Soft launch in 2024 has become more of an acquisition testing tool. It provides an opportunity for the developers to collect data from the user, recognize the bugs, and receive early feedback from the gamers.
Moreover, it also helps the developer to test the infrastructure and ensure that the load of the global launch will not be a problem.
What are soft launch strategies?
Soft launch strategies help enterprises and organizations to test the user acquisition process to fix the issues before the hard launch of the game. This can help in understanding the criteria of success, gathering insight on user data, figuring out effective promotional strategies, and developing a learning to optimize the game better.
- The gaming industry has considered soft launches in serious terms according to andreessen. horowitz, in September 2023, over 600 mobile games got launched in the Google Play Store, and more than 100 games were soft-launched in the Apple App Store.
- The game application which has spent more than one month in the soft launching phase has seen a hike in retention of over 20%, according to my tracker.
Soft Launch strategy for mobile games
Limited Geographic Release
The developer sometimes releases their product-like games for a soft launch in a specific geographic location so that their viability in the particular market segment can be tested.
It also provides authority to the developers to pick and choose the places to start their sales first. Limited geographic release assists in soft launch since it is often seen as a strategic, controlled rollout of a completely new product such as games to a limited audience or target location.
Beta Testing with a Closed User Group
Beta testing is another arm of the soft launch strategy which is performed when the majority of bugs have been fixed. Since the developers are assured that the mobile game is stable, the application is introduced to the public.
Beta testing is crucial because it brings the perception of the user. It helps in the detection of hidden bugs, diversification of the device matrix, and improvement of localization, and geolocation. It is also a cost-effective solution to meet the business goals.
Iterative Gameplay and Monetization Testing
The essence of iterative gameplay testing involves the procedure of repeated playtesting, evaluating, and revising to understand if it can stand through the long process of development.
The development of a profitable business model for a game and testing it is called monetization testing. Monetization for the mobile game is strategized to ensure it is profitable enough to cover development costs.
User Feedback Integration
User feedback integration reflects that the developers are willing to create a strong collaborative community built around the game. Feedback from the users consists of important activities like bug reports, questions regarding how to do something, feature requests, and certain general comments about the game.
Integration of the user feedback data is a continuous process and the researchers need to work in close collaboration with the developer. The process continues through evaluation and monitoring of the feedback changes on the game and users to collect more data and refine the game.
Performance optimization is essential for the long-term success and progress of a profitable gaming industry. The market of mobile gaming has been growing ever since its existence. A mobile game may not get its desired popularity if there is an old-fashioned user interface, improper maintenance, or lack of advanced features.
The development company and the developers continue deeper user engagement and work on the overall performance of the team. During the soft lunch, the performance of the game can also be analyzed.
A/B testing of market assets
A/B testing of market assets is also defined as a split test. This crucial process is carried out to understand the performance of the two different versions of a marketing asset.
The test is iterative which can provide a continuous learning experience to understand better about the customers with each test. Every A/B test is useful to understand the key motivation of the customers to opt for the mobile game and the features that drive them away from the mobile game.
Monetization model validation
Monetization model validation is a crucial part of mobile games. The mobile gaming market has been evolving continuously and in the competitive scenario, the developers are searching for new ways for revenue generation.
Multiple models have gained popularity like in-app purchases, one-time purchase models, subscription models, ad-supported models, and blended models.
A proper soft launch strategy can be the key to the success of a game. Striking a proper equilibrium between the needs of the audience and the willingness of the game developer to build a game is crucial.
The designer and the developers can have a proper idea regarding the target audience of the game if they research the requirements of the key players. The soft launch of the game is a testament to the user acquisition strategy which ensures the success of the game.