Drive-Up Your Revenues with Seasonal Occasions

From nationwide calendar days to non secular holidays, seasonal occasions are a good way for cell video games to search out new and thrilling methods to drive participant engagement. With over 90% of the top-grossing 100 iOS cell video games utilizing seasonal occasions to spice up their revenues, nationwide holidays have grow to be a necessary a part of LiveOps with gamers anticipating an inflow of recent content material as we strategy the vacation seasons.

Editor’s notice: This weblog put up was initially revealed in February 2021. We’ve up to date the weblog put up with new seasonal occasion implementation examples and greatest practices for introducing seasonal occasions into your cell sport.

However is there extra to seasonal occasions than simply storefront modifications, skins and icons, and reskins of previous occasions? On this put up, we’ll cowl all of that whereas additionally greatest apply examples that may hopefully offer you concepts on what you possibly can think about in your seasonal promotions.

The info and examples proven listed below are gathered from the GameRefinery service, which you’ll be able to entry right here. The examples we’ve included listed below are solely a small handful of the hundreds of seasonal occasion implementation examples on the GameRefinery SaaS platform, so if you happen to’re thinking about seeing extra examples, take a look at the platform.

Not all seasonal occasions are created equal

It’s good to do not forget that whereas some occasions are essential to you, they is probably not culturally related to all of your goal international locations. That is particularly the case within the US and China, the place Halloween and Christmas might be rather more important to a US viewers than New 12 months for a Chinese language viewers.

Sometimes, probably the most important seasonal occasions within the cell sport markets are New 12 months, Lunar New 12 months, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Nonetheless, a number of different smaller seasonal occasions present a superb alternative to present gamers a content material replace, reminiscent of St. Patrick’s Day and Cherry Blossom Season in Japan. The updates are normally rolled out a few weeks prematurely of the precise dates. 

Seasonal occasions in cell video games 

Listed below are the important thing dates to pay attention to which are sometimes celebrated by the cell video games market.

Seasonal events typically celebrated in mobile games

Relying on the demographic and style of your cell sport, you may also need to think about celebrating charity initiatives and wider consciousness days. 

Brawl Stars, Offended Birds 2 and Sky: Kids of the Gentle are simply a few of the cell video games with charity occasions which have raised cash by means of the sale of limited-time equipment. Many cell video games are concerned with the Taking part in for The Planet initiative, with studios elevating consciousness of environmental points by internet hosting occasions on main calendar dates reminiscent of World Setting Day (fifth June). 

Satisfaction, which celebrates equality and human rights, has additionally grow to be a significant calendar date for a number of cell sport studios. Zoobaa, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Beatstar, Farmville, and Zynga Poker are all cell video games that celebrated Satisfaction in 2022 by means of seasonal occasions which concerned a UI refresh, limited-time characters and beauty gadgets, and plenty of cash raised for non-profits championing LGBTQ+ rights. 

How cell video games implement seasonal content material by means of LiveOps

There are many methods to implement seasonal occasions into your cell sport, however they normally fall into one of many following classes. It’s essential to keep in mind that the extra effort you place into your seasonal occasions, the extra rewarding they’ll be. 

Easy UI modifications to symbolize a seasonal makeover 

In case you don’t have the inner assets to launch an enormous content material replace, giving your UI a seasonal makeover is a straightforward and efficient manner of getting within the vacation spirit, whether or not it’s a splash of holly and tinsel across the border of your important menu or pumpkins and ghosts hiding within the background. 

Zombie Frontier 3’s seasonal event content
Zombie Frontier 3’s Christmas content material

Occasion-related provides (e.g., Valentine’s Day skins within the store) + UI modifications

After all, giving your UI a refresh isn’t going to do a lot with regards to bringing in income, which is why most builders give their beauty gadgets, reminiscent of skins, a seasonal makeover too. 

Restricted-time occasion skins are usually not solely a good way to spice up revenues, however they’re additionally a good way to construct retention and UA by encouraging gamers to play the sport for limited-time gadgets. Diablo Immortal’s first seasonal occasion was Halloween, and it was celebrated with the discharge of Halloween skins and armor units made accessible by means of a particular occasion retailer.

Diablo Immortal's special event store for Halloween
Restricted-time Loss of life’s Discount store in Diablo Immortal

New content material, occasion duties, rewards, skins and rather more 

Possibility three is bringing the weather talked about above and wrapping them along with new content material, occasion duties, and rewards as a part of a complete seasonal content material replace. The extra modifications you make to the sport, the extra monetization mechanics you’ve bought to play with. 

Content material updates may contain a brand new narrative mission tied to the occasion, or event-specific sport modes, minigames and challenges. The Chinese language battle royale sport, Sport for Peace (和平精英/PUBG Cell), up to date its important map, UI and sport modes with seasonal modifications themed round Chinese language New 12 months at the start of 2022, whereas the Match3 puzzler, Anipop, added new sport mechanics as a part of an occasion celebrating the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

Relying on the quantity of recent content material and beauty gadgets you’re introducing into the sport, it could be price including a particular occasion forex that may solely be used to buy occasion gadgets throughout the occasion. This provides a brand new monetization channel into your sport and means gamers can work together with monetization parts reminiscent of gachas understanding they’re taking part in particularly for occasion rewards. 

