I’ve been playing mobile gacha games for a few years now. I’ve been paying attention to the various trends and what’a popular and whatnot for that time. Some of my most-played games fall into this category after all, and I think watching them in general is just a good idea. Over that time, I think I’ve seen a lot of what tends to work. And I’ve seen a few things that don’t work. So, in case any of those big game producers making a new game are reading this blog today, I’ll spell it out for you, and solve all your problems.
The first part is to know your audience. This might seem like a simple thing, but a lot of games go out there thinking their audience is EVERYONE! Sure, that’d be nice to have, but the reality is, not everyone will want to play your game, at least at first. “Everyone” is quite the accomplishment. But you should know that the typical audience for these sorts of games are adult males with jobs, especially those over 30, at least for new IP’s. If you’re one of the lucky ones with a licensed property, you’ll have your audience – though it will still be somewhat older, because you’re going whaling, and whales need money, serious cash. Like, hundreds of spare dollars a month to throw at your gacha. Kids don’t have that (and it’s also kinda scummy to market this sort of thing to kids, but that’s a secondary concern).
Once you know your audience, you know how to cater to them. If it’s adult males, as it most likely is, it’s pretty girls. Waifus, if you’ll pardon my misuse of weeb parlance. But, but what about cool guys?! Everyone loves cool guys, that’s why they’re the protagonists of so many games! Sure, they’re the protagonists. You can even make the protagonist of your game a cool dude. But you don’t draw protagonists from the gacha, typically. That’s a bad plan. Most dudes don’t want to spend money on dudes (unless it’s their birthday). They’ll spend money on women, though, even women they have no chance on being with (in this case, because the women aren’t even real). The gacha doesn’t have to be ALL girls, but it should heavily weigh that way. Remember, every time a guy draws a male character, unless that character is quite overpowered, there will be disappointment.
There, that’s it. That’s all you’ll need. Oh, and marketing. Lots and lots of marketing. No matter how awesome your game is, not matter how appealing your characters are, it won’t matter one little bit if no one knows about it. Word-of-mouth works, but those people have to get into the game first, in order to tell others about it. Fan artists are especially useful here. But again, if they don’t see your characters in the first place, they can’t make art of them and spread your message on Twitter for free. Even a big-name publisher won’t mean anything, if there’s no marketing. Mobile games are a dime a few dozen, and essentially disposable – getting your name, and art, out there will make you stand out from the competition.