I did a little marketing survey to find out some info about marketing mobile games. I collect the results down here. Note that the sample size was quite small and that people won't always admit what really sways them, but I think I found some interesting results nontheless.
Clear and important results
The following points were clear and agreed upon by most respondents.
- Very few people find games via ads, but when they do it's via Youtube. Google, Facebook and ads in other games are at a distant second.
- People report to find mobile games mostly via Google or browsing the app store manually.
- People overwhelmingly preferred icon 2: this icon stands out for being simple and modest, showing some game board tiles with neatly rounded 3D edges.
- Almost everyone agrees that pictures and screenshots are the most important factor before downloading a game. An overwhelming majority notes that these should tell you what you do in the game. A small majority says the art style should agree with the game too. Video/trailer comes in at second place.
- People rate the description as quite important, they overwhelmingly agree that it should be "to the point", but there is little agreement about other factors such as humour and exciting language.
- People have polarized opinions about the importance of adverts and whether the game is free, the majority is split over 1/5 and 5/5 with few votes in between.
- People think games should be fun, duh!
- While people have mixed opinions about whether a game should be thinking/relaxing/exciting, most agree the game should be unique and original.
- People prefer games free of adverts.
- Most people report not to look at the name of the developer, nor the current number of downloads. They also care little about top scores and leader boards.
More moderate and ambiguous results
The following points were less clear or had a more ambiguous, mixed response. Take these conclusions with a grain of salt.
- A fair amount of people enjoy achievements and 100%-ing.
- Opinions are fairly split about story telling and humour, this seems to be unimportant in mobile games.
- People seem to prefer icons that reveal something about the game, but are still well designed for small image sizes i.e. not just a screenshot.
- People rate the title as fairly important, but never the most-important.
- People rate reviews as being moderately important. they report to slightly prefer reading positive over negative reviews. Overall rating of the game seems to matter only slightly more than individual reviews.
- Recommendations from friends & app store are rated as not too important.
- icon of the app is rated as moderately important.
- Most people rate cuteness and colourfulness as unimportant. The app store top liners tell a different story, I expect this result is skewed because of a mostly male response to the survey, while in reality women play more mobile games!
- People have mixed opinions about power-ups and bonuses (typical dopamine triggers).
Details from "other" responses
Some additional details from manual "other" responses. I extracted the points which were mentioned multiple times by separate respondents.
- Some people note uniqueness as an important selling point before downloading.
- Some people note re-playability and lack of aggressive monetization (adverts, in-app purchases) as important factors in enjoyment.
- Some people note they are willing to put up with adverts and a high purchase price for games that are unique and high quality. This sentiment does NOT extend to in-app purchases.