4 Ways to Manage Arab Whales in Mobile Gaming
Written by: Simon Batt
Before you reach for your nautical creatures book, the term ‘whales’ has nothing to do with the sea! A ‘whale’ in the mobile gaming world is someone who spends a lot of money on a single game. They’re treasured by game developers, as they’re considered ‘superfans’ and willing to support the game with their wallets.
That’s all well and good, but what kind of impact do whales make? After all, if we look at the stats, we can see that whales make up only 1 percent of a game’s spenders. In this case, it’s not about the amount of whales there are; it’s about how much they spend.
It’s important to remember that the ‘average user’ will spend only pocket change on occasion, or will try to play the game in its entirety for free. Whales, however will invest heavily in a game, and help make up the slack of the other users. Arab gamers in particular love to invest in one or two games at any given time, which makes them particularly supportive with their finances. Despite being 1 percent of the mobile gaming population, whales make up 86.60 percent of the total revenue earned in the market!
This means one thing; whales need to be managed properly. If you treat them as if they were an average user, it may lead to them feeling under appreciated. Of course, their support is absolutely appreciated; it helps keep the game’s developers afloat! Why not show that appreciation through in-game benefits for premium spenders? Here’s five ways you can do just that in your game.
1. Offer a Specialized Service
One way to help nurture whales in your game is to make them feel special and valued (which they are!). This can be done by giving them a ‘speed pass’ that gives them heightened priority when they file a support ticket or use a service. Give whales a dedicated support line and account manager to help with any problems they may have. This means they don’t feel like ‘one of the others’ when they have a problem, and will feel reassured that their problems and issues will be heard.
2. Give Them Exclusive Deals
It’s worth looking into how you can give VIPs some exclusive deals within your game. If you’re selling an in-game currency, allow users to get a discount if they buy in bulk. You can also consider making a special VIP role, given to players who spend a cumulative amount of real-world money during their time with the game. This role can give bonuses such as permanent discounts, special in-game items, guaranteed invites to events, and/or free product given out every so often. This does a lot for making a whale feel like a treasured, valued customer.
3. Develop a Relationship With Them
It’s worth making a personal relationship with whales. After all, these are the people who are helping keep your game afloat, and there might be a small enough number that it’s not too difficult to keep tabs on them. By giving whales a line to which they can contact the developer, this gives weight to their support; they can interact and speak to the very person they’re funding directly.
4. Ask For Feedback (And Listen!)
Whales are the users who are most likely to spot the areas in your game that need improvement, as well as any great ideas on how to make more content. They typically give the best feedback out of all users; after all, they’re the ones who are the most invested and passionate about the game’s future. Make sure you ask the whales about where they want the game to go, and take on board the feedback that occurs the most often, or the ones that sound like a brilliant direction for your game.
This article was written based on Tamatem’s Monetization & UA Manager, Lamia Shreim’s lecture at Casual Connect in London.