Player Types As Way to Improve Your User Acquisition Strategy


Age, gender, marital status, occupation… which other data you can use to fine-tune your user acquisition campaigns? According to the latest trends it’s: Player Types.

Back in 90s a prominent Computer Game Design professor of the University of Essex, Richard Bartle, invented a taxonomy of player types for MUS (a multi-user dungeon or MMO) that is now widely applied across various gaming-related areas. Including mobile games user acquisition and marketing.

Player Type: what is it?

It shouldn’t be confused with player personality. Player type determines how player BEHAVES in the game and what he finds FUN about playing. It gives you insight into the players’ motives and helps to decide on feature set and mechanics that will resonate best with them. More than that, it will suggest ways to monetise your players.

Bartle broke up all players into 4 types: Achievers (act on the world), Explorers (interact with the world), Socialisers (interact with people), and Killers (act on people).

How to choose your target Player Types

If you want to draw media’s attention and make your brand popular, turn to SOCIALISERS who are best at spreading word. They will create buzz in social media, bring crowds into your app, but don’t expect them to pay a lot.

If your main purpose is to increase revenues, get more Achievers or Explorers.ACHIEVERS have all chances of being the main source of your revenues. It’s the craving for level-ups, highscores, fast progress and accumulation of resources that makes them pay in games.

EXPLORERS, driven by curiosity to find out how the virtual world works and love for experiments with game physics, also have potential for paying, They will pay to play it over and over again until they figure it out.

Who’s left? The KILLERS.
Though at first they seem to be the only fly in the ointment, the killers are also useful and you need them. Their main interest is killing other players’ fun, but their presence actually sets the whole player diversity in motion: killers give Socialisers new topics to talk on, create challenge for Achievers who don’t enjoy easy victory, and sometimes add extra spice for Explorers that don’t care about losing but can discover something new while competing.

After all, a little killers’ party never killed nobody.

UA campaign tips to drive the right Player Types

Use the right imagery and video ads to demonstrate your game’s main hooks.

Achievers will like a video showing gameplay with definite goal (for example, finding a treasure), lots of collectibles and leaderboard.

Explorers can be haunted by an ad demonstrating a hero’s quest for a treasure or princess, set in a vast imaginary world.

To draw killers in, you can present a video with player stealing resources or treasure from another player, or heavy PVP clash (remember: killers only want real people to play against, no PVE).   

Show socialisers that your game is about interacting with other players (sharing, teaming up with friends, chat channel), and there will be love at first sight. Big community of socialisers is the best way to get the most out of your UA spend: you drive a thousand into game, and get a thousand more through word of mouth.   

Main tip: try to create a player community that includes all player types. Games that attract only one type of players are mostly ephemeras. Achievers need some Killers to get a sense of accomplishment, Socialisers don’t really need anyone except a lot of other Socialisers but who will play your game if they suddenly get bored and leave? Explorers are more loyal, yet they don’t bring you as much revenue as Achievers, and Killers don’t like to prey on other Killers so they will slowly leave till no one is left.

Now you can add one more criterion to refine your UA strategy.
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Posted by Renatus on April 11, 2017