Rocket Games COO Niko Vuori reveals to CalvinAyre.com’s Rebecca Liggero some tips and tricks for social casino operators wanting to differentiate themselves from the pack
The social casino market is a fast growing sector, attracting many operators particularly in the United States. Naturally, this leads to a fierce competition between players wanting to get ahead of the pack.
Rocket Games COO Niko Vuori said compared the popularity of social casinos to a “rising tide”—one that is growing financially at 20 percent each year.
“We are predicting, you know, $4 billion maybe next year and then some, so it’s obviously some kind of a rising tide, at least in our opinion,” Vuori told CalvinAyre.com. “Yes, there are the big players. Yes, there are a lot of operators who are providing content—some of dubious quality, others are very good.”
Despite the growing number of players, Vuori said there isn’t enough content to satisfy social casino players.
“They’re really hungry for more content, for more innovative features. Sure, they’re playing double down, but at the same time, they’re looking for the next best thing, the next great thing,” the COO noted.
The key, Vuori said, is to create a fluid user experience for social casino players playing on mobile devices.
“You have to take into consideration the form factor and the use case. You can’t really design an experience that you would design for web or for Facebook canvas, so the design decisions you make along the way have to really accommodate that very short session length,” he explained.
An example of this is Zynga poker’s jump poker feature. Vuori, who previously worked at Zynga, said the jump poker feature eliminated the wait time players experience after folding.
“Instead of watching the rest of the table play, it will just kick you out and take you to the next table so you’d get some action right away. That’s an example of a design decision you’d make when designing for social casino on mobile,” he said.
There’s also the business of app store optimization. Vuori said operators should take advantage of the different features of the app stores to tailor their optimization for any games, not just social casino.
“The optimizations that you have to make are gonna vary from store to store,” he noted. “With Apple, they care deeply about quality, so every they do is all about the user experience. Google, of course, has a rich history and search. Their algorithms are probably better than anybody else’s, so what you’re dealing with theirs is keywords… Keyword matching is really important for Google.”