A few examples of different icons and screenshot changes from a selection of mobile games.
Just a few examples of various icons and screenshot modifications from a collection of cell video games.

Seasonal occasion examples from high cell video games 

Let’s have a look at how a few of these promotional options have been applied in a few of the hottest cell video games, and the influence they’ve had on obtain and income figures. 

Offended Birds Journey – The ‘Easter Kiosk’ Easter Occasion

Angry Birds Journey - The ‘Easter Kiosk’ Easter Event

Offended Birds Journey used Easter to introduce its first seasonal occasion since launching at the start of 2022. The Easter Kiosk occasion launched Easter-themed eggs into the maps, which gamers needed to acquire and commerce in for particular limited-time occasion rewards. Buying all six of the Easter gadgets rewarded gamers with a limited-time Easter icon for his or her avatar. 

Destiny/Grand Order: Valentine’s Day Occasion 2022

Fate Grand Order Valentines Day Event

The Japanese RPG, Destiny/Grand Order, normally bought large with its seasonal occasions and final yr’s Valentine’s Day occasion was no completely different. Gamers ​accomplished occasion quests to progress by means of a brand new occasion story and acquire Yojinbo factors to unlock rewards. Utilizing occasion characters (capable of purchase by means of a number of Valentine’s Day gachas) within the occasion quests boosted the charges of occasion merchandise drops and Yojinbo factors – a good way to spice up engagement.

There was additionally a limited-time occasion store the place gamers might spend occasion gadgets to earn rewards. The Valentine’s Day occasion launched a particular event-limited characteristic known as Buddy Rank, the place gamers that participate in battles earn ‘buddy rating’ and enhance their ‘buddy rank. Characters had been assigned with event-specific expertise and leveling them up was linked to the Buddy rank system, including a seasonal twist to the sport’s conventional RPG mechanics. 

Merge Mansion: Valentine’s Day Occasion 2022

iOS US data for Merge Mansion
iOS US information for Merge Mansion

It’s commonplace for cell video games to reuse parts that had been used of their earlier seasonal occasions, which is what Merge Mansion did final yr for Valentine’s Day. Within the occasion, gamers might entry a separate merge grid the place their aim was to finish particular occasion duties.

Valentine’s Day event in Merge Mansion
Valentine’s Day occasion in Merge Mansion

Finishing these duties rewarded gamers with a particular occasion forex, which could possibly be used to buy limited-time ornamental gadgets in a particular occasion store. Whereas the replace didn’t tread a lot new floor, it induced an enormous spike in income, proving simply how essential seasonal occasion updates could be. 

Sky: Kids of the Gentle: Days of Bloom (Cherry Blossom Season occasion 2022)

iOS data for China
iOS information for China

Sky: Kids of the Gentle (光·遇) has discovered big success in China regardless of being developed in California. Because of its reputation within the East, Sky: Kids of the Gentle hosts quite a lot of seasonal occasions catering for its hottest demographic, and whereas many affiliate cherry blossoms with Japan, the season can be celebrated in China.

Days of Bloom event in Sky: Children of the Light
Days of Bloom occasion in Sky: Kids of the Gentle

Days of Bloom ran from March 22–April 4 final yr and included quite a lot of petal-themed gadgets and scenic modifications, together with particular each day quests and loads of limited-time beauty skins and gadgets to buy. Seasonal occasions are an enormous income driver for the sport, as you’ll see from the graph under, and this cherry blossom replace induced a big spike in each day income. 

Conflict of Clans: Halloween 2022 occasion

Clash of Clans Halloween event

Halloween updates are extremely popular amongst cell video games and normally run for a few weeks from the center of October. Conflict of Clans’ Halloween 2022 occasion is a good instance of utilizing seasonal occasions to create new income alternatives whereas retaining issues comparatively easy. 

For final yr’s occasion, the sport stored issues pretty easy with limited-time Halloween-themed skins, items, and new challenges. Challenges had been Halloween-themed and incentivized using Halloween items as they’d particular completion necessities regarding using these characters. 

You possibly can be taught extra about 2022’s most profitable Halloween occasions in cell video games right here. 

Distinctive examples of market-specific seasonal occasions

Christmas, New 12 months, Halloween and Easter are a few of the most generally celebrated seasonal occasions, however there are many extra market-specific seasonal occasions which are price tapping into relying on the place your gamers are based mostly. 

Our China and Japan market sport analysts have collected some examples of seasonal occasions that hopefully encourage new concepts to drive participant engagement in case your goal markets are in China or Japan. 

