developers: 4 Reasons You’re Losing Users and How to Get Them Back

So you’ve created a game that’s fun, marketable and amazingly well-designed. You have the mobile game— or so you think. You can’t figure out why you’re not able to maintain DAU’s (Daily Active Users) and why you’re steadily losing users. Here are a few elements you might have over-looked or maybe haven’t thought of that could be costing you thousands of users. Luckily for you, we’re also willing to share the secrets to getting your users back (or not losing them in the first place).


1. You have a bad first-time user experience.

One of the best way to get your users back is not to lose them at all. Studies show that 80-90% of apps get deleted after one use. This tells us that a bad first-time user experiences is the biggest culprit for losing users. Slow launching, a long registration process, a confusing tutorial and non-intuitive design are some of the reasons people leave apps after one use. That’s why it’s most important to focus on these aspects to make the first round of play as flawless of an experience as possible for your users.

To do this effectively, first things first. Keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm your users with every single detail and feature of your game. Show them what they need to understand the basic functions and let them discover some of the more detailed features on their own. Did you catch that? We said, “show them”. That’s the next key, show your users how the game works by walking them through actually playing it, a lot of text will only confuse and frustrate, so minimal text is best. Lastly, perfect it. Try A/B test different onboarding flows to see what works best for your users. It’s the only way to be sure that your process is truly effective.

2. The ads in your game are unbearable.

We get it, you need ads to make money from your game so that you can pay your team and keep the game online. However, a poorly implemented ad strategy can be just that thing that is running your users off. The most important thing to keep in mind when thinking about your ad strategy is to maintain respect for your user during the monetization process. Be mindful of the placement, aesthetic and relevance of the ads you put in your game. Consider all of your monetization options and make a decision with your user experience in mind.

At Kiip, we try to make the ad experience as pleasant as possible for user by targeting moments of achievement without interrupting game play.

3. You’re not changing it up enough.

In a world of steadily shrinking attention spans, it’s important to keep your game fresh. If your game gets stale and boring, users will leave fast.

The easiest way to remedy this problem is by regularly updating your game with new features and bug fixes, but another way to keep users coming back is to add an element of surprise. Changing your game with promotional and seasonal content is one way to keep it fresh. For example, changing the color scheme to play on holidays like The Fourth of July, Halloween, or Christmas is an easy and fun way to bring a little excitement to your app.

You can also accomplish this by rewarding your users. Kiip helps it’s developers do just that by delivering rewards users love from big brands that they know and trust, just for playing your game as they normally would. Kiip can help you choose strategic moments in your game experience to surprise and delight users with rewards. For some of our top developers, we even offer promotional Premium Rewards to gift users with great ship-to-home rewards like basketballs and NERF guns, which we found really make users happy.


4. You don’t know your users.

If you don’t know your users, you won’t be able to do anything about number 1-3. You can’t make make a great first-time user experience, you won’t know what changes your users would want and you won’t be able to create an effective monetization strategy. That’s because the key to all of those things is knowing your users and the only way to know your users is through data, lots of data.

One way to get this data is by investing in analytics and tracking user behaviors within your game. You can do this by using Facebook Connect in your registration process. Facebook has tons of data on their users that will help you understand yours. (ie: age, location, education.)

Another option to gather data on your users is through your monetization partnerships. Through Kiip’s survey module, we are able to get more detailed information about your users and are open to sharing the information with our developer partners. Some of the information we have access to includes: income range, buying preferences, family size, and daily routines. All of which can help you understand your users at a deeper level than high level demographics will allow for. This data can be invaluable when you’re designing new features to add to your game.

These are four big reasons why users are leaving your game. Take these insights into consideration the next time you are trying to improve your user retention. What other tips do you have for user retention?

More from Kiip

  • Retail Apps: Don’t Leave Money on the TableRetail Apps: Don’t Leave Money on the Table While consumers are spending more time shopping on mobile than ever before, its clear that acquisition and retention are a world apart. Installs are important for any app, but retailers […]
  • See You at GamesCom: Kiip Neon Launch Party!See You at GamesCom: Kiip Neon Launch Party! That's right, we're headed to Cologne, Germany for GamesCom 2016. While we're there, we are throwing an epic party to announce our awesome new developer product...Kiip Neon. We'll have an […]
  • Introducing Kiip Neon: The Ultimate Developer ToolKitIntroducing Kiip Neon: The Ultimate Developer ToolKit Last week at Gamescom, we announced our brand new developer toolkit, Kiip Neon, with an awesome launch party. Over the past six years, we've worked with over 15,000 developers to offer […]