Simply building a great game is not enough to succeed in 2024. The barriers to entry may be lower than ever, but the bar for success is higher than it’s ever been. If you don’t intimately understand player psychology and how it directly impacts your engagement and retention numbers, then time and resources are being wasted on shot-in-the-dark hypotheses. Traditional growth tactics are no longer yielding the same results. One wrong move — whether it’s misaligned messaging, ineffective targeting, non-personalized FTUEs, or un-engaging events — can disrupt your entire player base.

Scaling requires a nuanced and concrete understanding of how your game resonates with players. Today’s price-conscious gamer wants a premium experience without the premium price tag (Helldivers 2 was an outstanding example of this). Studios that fail to meet these heightened player expectations will struggle to attract, retain, and monetize players in this red ocean.

Player psychology has emerged as the key to efficient, sustainable growth. Gambling in this industry has become incredibly expensive and companies are pivoting to protect the titles and audiences they have. EA, Sony, Metacore, and hundreds of others are using psychographics to systematically uncover the precise levers to pull to scale audiences, increase player LTV, and create engaging content for live games.

How To Scale Your Audience

Our insights have helped long-running titles (some have been in-market for over a decade!) avoid trend-chasing and cater to the desires of their loyal fans and even churned players. Here’s how to do it.

1. Gather Audience and Market Intelligence

Understanding your audience is more important than ever before. To maximize the effectiveness of your creative, you must first dedicate time to gather intelligence about your audience and competitive landscape. The qualitative data captured during this stage could be gathered from player surveys, focus groups, or user interviews. Assessing in-game data, social media conversations, and market trend data can supply quantitative patterns and trends.

To produce actionable insights for your studio, its critical to unveil as many psychographic datapoints around your player base as possible. Knowing your audience is weighted towards Gen Z males on Android who live in the United States doesn’t empower your UA team. Using a tool like Solsten to paint a more complete picture of this player group is essential to build a solid foundation for your growth strategy. Check out our guide on building advanced player personas to learn more.

2. Develop Personalized Creative

While certain campaigns seem to effortlessly achieve virality or eye-popping performance, the reality is there is no singularity to a campaign’s success. Trust your gut, but only if its data-backed. The door is closing quickly on the efficacy of scattershot tactics like broad targeting and misleading advertising. Personalization is key in a crowded market where generic ads go unnoticed. One-size-fits all should only apply to baseball caps.

Once you are armed with deep audience insights, you can create personalized, compelling content to specific player segments that caters to the intrinsic reasons they are drawn to your game. Develop marketing campaigns that predictably resonate with their core motivations and values. Use their preferred communication styles to craft messages that capture their attention and drive action. Optimize event strategies and promotion by identifying opportunities to address unmet player needs.

3. Launch and Optimize Your Campaigns

With your personalized creative ready, it’s time to launch. Tools like Appsflyer and Applovin can help you maximize exposure and validate the performance of your campaign. Quick iterations are important in this stage to optimize engagement and maximize your ROAS. Having a breakout success with incredible CVR and low CPI is awesome, understanding why the creative resonates so you can scale repeatedly is even better.

Personalization cuts through the noise, proven to positively impact ad performance for studios like Mythical Games, Mainframe Industries, and Wooga. Stop using your ad budget as a resonance test. Confidently head to market with optimized creative you know will attract the right players.

With Solsten, you can make data-driven decisions to maximize growth investments for proven returns. By focusing on validated opportunities, you get the most bang for your buck. Games designed with a deep understanding of player psychology achieve higher engagement, retention, and lifetime value. Invest in understanding your players with us, and scale your game to unimaginable heights.

Learn More

We compare the top tools available to scale a live game here. Learn why Solsten is a must-have for any modern growth engine.