If you are a game dev, especially mobile, you know that getting players to keep playing and coming back to the game is a big challenge.
In order for players to come back and play, we usually try and catch their interest in various ways:
- New content or challenges
- New sales
- New events going on
- New rewards
As attractive as the offers might seem, a part of the players won’t return to the game. That’s ok and it is normal. The problem is that a lot of them might not even get the message.
While they are on their phone for example, players can be informed via in-game messages or push notifications. Most game devs choose to notify players via email as well.
However, hundreds of other games and mobile apps use these channels so visibility and discoverability is a lot harder these days. There are so many new games and updates and sales trying to compete for the same several seconds of attention that even your biggest sale or content update or feature release might go unnoticed.
For players using Macs though, you might have a break by using Safari Push Notifications. What are they? In a nutshell, push notifications for the desktop.
Starting with OSX Mavericks, Mac users can opt in to receive push notifications not only from native apps and games installed on the Mac, but from websites as well. So even though the player is not on your website, not in your game or not following your Twitter account, you can still communicate directly by sending a push to their desktop:
How does it work?
The players subscribe by visiting your dev blog or website. After that, neither the browser nor the website need to be open in order for them to receive a notification.
The pushes will go away after a few seconds if they are not clicked. But, the message gets its much needed visibility boost.
Here’s a few ideas on how you can use push notifications with your website and blog to support your games:
Limited time sales or discounts. Normal sales and discount events work too.
Game updates to download. Send them to a post with what’s new and a link to the App Store.
Promoting in-game events. Especially with multiplayer games, events are a big deal. You usually get more experience, more weapons, more items, more monsters, more damage… more of everything really. Players will be happy to get notified when there’s a new event in town.
Exclusive content or early access content. Sign up to betas, to try out a new unit, to download the next game update before it goes worldwide, etc.
“Come back” incentives. Gift them units, items, virtual currency via a push to come back to your game.
New game launches. Is your studio releasing a new game? Notifications on their desktop are instant so the potential response and time to action is small. Faster response means faster and better results.
Contests. Because everybody loves contests.
It is true that right now only Macs offer this option so for iOS games and Mac games this is more relevant. However this might change in the future.
If your game dev site or blog is running on WordPress and you want to enable Safari Push Notifications for your readers and players, then do check out Push Monkey, our custom solution for this new channel!