In March 2018, we launched Amazon GameOn, a service to help developers connect players through competition and keep them engaged. We developed GameOn because game developers told us they needed an easier way to build cross-platform competition into existing games to keep players engaged and excited, and according to Newzoo, mobile gamers that participate in tournaments are more than two times as likely to spend money in mobile games than those who do not participate.
Over the last year, developers have embraced our cross-platform APIs to engage their communities in brand new ways. We’ve learned a great deal from them and launched several new features to open up greater opportunities to increase player lifetime value. This blog post highlights a few developer success stories, key features we released, and new features we’re proud to announce.
When Vector Unit began development of Beach Buggy Racing 2, a sequel to the hit mobile kart racing game, they set out to build a community at the heart of the game. With a GameOn integration that took only two weeks, Vector Unit connects players by allowing them to compete with each other no matter what type of phone they use. The weekly tournaments with in-game prizes are fun for beginners and expert players alike, as Vector Unit uses GameOn’s ability to automatically split their large user base into smaller, fun sized group. Within these groups, players have a much higher chance of winning prizes which drives increased engagement. Premium prizes are awarded to the top 200 players, motivating players to participate, while smaller prizes are given to everyone who joins in, making the competition fun for all.
"GameOn made it really easy for us to incorporate tournament play into Beach Buggy Racing 2 at launch. Weekly tournaments have become a critical piece of our retention and engagement mechanic. We've even noticed an uptick in IAP conversions, up to 2x higher between players who participate in GameOn tournaments vs those who don’t," said Matt Small, CEO, creative director, and co-founder, Vector Unit Inc.
GameOn is being used around the world where mobile gaming is growing rapidly. India represents one-tenth of the world’s gamers and has the second-largest smartphone user base in the world. In the fall of 2018, three of the largest game developers in India -- Nazara Technologies, Nextwave Multimedia, and Mech Mocha -- partnered with GameOn to create GameOn Masters India. Using GameOn, the developers drove engagement and retention by hosting multiple rounds of qualifiers where players won real-world prizes fulfilled by Amazon in each round. The impact on players and developers was felt strongly:
“I love playing games with my friends and competing to show who is best. So when we saw the GameOn Masters qualifiers, we all jumped at the opportunity to prove our skill," said a finalist of the GameOn Masters India World Cricket Championship.
“When GameOn tournaments were live with real world prizes, we saw 107% more players play in tournaments and a 5% increase in D1 retention, 5% increase in sessions per day, and 4% increase in session length. Nothing else could get me numbers this good," said Sachin Acharya of Mech Mocha.
In addition to hosting competitions inside of games, GameOn helped gamify the official fan app of the Sacramento Kings NBA team. The AR/VR company Xperiel integrated GameOn competitions into their Call the Shot game to engage basketball fans inside and outside of the arena. In Call the Shot, fans compete to make the most accurate predictions about an NBA game as it happens, and the most skilled fans are rewarded with real-world prizes fulfilled by Amazon. For the Kings and Xperiel, the gamification and rewards that GameOn enables has helped them build and engage a community in ways that are not only novel but also drive material impact.
“Since adding GameOn competitions, our percentage of returning users is much higher than expected. The same is true for the average session length, and the number of sessions per user, which is great because it means that the average user is coming back multiple times per game," said Alexander Hertel, fo-founder and CEO, Xperiel.
The success that developers have with our core offering is rewarding to see and motivates us to bring more value. Over the last year, we released several new features to help developers find new ways to bring players together through competition.
At TwitchCon this fall, we released the GameOn Tournament Organizer Twitch Extension. The extension allows creators to create competitions to play with their fans and helps game developers reach new audiences on Twitch. The extension launched with PC and console titles like Darwin Project from Scavengers Studio. It also features Camex Games' Tactical Monsters, which brings players together to compete across PC and mobile devices. For each developer, allowing streamers to host competitions has been a great vehicle to grow their user base organically by turning viewers into players.
In the fall, we also released updates that allow developers to host team-based competitions. Team competitions can be used in team-based games and single player games with clan/alliances mechanisms to reward players with in-game and real-world prizes for engaging with the community. Finally, based on feedback from developers seeking to reach new customers, we released public leaderboards. Previously, developers could only show results inside of their games, but with this update, developers can host live leaderboards anywhere they choose, promoting visibility of their event to the masses.
Today, we’re happy to announce two new features: stats-based leaderboards and developer resources. With stats-based leaderboards, we made it easy for tournament organizers to create a variety of competitions based on what stats are available in the game. Changing how to win, whether by highest points, lowest time, cumulative wins, etc., keeps the competition fresh and exciting for existing players.
We are also thrilled to release a new set of handy developer resources. We are releasing a Unity Starter Kit that shows how to easily call the GameOn REST APIs from Unity and a sample game that demonstrates how to integrate the various features of GameOn into a real-life game. The best part? All of the code that we are sharing today is open source, so you are free to change these to your liking and contribute back to the repository. With these resources, you will be able to further reduce the time it takes to integrate GameOn. You can download these samples, give them a test drive, participate in our support forum, or contact us to provide feedback.
Finally, we are excited to share our updated pricing. As we scale, we are able to pass on our increased efficiencies to you. We continue to be committed to only charge you when you see the impact; that means we only charge you when a player submits a score. Today, we announce our new price of $0.002 per score, with volume discounts available on request. Our free tier will continue to include 35,000 free scores per month for the first six months, allowing you to experiment and engage players to increase customer lifetime value.
Looking forward, GameOn will continue to constantly invest in helping developers bring players together and engage their communities through fun competitions. To learn more, visit developer.amazon.com/gameon to read more about our service, check out case studies, review tech documentation, and register your game today.
GameOn developer resources