Case: Associations Improved Session Length by 30%

Nordeus studio has recently added a new mechanic, associations, to its football game Top Eleven. We’ve asked Aleksandar Aleksic, Producer at Nordeus, if it has improved the game’s KPI.

Nordeus

Quick note: An association in a football game is pretty much similar to a clan in an MMO. Players can cooperate with 4 to 6 friends, chat with them, and participate in team challenges.

Aleksandr

Aleksandar Aleksic

What were your goals with this new mechanic?

With associations, we wanted to bring the TE managers closer together and to give them a channel where they can discuss tactics and results. We wanted to give them a feature that is really fun and doesn’t cost you anything. If you think about it, usually people (friends) are watching football together, usually during the weekend, so we wanted to give them a goal to compete as a group against other groups during that time, and invoke feelings like success or disappointment, but as a group.

And if we talk numbers, did it improve the game’s performance?

We’ve already seen significant improvements in user acquisitions since this is a social feature, but also in other engagement KPIs like DAU, session length, a number of sessions and so on.

Are there any specific numbers?

We see significant improvements in session length during the tournaments – up to 30%, but on average during the week it’s up to 10-15%, which was aligned with our forecasts

The first analogy that occurs when seeing the mechanic is a clan in an MMO. Did you use any specific projects as a reference?

Yes and no. We, of course, looked at other games and projects such as Clash of Clans, and other successful games to see what makes them successful. But we had to adapt a lot of things for our genre, and there are no similar games in football category on the market with this social mechanic (games with real-time competitive clans mode)

If we continue the analogy with the clans, the number of players in it is usually large. Why did you limit the association to 6 players?

We looked at our data, and we saw that our players don’t have that many friends, so that is one reason. The other one is that we wanted for players to feel close to each other (friends) and with more players it get’s harder to have that closeness.

And the last question. The fact that the Top Eleven doesn’t have any competitors within its genre – it is good or bad for the project?

Top Eleven is a niche game, and there are games we consider as our competitors in this area. There are other FM games for mobile devices. It is a great feeling to be the best in class, but we need to work hard to remain top football management game. However, our aspiration is much bigger, and that is to conquer whole football segment on mobiles, where we have FIFA for example. So, I would say that both these situations are advantages for us, because they make us work hard on improving the product and bring better player experience than our competitors.

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