Beyond the necessities, entertainment apps are the most downloaded and the most profitable. They’re designed to keep you coming back- there’s a reason why there are so many bubble-poppers and line-em-up games with hundreds of levels: easy gratification. Swap a few tiles, and suddenly there’s an explosive chain reaction- just enough points to move you to the next step.
It’s not easy being an Android app developer, but if they play their cards right, they can reap some serious benefits. Here is a list of the most addictive and successful game apps for Android.
Clash of Clans
This mobile based game has spawned dozens of clones- many of which are nearly as popular. Not only does this game attract millions of players, but it happens to be one of the most profitable as well.
The developers behind Clash of Clans have been around long enough to know what keeps a game going and what to adjust when things take a dip. The ability to tweak their product whenever the user community has an issue is key to their success. The psychological drivers behind the design of Clash of Clans are social competition and the building instinct. (Plus, if you pay in, the sunk cost fallacy will make it hard to quit.)
Though this app is primarily developed by Niantic, Pokemon was a massive success on some other platforms before taking the mobile world by storm in mid-2016. Building on top of an IP that has had people hooked for more than 20 years is a pretty safe bet that your product will do well.
Pokemon gives users two simple challenges- collect every Pokemon and train up a select team and beat everyone else. Pokemon Go continues that tradition. People are addicted to collecting Pokemon and increasing their standing within their team, but once they put so much time into “raising” their digital creatures, it can be hard to abandon them altogether.
Crossy Road is currently the most popular “Frogger-type” app. In fact, it’s been the most popular for quite a while and by a wide margin. What makes it so addictive? The endlessness. With the dozens of unlockable characters and endlessly generated roads and rivers to cross, Crossy Road offers a challenge without an end. You can always get farther.
That’s right- the “goal” of the game is to get to the other side (your starting character being a chicken), and there’s no definite “other side.” The Android app developer, Hipster Whale, haven’t had to add much more than a few new characters (with slightly different abilities) since the game launched.
Don’t Starve and Minecraft – Pocket Editions
Similar to the success of Pokemon Go, Pocket Editions of favorite games are on the rise. Minecraft and Don’t Starve are the most perennial examples, but Sonic and Mario games have recently launched mobile versions too.
Minecraft and DS are both games that center on survival and base-building. Your character goes out into the randomly generated world, collects resources, and builds a base capable of producing new and better resources or defending against enemies. You need to live as long as you can and make the best base you can. More than the want to make something, the desire to “not abandon” something you have spent so much time building can make it hard to drop either of these games.
This is the king of all instant gratification apps. It was not the first of it’s kind- there are many older games with similar gameplay, but King games have tweaked that formula to near perfection. The game has a time barrier- you make enough mistakes, and you get stuck with a 30-minute cooldown period. We all know it’s hard to resist the things you can’t have- and that’s why they let you pay to get back in.
Candy Crush brings in about 28,000 new users and $1.3 million in revenue every day. Once you do get back in, the gameplay is designed to keep you hooked. Every form of positive reinforcement available in a digital format has been cleverly designed into the game. On top of making you feel right, it incorporates a social element. Then there’s the fact that there is so much of it. Some people can’t walk away until they’ve finished something. With Candy Crush, that means winning well over 500 levels (and the current number is set to increase.)
There’s more to gaming than just the game. There’s user retention, analytics, marketing, and testing that all go into making an app successful. This list proves the lucrative business of app gaming and we know success can be achieved.