EASTER HOLIDAY: IDEAS FOR SEASONAL GAME UPDATES
Did you know that Easter is one of the biggest holidays celebrated by a whopping 2.4 billion Christians in 95 different countries around the world? Not only does the occasion provide a moment for reflection and commemoration, but it also has a significant effect on the gaming industry. During this time, there's a surge in app installations, user engagement, and sales of Easter-themed items in games.
In today's article, we'll explore the reasons behind the impact and offer some expert recommendations based on industry reports, collected by Amanotes. So, grab your eggs, and let's hop into it!
Table of content:
1. Gaming Industry in Easter
During Easter, people usually engage in various activities such as religious customs and social events to foster relationships. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have opted to celebrate the holiday indoors. According to a Newsweek report in 2022, 43% of American respondents stated they would not travel out of town to see family, and four in ten people avoid meeting relatives and friends. As a result, online services, including gaming, have become more popular during the holiday.
In 2021, total game app installations increased by 20.1% throughout the Easter holiday, which was the highest among other app categories. For example, the action game Draw Saber saw a 200% growth rate during the festival, with three times more downloads in April 2021 compared to the week before Easter Sunday.
This suggests that game developers can benefit from Easter by promoting their games to users who are looking for fun indoor activities to enjoy during the holiday.
2. Which market to focus on?
If you want to ensure an effective implementation plan for the Easter holiday, it's important to consider the impacted locations. EMEA and North America, where 73% of Christians reside, are the regions where the holiday is celebrated the most. These two regions offer high potential markets for mobile games during festive weeks.
EMEA: app downloads increased by 91% in 2020 and 40% in 2021.
North America: overall growth rates raised to 82% in 2020 and 23% in 2021.
Therefore, developers should focus on markets such as North America and EMEA to increase game's potential during Easter.
3. In-app Feature Update
Releasing game updates linked to holidays is a smart strategy for game developers who want to keep their game fresh and interesting, attract new players, and foster a sense of community among their player base.
In the following section, Amanotes will provide suggestions on how to utilize your game during this holiday season and retain your desired audiences.
A. Game Assets Utilization
Game assets refer to all files and resources used to create a mobile game, such as art styles, characters, environments, textures, and sound effects. These designs are essential for capturing the audience's attention while scrolling through online stores or watching an ad.
Various game franchises revise their game assets during holidays to motivate gamers to interact and avoid getting bored. This practice not only attracts new players with new features but also nurtures the game community with the latest upgrades.
Game brands usually choose special themes associated with a particular period in a year, such as Christmas or Valentine's Day. Similarly, Easter has its theme, which usually goes with symbols such as bunnies, chocolate, candies, eggs, and full blooms, etc.
If you want to create an Easter theme in your game, then consider updating your game assets with Easter symbols. To help you get started, below are some tips for incorporating Easter symbols into your game visuals.
Color creates emotions and feelings. You can consider using a color palette including bright pastel colors, such as light shades of yellow, blue, green, orange, pink, or purple to build up the Easter atmosphere in your game.
By incorporating color into the game's design, you can create a cheerful and inviting feeling that is sure to appeal to gamers during the holiday season.
If you are looking to acquire more users during the Easter holiday, one great strategy is to incorporate new characters or NPCs that fit the theme of the holiday. For example, you could add cute bunnies or colorful Easter eggs to your game world. Additionally, offering new skins for existing characters is another effective way to keep players engaged and excited about your game during this festive time of year.
c. Game items
For example, Angry Birds incorporated an Easter Kiosk in which it redesigned its NPCs and battling items to create a festive holiday atmosphere within the game.
Decorative games like Homescapes can also benefit from offering new exclusive decorations for sale during Easter, which can increase general game revenues and add to the holiday atmosphere of the game.
Other popular games such as Temple Run 2 and Subway Surfer have also implemented special Easter features. Temple Run 2 released a chest mission that contained a list of artifacts for players to collect, and if they obtained all five artifacts, they received an exclusive clothing item. Subway Surfer offered special routes distributed with eggs for players to collect, and collecting 100 eggs within 30 days unlocked a limited edition Chicky hoverboard.
d. Music choices
To enhance the holiday spirit of your game and attract more users during the Easter holiday, consider incorporating seasonal songs into your game's soundtrack playlist. You can replace your normal playlist with popular Easter music that players may associate with the season, or include new game rounds featuring hot tracks that have just been released. By providing a fresh and engaging auditory experience that resonates with the season, you can create a more immersive and memorable Easter-themed gaming experience for your users.
e. Icons and notifications
It is important to recognize that logos and other content used in your app are valuable game assets. Therefore, it is worthwhile to consider adapting these resources to the Easter holiday theme to make a strong impression on users. For instance, popular games such as Angry Bird and Homescape have released special icons featuring eggs for the Easter holiday, which helped to create a festive atmosphere in the game.
Another effective approach is to incorporate Easter-themed keywords and emojis such as bunnies, carrots, and egg hunting in your game's notifications and reminders, like Tiles Hop did.
These small yet impactful changes can make a big difference in creating an "Easter feeling" for your game, even before players open it.
B. Game Play Utilization
Gameplay is a crucial feature of any mobile game, in addition to its assets. It refers to the interaction between the player and the product, including mechanics, plot, objectives, and rules. The success of a game is largely determined by its gameplay, as it differentiates it from the thousands of other competitors in the market. Therefore, the user acquisition (UA) team should consider including gameplay in their holiday updates.
It is important to keep in mind the spirit of Easter, which emphasizes fostering relationships and engagement. Therefore, developers should focus on upgrading features that encourage collaboration between multiple accounts. This can be helpful, as when people share their time playing games with their families, they can invite more potential audiences to your product.
To gain more users during the Easter holiday, game developers need to balance between updating game assets and enhancing gameplay. Festive visuals and music can enhance immersion, but new Easter-themed game modes, challenges, or rewards can also add excitement to the gameplay. Combining both asset updates and gameplay improvements creates a more engaging Easter-themed gaming experience, appealing to existing players and potential new users.
4. UA Ads Display
UA (User Acquisition) plays an essential role in any game's success, they help to increase the number of players and downloads by deploying effective techniques in various advertising strategies.
During the Easter holiday, the UA team can put Easter-themed images, colors, and messages into ad creatives. This strategy helps to establish a holiday atmosphere and create an emotional connection with the audience.
However, you are not the only one putting seasonal themes in ads, there are thousands of competitors also trying to acquire users during the holiday.
The key to differentiating is customization: redesign ads fitting with your product spirit and unique selling points.
For example, Tiles Hop is well known for its simple music gameplay associated with modern visual designs (Neon, 3D and futuristic atmosphere). Understanding this, instead of using traditional design elements, the UA team reformatted them in the style of the music game.
In this ad video, we created the imagery of eggs and bunnies using glowing neon and futuristic blue lines, matching the overall theme of the hit ball-hopping game.
Easter season presents a great chance for mobile music game developers to expand their user base and retain existing players. Incorporating Easter-themed symbols and colors in in-game features or creative ads is a widely used and effective strategy to gain more users during the holiday. By implementing these tips, you can enhance your mobile music game, keep players entertained, and ensure their happiness. So, gear up to embrace the Easter spirit and elevate your mobile music game!
Huong Tran - Amanotes User Acquisition Excellence