September 13

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Guild vs Guild Dominance on the App Store

This Friday presented one of the most interesting days to date on the app store and a confirmation of a trend long in the making; Guild vs Guild is BIG.

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Of this list, SIX are Guild vs Guild games: Clash of Clans, Marvel War of Heroes, Crime City, Game of War, Knights and Dragons and Modern War. Three of these games are from GREE and one from DeNA, both companies having mastered GvG in their native country of Japan.

So why is the GvG model so lucrative and why is it cleaning up on the app store? There are a number of reasons:

• Guilds give a feeling of belonging and acceptance amongst a peer group no matter who you are.

• As an engaged Guild player, you feel obligated to help your guild and responsible for the performance of your guild.

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Holy Wars events in Rage of Bahamut are battles between “Orders” (Guilds) over a fixed time period with virtual rewards at stake.

• You want to actively seek out players who are stronger than you (thus probably spending more money / time / both).

• At the same time, you want to find new players and mentor them to increase the effectiveness of your guild. You are happy to be a philanthropist and give resources that you no longer need to help them early on.

• Engaged Guild players have high LTV and bring in new customers, make new customers increase their spending and increase their own spending as a result.

The downside is that without finely tuned balancing, Only the top guilds can play and you will lose customers that could have their LTV increased over time.

Clash of Clans by Supercell solved this problem by introducing leagues and divisions carefully weighted to balance GvG competitions.

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Clash of Clans uses leagues to evenly distribute players in GvG competition with each other.

Currently Candy Crush Saga remains the #1 top grossing app in the west, but this is somewhat of a false illusion. Clash of Clans charts far better in Japan, the strongest territory around the world for revenue per user (ARPPU), meaning that on mobile at least, CoC is still the top draw game. Of course all King games also earn a ton on Facebook so I’m sure not they are not overly worried about this situation.

So GvG – fad or here to stay? Judging on this evidence, I think it’s fair to say its here to stay.

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