Mobile - the neglected kid in Earth2's household
In 2021, no consumer start-up/ tech product scales faster unless it also provides a solid mobile experience. When it comes to gaming, as per Newzoo (a leading gaming industry report) more than 90% of 2021’s gamers play via mobile. Not just that, over 52% of revenues of the global gaming market originate on mobile (smartphones/ tablets).
The above chart says it all. In fact, browser-based PC games (which is what Earth2 currently is) - the category as a whole shrunk by 18% in 2021.
Why is there no Earth2 app?
Launching an app would mean sharing a massive chunk of revenues (~30%) with Apple/Google/Microsoft depending on the platform. For the uninitiated, you must realize that for any in-app/ in-game currency purchases you do, the hosting platform (IOS/ Android/ Windows) takes their cut from the same. Therefore say if E2 players have deposited $50m to purchase E$ (which is an in-game currency), and if it was via the mobile app - E2 may have had to share ~15m with these platforms! Certainly not lucrative, and therefore understandably E2 has stayed away from launching an app thus far.
The next best alternative is to keep the game browser-based or even host an enhanced web app. Which is exactly where Earth2 is at - a browser-based experience. But even in doing so, it seems the design currently is not optimized for a smooth mobile experience. At the very basic, rudimentary GUI elements like dropdowns sometimes are difficult to interact with.
Earth2 approach should be 'Mobile First'
To compensate for the unavailability of an app, Earth2 could focus on providing the best possible mobile experience at the least. A broken mobile site is not only frustrating to use but also dilutes Earth2's brand. Having a 'Mobile First' approach to the site design could solve this.
As Earth-2 sets about its efforts to expand the player base it can ill afford to ignore how the mobile site works. For most new E2 users, Mobile will be the first contact. As a brand, you want your initial consumer touch-point to be as premium as possible. Actually, the mobile experience should be aimed to be better than the desktop experience.
I bought my first few tiles on Mobile some 8 months back, and similarly many users would have. This insight may be enough material for E2 to think about how does it want to approach its mobile efforts and whether it warrants to put more resources and even potentially revamp the whole mobile site - it will be worth every penny and the time.
Neglecting mobile, not prioritizing it, puts at risk how these new users perceive Earth2's product. After all, first impressions do count.
ZEU$ out. EDIT:- In a major policy change, just a few days ago Apple has allowed developers to the ability to share purchase options outside of their IOS app with users. This means now the developers can avoid the high commissions (15-30%) from Apple if the purchase happens outside the app (say on browser). We believe that similar policy may be adopted soon by Android/Windows. Couldn't be more perfect conditions for Earth2 to pursue a mobile app for a superior mobile experience.