6 Things Arab Users Want from Mobile Games
Written by: Simon Batt
Making a game can be a tricky middle-ground between what you want and what your players want. You may have great ideas on how you want your game to play, but your Arab users will also have expectations of their own. It can be a balancing act between adding what you love, and listening to the audience you’re aiming the game at. So, what do users typically expect from a game, and how you can implement them into your own?
1. Ability to Share Achievements
Smartphones are, by nature, very social. People will typically have messaging, email and social media apps on their phone, which in turn makes sharing things with friends even easier. In fact, in countries like Saudi Arabia, where social media penetration rates a extremely high having social features is very important to keep users engaged. Try to implement a way for people to share the experience of your game together; from a ‘Tweet This’ button for sharing high scores, to uploading replays of amazing plays to impress friends.
2. A Fair Pricing Plan
When it comes to pricing, developers and users want two different things. Users ideally want a game that gives hundreds of hours of gameplay at no cost, while developers would prefer the user to pay for the game, equipment, levels etc… It’s important to find the middle ground where you can keep your income in the black without forcing your users to pay too much money to play your game.
3. Progressive Content
Typically, Arab users want a game that can last them a while and come with a sense of progression. It doesn’t have to be hundreds upon thousands of levels, but it should at least give them the drive to continue playing. A game that has run low on new content quickly becomes boring and replaced with another game. Try to add a good amount of content before release, and consider updating the game afterwards with more levels, events and features.
4. A Good Tutorial
This one is particularly hard to design, as an informative tutorial doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good! The first ten minutes of playing a mobile game are the most important for user retention, which puts a lot of responsibility and pressure on the game the moment the title screen appears. Tutorials should explain the game’s mechanics succinctly enough to prevent confusion, while also being entertaining enough to stop people getting bored and quitting.
5. Social Elements
A sense of community is a great draw for mobile games. Arab users are more inclined to return to a game if their friends are playing it, or if they’ve made friends within the game itself. Think about how your game can benefit from social features such as a clan, chat, or friends list feature. Even something simple like a puzzle game could features a ‘friendly rivals’ feature where friends can compete to solve puzzles the fastest.
Having 24/7 support is key! If Arab users run into any problems such as payment problems while playing they need to someone to talk to or walk them through fixing the issue. Having a support team is one of the best things you can invest in, it will keep users engaged and builds trust between user and the developer or publisher.