How we choose games02/28/2020
Are you interested in how we choose games for listing on PacoGames? Rules for adding and accepting new games are very simple and complicated at once, defined by our long-term goal to deliver quality space for playing cool, interesting, unique, fun and engaging games. This is not only an article - it’s a guide for our content manager - so by reading it you can get exact and clear information of how a game should look like to be listed on PacoGames.
Note: Information in this article is widely applicable and most gaming websites have similar - use this knowledge to produce games that will be spreaded organically through gaming websites which will help you achieve tremendous visibility of your games and acquire millions of players without any marketing costs.
Introduction to browser games
Market of browser games is delayed for years compared to mobile and other types of casual games. This delay is on many levels - especially in the quality of games and money in the industry, unfortunately these both aggravate the difference.The problem with quality has begun especially after a need to remove most games made by enthusiasts, the main milestones were:
- Stopped support for NPAPI in 2015. NPAPI is a shortcut of Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface. This interface was used for running various plugins necessary for playing games. The most used plugin in that time was Unity Web Player that allowed smooth running of games made in Unity game engine.
- Gradual restrictions for Flash. Flash has become the building block for multimedia content on the web since the time of its creation. Most games were made just with the use of this technology. However, due to its vulnerabilities it has been unsustainable to keep this technology and with a come of html5 browsers started limit running of flash on the websites. Since 2018, flash is disabled in Chrome by default.
These steps made all games made in old technologies non-playable while there were minimum games made in modern technologies to replace them. Moreover, new games did not run as smoothly like the older games using plugins for their running.
Many game developers used the situation of limited number of playable games on the web for the opportunity and brought many very simple games (mostly even clear development kits), usually with no design, tasks, story or goals to achieve. These games benefit from the interest of users for freedom, just drive a car, shoot with a gun or fight without limitations. Many such games still belong between most played games in the browser.
Browser games currentlyThere is possible to divide the origin of browser games into three directions:
- Popular games developed by individuals, spreaded organically
- Games developed by individuals, distributed by someone
- Games developed by websites or in cooperation with gaming websites
By individuals you can imagine any entity of any size developing a game for the web.
In terms of game quality, the most interesting games for the web come from direction no1. Most visible games in this category are various .io games. There are many unique games bringing new ideas which should be definitely on every gaming websites.
Second type of games are games distributed with the use of a game distribution service or own distribution. This group may cover 80% of games of all types and quality, from really great titles to multiple copycats. Publishers may usually have a revenue share from revenue going from the games published on their websites. Games available in these services may also come from source no3.
Third group is a bit complicated, because every cooperation is based on different principles. There are really good games, as well as games which are more ads for the website (an analogy for playable ads) than games.
Games from the 2nd group have got a dominance on the web. However, especially bigger gaming websites are aware of the risk going from it and started require individual websites of games for their website, or even exclusive licences. If this trend continues (and all look that so), it will bring increased burden on game developers (to develop and manage more versions of one game) or a need of a tool for game management as the one offered by GameArter.
There are currently plenty of good and quality games coming from these resources, however, their number is very low compared to the total number of available games. This is a common state on all platforms, however, due to the lower number of really quality games, there are very well visible also bad games on the web.
After years of decentralization, the market of browser games also starts to consolidate - there are big entities using their own size to get market dominance. This may result in an increased number of released games with exclusivity holded by one of the main gaming portals.
PacoGames game preference
Finally, here’s why this article has been created - summarization of points by importance we look at while deciding about adding a game on PacoGames.
Uniqueness on the web
Presentation of the game
Quality of a game may be destroyed by its presentation. Things like excessive amounts of ads, especially long or non-skippable may discourage users from playing before they even start to play the game. This applies also for pre-roll ad in cases when there is already used web-based pre-roll ad on Pacogames.
Next problem, especially for owners of gaming websites, are games with an excessive number of outgoing links. Decent buttons with clear text or small logos in a corner are ok, the worst are links trying to target and “steal” the user already during loading screen, before the player started play and any kind of hidden and misleading buttons or even forced redirects.
Necessary work and time to be releasedGames are being published on PacoGames by a paid employee which entails certain cost of adding each game. To increase probability of listing of your game on the website, you need fill at least one of following
- The game is so interesting (unique) that we want to have it on the web even if no one would play it
- The game has potential to reach thousands of gameplays to cover costs for adding it
- Release of the game is matter of few minutes, because all necessary things (written good and unique game description, created images, video thumbnail etc) were made by developer via GameArter
Availability of revenue share for publisherIf we are not sure about adding some game on the web because of you know…
- Game is not bad, but it’s not even good
- Game has ads and links, but in a fair amount
- It’s maybe worth adding, maybe not….
In this case we look at offered revenue share. If it’s ok for us, we will add the game.
Trust in the game and developer
This is especially about games requiring to be loaded from untrusted sources as developer’s own hosting or small gaming website. First problem is in the server / hosting performance which depends on willingness to pay for it. Performance of cheap servers may be really bad in more distant destinations from the server.
In the case of games released by gaming websites, or in cooperation of gaming websites, there is always a risk that the gaming website will make the games, or will use their power to force the developer to update the games to make them playable on their web once the game has been successfully published on gaming websites. Every user is then redirected to a targeted website for playing the game.
Games added from these origins must be monitored which is some extra work for us (writing and management of algorithms for it + some manual work). Anyway, it helps us exceed our list of untrusted entities.
NOTE: One of described may also happen in the case of games from distribution services where developers can update their games anytime they want. However, all these updates are monitored by the distribution platform and once a developer would process this practice, he could be affected for it.
Games released through game distribution services or in cooperation with gaming websites bring simplicity for developers redeemed with a decreased revenue for developer. These platforms provide game developers share of revenue usually in the area from 33% to 70%. If possible, we always prefer games on which the main revenues go to the developer to support his next work.
Every newly added game on PacoGames should be unique at least in one thing or bring any added value for users. It is clear that to think of something unfamiliar is incredibly hard in gaming, in fact, there is no need (but it’s welcome) to make crazy stuff, features, game design or visualisation, there is sufficient to make the development thoroughly and use common sense during it.
Unique things may be in small improvements which took 5 minutes to implement. Does your game count score? 99% of games saves and show the value for the player only. Invest a few minutes of your time to connect your game with the public leaderboard and your game will be immediately more interesting than 99% of the other games. You can do the same for achievements. As a bonus, all data will be saved on the server side and users will lose nothing on swithich device or clearing browser memory. Do you think it would require days to implement? Then check this video showing how to implement achievements, leaderboards and IAP in 15 minutes with the use of GameArter for developers.
This is 6 basic points we are going to start checking before adding every game. Until now, we have had a rule of adding 3 games a day, however this rule forced us to also publish less quality games to keep the ratio and many game developers have used it for their own benefit. Therefore, we are swithich our focus on quality instead of quantity. With the decreased number of newly added games you can expect more engaging fun on PacoGames.
Games promotion on PacoGamesPacoGames website has exclusive places for promotion of quality games. It’s basically:
Trending games section on homepage
Trending games section belong from a carousel with large-scale images followed by images in the classic dimension. Games for carousel ( large-scale images ) are editor’s picks, images with the classic dimension are selected by algorithm based on collected data from playing the games. There is no filtration made by the algorithm, every game can be displayed here.
Trending games sections on category and selected tag pages
Source of games for this section is the same as in point 1, with applied filtration for displaying only games assigned with the section / tag.
List of games displayed to the right from game window on gamepage
Source of games for this section is the same as in point 1, with applied filtration for displaying only games added by game developers.