Seasonal occasions to think about in China

Qixi Pageant 

Honor of Kings' seasonal event content
Honor of Kings Qixi Pageant celebrations

The Qixi Pageant, or “double seven,” because it’s celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, is the Chinese language equal of Valentine’s Day. A lot of cell video games have a good time the occasion yearly, with Revelation On-line (天谕), Battle of Fishing (捕鱼大作战-欢乐真人千炮捕鱼游戏王者,柳岩推荐), Three Kingdoms Fantasy Land (三国志幻想大陆 – 国创加强版), and Shén wǔ 4 (神武4) all collaborating within the festivities in 2022. 

Dragon Boat Pageant 

The Dragon Boat Pageant, aka. “double 5,” is a conventional summer time pageant celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar, which is normally in June. Traditions for the day embody large dragon boat paddling races organized on the rivers of just about each village and metropolis, in addition to consuming a particular form of steamed and stuffed dumpling manufactured from sticky rice known as zongzi.

PUBG Mobile/Game for Peace's seasonal event content
PUBG Cell/Sport for Peace’s seasonal occasion content material

PUBG Cell, which is named 和平精英  “Sport for Peace” in China, included particular dragon hovercraft in its Dragon Boat Pageant occasion, the place gamers might win sport merchandise and present playing cards for the Chinese language eCommerce firm, 

Singles’ Day 

Often known as ‘Double Eleven’ day is an unofficial vacation in China, identified for being the most important buying day on the planet by client spending. Originating as a day to have a good time single folks, it has been closely commercialized by on-line retail firms reminiscent of Alibaba, and additionally it is extraordinarily widespread for cell video games in China to characteristic IAP occasions across the day.

幻兽爱合成 (Huan-shou Ai He-cheng) Singles’ Day event
Merge Go! (幻兽爱合成) Singles’ Day occasion

Merge Go! (幻兽爱合成) had a Singles’ Day occasion with limited-time IAP bundle provides and a factors system the place passing sure IAP thresholds would earn the participant further items.

Seasonal occasions to think about in Japan 

Listed below are a few of the well-liked seasonal occasions that sometimes pop up in Japan’s market’s video games.

Golden Week

Golden Week in Project Sekai Colorful Stage feat. Hatsune Miku
Golden Week in Challenge Sekai Colourful Stage feat. Hatsune Miku

Golden Week is per week celebrated in Japan from 29 April to early Might that encompasses 4 of Japan’s 15 nationwide holidays, and Hanami, which implies “flower viewing” in Japanese, the standard customized of having fun with the great thing about cherry blossoms.

Final yr, Umamusume Fairly Derby, Challenge Sekai Colourful Stage feat. Hatsune Miku, State of Survival, and Guardian Tales all celebrated Golden Week with the addition of recent story content material and gadgets. 

Japanese New 12 months (Shōgatsu) 

In winter, Japan celebrates the Japanese New 12 months (Shōgatsu), an annual pageant with its personal customs, and plenty of cell video games sometimes participate within the celebrations. Umamusume Fairly Derby’s (ウマ娘 プリティーダービー) New 12 months’s story occasion adopted the Umamusume as they tried to be taught karuta (a conventional Japanese card sport and a preferred New 12 months’s pastime) and compete in a match, whereas The Seven Lethal Sins featured log-in bonuses.

Umamusume Pretty Derby’s (ウマ娘 プリティーダービー) New Year’s story event
Umamusume Fairly Derby’s (ウマ娘 プリティーダービー) New 12 months’s story occasion.

Suggestions for introducing seasonal occasions into your cell sport 

Introducing seasonally-themed occasions to your sport can ship important advantages, as seen in lots of titles throughout all genres. By implementing a mix of options together with event-specific currencies, shops, seasonal gachas, distinctive sport modes, and collaborations, you’re opening up new monetization channels whereas additionally offering gamers with nice worth for cash due to new content material. 

Listed below are some ideas that can assist you implement any seasonal occasions you’re planning easily: 

Plan rigorously and roll your seasonal occasion out regularly

It’s essential to construct anticipation in your seasonal occasion. Make sure that it’s nicely promoted by means of advertising channels reminiscent of newsletters and social media platforms so gamers have an opportunity to obtain the sport and begin taking part in earlier than the large content material drop. 

Take into account a phased strategy for the discharge of recent content material somewhat than releasing the whole lot on day one. It will hold your gamers revisiting the sport each day, somewhat than dashing by means of the expertise at launch. 

Mix your gachas with seasonal occasions

Gachas are an excellent monetization mechanic and could be simply reskinned and customised to accompany seasonal occasions. 

Run a collaboration/crossover occasion as a part of your seasonal occasion

In-game collaborations are a trending characteristic and it’s commonplace for cell video games to collaborate with different video games and non-gaming manufacturers as a part of their LiveOps. In case you’ve bought the finances, incorporating a widely known IP into your seasonal occasion plans could possibly be a good way of boosting downloads and income. 

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