On Wednesday I was sitting in the Address Hotel in Dubai Mall, waiting for a meeting, reading the FT (Middle East Edition), drinking some Caramel / Toffee Tea (I am English, and it was the afternoon). As u do..
An article entitled ‘Strategies for playing at War’ written by Jan Cienski has caught my attention, it’s about a clever chap called Victor Kislyi and his Belarus based Wargaming.net, which is one of the fastest growing games developers in the World.
The key to it’s success has been the online game - ‘World of Tanks’. Here is why…
1. Relevance - while everyone else focused on Orcs, Elves and Wizards, they stuck to what they knew best. Tanks. Because, they thought Tanks are cool, very popular in Russia, every town has a Tank monument. It also provides a point of difference in a competitive market, makes it locally relevant.
2. Business Model - when they launched completely online with a mix of free and power-up pay models (a bit like Zynga but with heavy artillery). Play for free, or pay to power-up.
3. Retention - 1 in 4 pay to powerup, and that is powerful retention tool to keep playing (and paying). Peter Warman, from Newzoo (a games market analyst) was quoted as ‘they extract money faster than any other multi player online game’
4. Focus on data - they provide a game, but they are a data driven business. They recognise that. Those that play, 60 million of them, 20 million play regularly. The balance between paying and non paying players is a fine line. Over 20 statistians are employed to review the data daily, and provide the analysis to drive the decisions that make sure the balance is retained’ “It is very easy to ruin the economy because of a few bad decisions”
5. Growth - have you heard of it yet? Popularity is expected to drive growth in US and Asia.
Not sure if the story is widely accessible as I am reading the Middle East edition and the FT is behind a pay gateway usually, but hope you found this as useful as I did (if you got this far).
Who is Saul Gowens?
Saul is the founder and Sultan of Websand and has over 15 years experience helping clients around the world build loyalty with their customers.
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