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Snapchat & Instant Games | Dan Garon

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Delivered at Casual Connect Europe 2019. Zynga was one of the first developers on Snapchat and Facebook Instant Games. In this session, Dan Garon will discuss how developers can think about approaching new platforms.

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Snapchat & Instant Games | Dan Garon

  1. 1. SNAP GAMES & INSTANT GAMES EARLY LESSONS Dan Garon, Zynga
  2. 2. EARLY INVESTMENT IN BOTH PLATFORMS Zynga launched nearly two dozen games on FBIG over the past 2+ years Tiny Royale announced in April at Snap’s launch event; currently in SL and will WW launch soon
  3. 3. WORDS WITH FRIENDS ONE OF THE FIRST GAMES ON PLATFORM
  4. 4. LESSONS LEARNED
  5. 5. #1: PRIORITIZE RETENTION OVER VIRALITY Lapsed Users New Users Active Users Reactivations • New platforms offer promise of free installs, but the winners will retain their audience. • Zynga’s #1 game on the platform is also our highest retaining: Words With Friends • Lower-retaining arcade games have not sustained initial audience levels First principles of f2p game design still apply: without strong retention, audience will inevitably trend toward zero
  6. 6. #2: DESIGN AROUND NEW CHANNELS • Developers can’t rely on proven native channels • Push notifications/icon badging not available • SMS not available • You can’t rely on sharing outside of the current social network • Messaging channels offer unique opportunities • FBIG: Messenger (groups, bots, game messages); Timeline; Badging in Discovery • Snap: Voice; Nudges: Group game HUD icon
  7. 7. Play again icons Real time voice & in game chat Ring friends
  8. 8. Messenger sharing & groups Instant play from timeline Messenger play messages Custom update messages
  9. 9. #3: EXPECT LOTS OF PLATFORM CHANGES • FBIG and Snap are nascent platforms • Constant testing/optimizations across both • Greater speed and less predictability than Google/Apple • We expect to see continued changes to APIs, surfacing, discovery, content, etc.
  10. 10. #4: DESIGN FOR HTML5 TECH CONSTRAINTS • HTML5 viability for games has come a long way • Snapchat’s Playcanvas engine reduced development complexities considerably • Heightened focus on load times, given unique engagement patterns • Cannot take advantage of native APIs. Optmize: • Battery saving mode will sharply reduce frame rates • Test/blacklist certain devices (particularly challenging given Android fragmentation) • Handling weak cell connections more difficult • Less granular debugging
  11. 11. #5: MONETIZATION HAS ROOM TO GROW • Monetization in FBIG/Snap is early • No IAPs available yet in Snap; on FBIG, IAPs Android-only • Cannot rely on 3rd party ad networks; must show the platforms ads (on Snap, that’s a 6 second ad video ad only).
  12. 12. LOTS OF REASONS TO BE EXCITED • Widening audience for free to play games • Both FB and Snap making meaningful investment in their platforms • Innovative new channels emerging • Lower barrier to entry than on native
  13. 13. QUESTIONS?

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