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Modern Day LiveOps Capabilities for Gaming

Shivkumar M Shivkumar M has over 20 years of experience shaping technology product and GTM strategy. With B2B SaaS expertise across industries, he leads product launches, adoption, and GTM as Director of Product Marketing.
Modern Day LiveOps Capabilities for Gaming

With the rapidly evolving gaming industry, LiveOps has become an integral part of game development and operation because it allows marketers to continue to improve a game even after its release with updates, maintenance, and customer support. These days, LiveOps has become more than just a way to support event-based campaigns, it’s a delivery system that brings experience to players that are both seamless and engaging.
And no one knows this better than Greg Lin, Director of Live Operations Tools and Platform at Big Fish Games, who’s been using CleverTap Gaming (formerly Leanplum) to power LiveOps for the past decade — through employment at two different gaming studios. He shared with us a few solid tips for maximizing your LiveOps strategy.

Finding a Tool With Modern-day LiveOps Features

In February 2020, smack dab at the start of the global pandemic, Lin joined Big Fish to manage LiveOps for their casino products, Big Fish Casino and Jackpot Magic Slots — two top-grossing casino titles on the market. But, he quickly discovered they were using in-house tools to manage and execute their LiveOps. And those tools did not have the capabilities needed to run what he considered modern-day LiveOps activities, such as: A/B testing, segmentation, being able to message players, being able to run live events.
So off he went to find a capable third-party tool for CRM and LiveOps that checked all of those boxes.
Lin shares: “At my previous company, I had literally just done the same thing. I did the same research, looked at the tools in the market, and came to the same conclusion twice, which was, Leanplum was the right tool for us because of those reasons I mentioned.”

Promotional app store images for Jackpot Magic Slots.

CleverTap Gaming has been helping Big Fish with LiveOps events and campaigns for Jackpot Magic Slots.

Tip: What to Look for in a LiveOps Tool

For a marketer, the success of a game is heavily dependent on the ability to keep players engaged and retained. Your LiveOps tool plays a crucial role in achieving this goal but you need it to do very specific things. Here are key features to look for:

  • Real-time analytics: You need real-time insights into player behavior, including engagement, retention, and monetization. The data you gain can be used to optimize game features and identify areas for improvement. And, if it’s real time, you can pivot on a dime when things aren’t working.
  • Personalization capabilities: Players demand personalized gaming experiences. A LiveOps tool should provide the ability to tailor in-game content and promotions based on player behavior, preferences, and history. If it’s not customizable, it’s too generic to be effective!
  • Push notifications: Push is effective at keeping players informed about in-game events and promotions. Your LiveOps tool should be able to send targeted push notifications to specific player segments based on their behavior and preferences.
  • Easy integration: Finally, it has to work well with whatever infrastructure and workflows you already have. Because if it doesn’t, it will be a monumental headache troubleshooting all those moving parts.
  • A/B testing: A/B testing allows you to test different versions of in-game content, promotions, and even features to figure out what resonates best with players. If you can’t set up and run A/B tests quickly and easily, your execution speed will suffer.

    Lin shares: “The tool we had used, we had to literally upload CSVs of lists of users for which group was in which test group. So having these tools at our disposal, it really enabled our LiveOps team to operate at scale and really execute more quickly and with more accuracy. I would say CleverTap Gaming/Leanplum is a very big part of enabling our LiveOps team to be able to work more efficiently.”

Find out: How CleverTap Gaming can help you run LiveOps events even on a shoestring budget

Start Out Simple, Work Towards Complex

Lin and his team started out with very vanilla push notifications, eventually graduating to more complicated things like product A/B testing and running events in their games using advanced segmentation to give players a personalized experience.
“So once we got to that level of sophistication,” Lin says, “we were able to see pretty meaningful ARPU gains every time we ran events. And this translated to LTV gains for two products that have been around for almost 10 years. So it was a really great success story.”
This success led to Lin helping other teams in Big Fish achieve similar levels of success using the same tools and technologies. They implemented Leanplum into other games in the portfolio, starting with their flagship title, EverMerge.
Lin says: “So EverMerge is a game that launched worldwide without a tool like Leanplum, and we had no ability to do stuff like run A/B tests. Fast forward to today, we’ve integrated Leanplum and now are running, from my account, almost 200 A/B tests.”

Screenshot of an EverMerge LiveOps event called Gnome Rush

This EverMerge LiveOps event called Gnome Rush was executed with the help of CleverTap Gaming.

On top of that, the Big Fish team is now able to quickly design and deliver LiveOps content to their players, completely server side. And this is taking all of the best practices and knowledge gained from operating their casino titles.

How LiveOps is Transforming Games

Modern-day LiveOps capabilities are transforming the gaming industry by providing gaming studios with the ability to deliver a seamless and engaging player experience. With the ability to analyze real-time data and the scalability of AI-powered personalization, modern LiveOps tools like CleverTap Gaming are helping developers and marketers optimize game features and identify areas for improvement.
By selecting the right LiveOps tool — one that includes key features such as real-time analytics, A/B testing, and personalization, gaming studios can help ensure the long-term success of their game.

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