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The reason games go viral

12-06-2014, 04:40 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2014
Location: US
Posts: 22
The reason games go viral

I've been doing research on viral games for last few months. I was wondering how these games went viral so quickly.

Take for Example Flappy bird. That game didn't have high end graphics, no levels or stages. Not even a storyline, just a simple tap and play game.

It was in the appstore about 3 months before getting any heavy downloads, then BAM it goes viral. The developer never paid for marketing the game.

From what I have found in my research is, social media was the key start. After youtube star PewDiePie did a video about it, Facebook users started making videos and posting scores then Vine and Instagram videos took it over the top.

After that is hit the news on gaming sites which made it go more viral. Was PewDiePie the reason it went viral? or was it something else?

So now I'm wondering can going viral like this be repeated? Is Social media really the key to success? Should we contact Youtubers and Viners to market our games instead of ad agencies?

what are your thoughts?

Nelson Hurst Games - I make and play games
nhurst.co
12-07-2014, 09:51 AM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonH View Post
I've been doing research on viral games for last few months. I was wondering how these games went viral so quickly.

Take for Example Flappy bird. That game didn't have high end graphics, no levels or stages. Not even a storyline, just a simple tap and play game.

It was in the appstore about 3 months before getting any heavy downloads, then BAM it goes viral. The developer never paid for marketing the game.

From what I have found in my research is, social media was the key start. After youtube star PewDiePie did a video about it, Facebook users started making videos and posting scores then Vine and Instagram videos took it over the top.

After that is hit the news on gaming sites which made it go more viral. Was PewDiePie the reason it went viral? or was it something else?

So now I'm wondering can going viral like this be repeated? Is Social media really the key to success? Should we contact Youtubers and Viners to market our games instead of ad agencies?

what are your thoughts?
You know, I been wondering myself why games like Flappy Bird get popular. You're most likey right about social media, but also your idea of an alternate advertising thing vs mainstream, could be promising.

Its not just the social aspect that could make a game go viral, but also the game itself. The game has to be easy to pick up, free, not in depth and has to have some competitivie aspect.

I seen these aspects over and over again in games that have gotten popular at my school. A few examples would be Flappy Bird, Don't tap the white tile, 2048 and now Words with Friends.

If you look at all of them, you will see that they all have the same qualities i mentioned above.

I know tons of games that have those qualities, but why did those few stand out, amongst thousands of others? Its probably like you said social media.

Last edited by Professor jermiah; 12-07-2014 at 09:52 AM. Reason: added spaces so its easier to read

12-07-2014, 11:04 AM
#3
Viral app

I would really like to know what makes a good game go viral, too.

I think YouTube is a big component.

Also, there is an article about how maybe flappy bird went viral when it wasn't so popular to shoot up really quickly. Some people think dark patterns were used.

Just search for dark patterns flappy bird (just for those 4 terms) for some interesting reads on everyone's favorite search engine that starts with G and look at the business insider article and venturebeat.

Very interesting reads.
12-07-2014, 02:40 PM
#4
ACCOUNT CLOSED: Officially Quit iOS Gaming
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,873
I'd say kiddies who use faecesbook.

I'd also say that alone is good enough reason to avoid any games they promote like the plague they are
12-07-2014, 05:18 PM
#5
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 947
Game communities
12-07-2014, 09:41 PM
#6
LUCK, I say.
12-08-2014, 05:53 AM
#7
Joined: Nov 2014
Location: US
Posts: 22
Another thing I noticed is once your game goes viral, it's possible to make other games you develop afterwards go viral or at least hit the top 20 in app stores.

After Flappy Bird, swing copters went viral before it was released - but that didn't last long due to the game's difficulty.

However Ketchapp, has several of their games in top 100 apps - (all pick and play type games). They show ads in their most downloaded games to promote their new releases. That is a great marketing tool.

But once again, I'm wondering how and when did the first Ketchapp Game go viral...

I released my first Game, "Naxus" recently. With zero marketing, I was getting about 5-10 downloads a day (except the first day 80+) about 2 weeks ago. Not great at all, but as time progresses, the numbers of downloads jumps a little more each week.

A good thing is once people play my game, they continue to play it almost daily, so I can see it is pretty addictive to some users. It seems word of mouth is happening, but slowly.

I started marketing/promoting on twitter and app review sites. Results aren't that good so far.

So now for the next few weeks, I will try to promote on youtube, facebook and vine to see if social media will increase the downloads.

to be continued...

Nelson Hurst Games - I make and play games
nhurst.co
12-08-2014, 06:01 AM
#8
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: England
Posts: 10,656
No one knows the reason why games go viral. If they did they would use that method to make sure all their games go viral !

I still dont get Flappy Bird, i found that 'hardened' iOS gamers didnt seem keen on it but it was a great game for the 'non-gamers'. Theres 100000's of people out there who love iphones as 'its an iphone' but rarely play games, eg my wife/all her friends have the latest iphones but rarely play games on it. They all got 'addicted' to Flappy Bird for a few days at least. Most gamers i know hated it (i know i did !) and it was one of these clever marketed 'fads' which lasted a short space of time.

It was interesting to hear the hype about his second game which people seemed to go crazy for until they played the game (as that game was too hard for most and not fun)

I'm sure for many years people will talk about the Flappy Bird craze in one of these 'top 50 strange things of the 2010's' on TV etc
12-08-2014, 06:37 AM
#9
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 846
I wan't to give the smartarse answer, "Because they're infectious!", but I'm not sure that's really it, as there are a ton of games I would have figured would be huge, only to find out the devs are mortgaging their homes after poor sales.

You know, if used correctly, this very forum can have quite a huge effect, as the story of 10000000 attests. http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...4/luca-redwood
12-08-2014, 07:24 AM
#10
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Ibaraki, Japan
Posts: 908
It's easy, just get Pewdiepie to play it. It'll go viral. :P