This guide explains how to use GameRefinery as an integral part of your market research and gives examples of how GameRefinery data can support you in your decision making in different phases of game development.

Feel free to skip parts depending on your product lifecycle stage and what you feel would bring you the most value. 

The outline of working with GameRefinery as part of your workflow: 

Research

  1. Brainstorm different high level game concepts/ideas
  2. Determine preliminary product-market-fit by conducting market research

Prototype

  1. Rapidly prototype a few game concepts
  2. Take one concept forward

Optimize

  1. Compare the new concept against its competitors
  2. Search for opportunities in feature/market data
  3. Modify the concept based on the research data

Research

Brainstorm high level game concepts/ideas

Start by brainstorming a number of different game ideas that you'll research a bit before moving forward. For example, ask questions such as:

  • What type of new games have recently been popular?
  • Are there any particular features that have stood out in the games you thought of? 
  • Is there a new kind of core/meta game you'd like to try out?
  • Are there any particular themes/visual styles you'd like to go with?

Try to come up with two to four game concepts/ideas you'd like to take forward and start researching.

Determine preliminary product-market-fit by conducting market research

Now that you've thought of possible game ideas it's good to look at the current markets and understand how the high-level concepts fit to the market trends.

It’s good to remember that market trends change quite slowly and innovation in the Top Grossing 200 games has been moderate.

Questions to be answered: 

  • How many similar games are there?
  • How do they perform in terms of revenue/downloads on average?
  • What would be your main competitors if you entered that space?
  • How similar are the top performing games?
  • What kind features are the most differentiating ones in the particular game type?

Pro tip: Take a look at Market Explorer overview for more tips on how to research and interpret Market Explorer data. You also might want to check our guide on segment creation for useful tips and best practices.

Researching with Market Explorer

Go to Market Explorer and start your research by creating segments.

  • Start by creating multiple segments and try different Subgenres / Core-features. Measure their differences and find anomalies in games (e.g. high performers)
  • Narrow down segments by adding more focused features (e.g. Theme, Competition & PvP, or Social interaction features) as needed
  • Find the differences between games that have/don't have the segment-related features
  • Look at the overview data for differences in average / median revenue and download estimates. 
  • Keep an eye on possible outliers in Revenue per Download ratio
  • Take a look at the Games tab and try sorting the list based on different data to spot the best performing games
  • You can also switch markets to understand how different game types perform in different markets

Comparing strategy and action games with and without guild mechanics and co-operation features in Market Explorer

Prototype

Rapidly prototype a few game concepts

Now that you've done research on initial market opportunity, positioning and competitors:

  • Create multiple preliminary game concepts with Game Analyzer 

New game concept started in Game Analyzer

  • Use benchmark games for quick feature comparison
  • Note that feature-wise you don't have to set anything in stone at this stage and it's even recommended to revisit the concepts after gathering more data
  • Fill in all features for the game concepts and calculate initial POWERSCORE®s

First POWERSCORE® calculated!


Pro tip
: Check out our guide on getting started with Game Analyzer

Take one concept forward

Decide on the winning concept to move forward. You can, of course, pick multiple concepts but it's good to start with one. During the final steps, you'll optimize the game's feature-set by using market data.

Optimize

Compare the new concept against competitors

  • Use Game Comparison to compare your game against the competitors you found in Market Explorer and Game Overview's Identified Competitors section

Comparing own game concept against competitors to see the most notable differences in feature sets

Search for opportunities in feature/market data

  • By researching overall market data you can further validate the assumptions you may have regarding the feasible feature additions from the previous steps 
  • Using segments in Market Explorer is an excellent way to find out the features that are the most important for games similar to your game concept

By creating a segment with the Market Explorer we were able to validate the data found in Game Comparison: 

According to market data, Limited time event related features seem to be some of the most effective features for Strategy type games where the meta game is built around a team of characters.

Modify the concept based on the research data

  • Test different features by adding and removing them in Game Analyzer
  • Make sure to also check out the Feature Ideas

Features Ideas for our game concept also seem to be in line with the findings from Game Comparison and Market Explorer

Now that you've gathered feature data from multiple different sources, try adding some of the features to the game concept and update its POWERSCORE®.

Updated POWERSCORE® after adding limited time events-related features

We recommend that you keep on tweaking the concept and try out multiple different feature-sets to find out the one that is the most feasible to take forward. It's good to go through a variety of different game concepts from start to finish. Note that you can also clone an existing game and continue working on that.

Additional points to consider:

  • The potential increase in revenue with different feature scenarios
  • The amount of resources needed to certain features areas (some mechanics naturally require more resources to build)
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