Using Social Disincentives as a Strategy for User Retention

Matt Tubergen heads Recharge Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of W3i that invests in the development and marketing/distribution of freemium mobile games.  W3i is a market leader in distributing and monetizing apps with over 500 million apps distributed for W3i clients. Recharge Studios is actively seeking new investment opportunities, if you have a great idea for a game contact us.

In recent weeks posts, we talked about how to complete lifetime value analysis (LTV) based on user retention and revenue per daily active user (RPDAU).  This week we will look at a unique and relatively new means to help increase retention and ultimately increase the LTV of your users.  This new strategy we will label as the “Social Disincentive”. Plus, we will showcase our SUPER SECRET new game launching at the end of May.

A recap: What is retention?

Retention is a key metric that speaks to how many users stick with your app day to day after initially being acquired.

What Is a Social Disincentive?

Typically a disincentive is defined as something that prevents or discourages action. However, when it comes to freemium games, a disincentive can be an incentive that when no action is taken a negative experience will result.

Social disincentives are mechanics where social activity can trigger a disincentive between players. Social disincentives can come in the form of

  • Visiting
  • Sharing
  • attacking

The actions can be used to trigger server alerts, in game notification and “push” players to more aggressively progress so that they may “beat” other players.

Ta-da! A new age in social disincentive and our latest partner titles.

While I typically don’t announce new titles in blog posts I couldn’t help but showcase our next game in partnership with InEarth called Master Dealer. Not only is Master Dealer going to swoop up the Mafia Wars crowd on iOS and Facebook, it will introduce a new type of social disincentive where new users are automatically pitted against their Facebook fans who are not yet players of the game. This give users the incentive to play the game even when they haven’t downloaded it yet! Very cool!

You can see a video of the new title here:

Why do Social Disincentives Matter?

Retention matters right? Would you re-engage in gameplay if your friend was attacking your island? Of course you would, because you’re definitely not going to let your homeboy take over your oh-so-precious territory.

Tune in next week for another cool sneak peek into the work of Recharge Studios and freemium game mechanics.

Do you have a question about freemium gaming or a topic you’d like us to explore? Let us know in the comments or catch us on twitter @rechargestudios or @w3i.

Freemium Game Blogs are published in partnership with the series on W3i’s corporate blog.


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