We wanted to learn about the current sentiment and behavior around competitive mobile gaming among Amazon Appstore developers. So, we surveyed a pool of 1,290 U.S.-based developers published on the Amazon Appstore to get their thoughts. Note: for this survey, we defined an organized competition as a game including tournaments like leaderboards, double elimination, leagues, etc.
We learned that the majority of developers, 74%, have never run an organized competition. We wanted to find out why, and also learn about the experience of developers who have run them.
Here’s what we discovered:
Developers cite a “lack of resources” as the main reason for not running organized competitions
Of the developers who have never run an organized competition, 31% point to a “lack of resources” as the number one cause. This makes sense, as 62% of those developers are the only person on their development team. Developers say they “simply do not have the time.”
Developers also expect to spend hours running an organized competition, with 40% saying they would expect to spend more than two hours running one from start to finish.
Knowledge and information would make developers more inclined to run a tournament
What would make these developers more inclined to run a tournament? Two main themes emerged:
Knowledge of how to run a competition
Many developers don’t know where to start. Developers say they were “just not familiar with the process” and want to understand “actually knowing how to implement it.” They focus on ease, looking for an “easy way to do it, with very little ramp up time” and “documentation to do so on my platform.”
Understanding the value of the competition
In addition to understanding how to run a competition, developers also want to learn why they should invest the resources in doing so. They want to “read about success stories,” “have good samples and tutorials,” and “know the results of other competitions.” Data would be especially meaningful, helping developers “know there would be a big enough return vs the effort.”
Leaderboards are the most popular type of tournament
Leaderboards are the most popular type of tournament among developers who have run an organized competition. This makes sense, as leaderboards are the most flexible competition style that can be incorporated in most games. After leaderboards, 18% of developers have used leagues, 14% have used round-robin, and 10% have used double elimination.
More than half of developers (51%) said these types of competitions were run through features built into their game. Twenty-nine percent used a third-party site or service, 13% used message boards, and 7% used other ways (like using a whiteboard at a physical location).
Developers run organized competitions to increase user engagement
One-third of developers decided to run organized competitions in order to increase user engagement. They see competitions as another way to incentive users to keep playing their games, and keep coming back.
Other top benefits of organized competitions include rewarding users, increasing retention, and building a robust community.
The biggest challenge is promoting the tournament
Of the developers who ran an organized competition, 24% said the biggest challenged they faced was promoting the tournament. After all, once you invest the time and effort into organizing a competition, you want enough players to participate. And it can be challenging to attract new users to a tournament.
Other top challenges included maintaining player participation (22%) and registering users (15%).
Learn more with our free eBook
Want to learn more about competitive mobile gaming? Get our free eBook titled, "Developer First Look: Competitive Mobile Gaming." You'll read about who is watching and playing competitive games, best practices for adding competition into your game, and more.