Messenger Games – The next big opportunity?

by Tom Kinniburgh

Messenger games could be the next land grab opportunity in the mobile space. I spoke at Digital Dragons conference in Poland, evaluating the different messenger platforms (iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WeChat) as potential routes to market.  There are still a large number of restrictions on what you can do as a developer, but the scale and gamer engagement seen on new Messenger platforms is a positive sign.

Messenger Gaming – Short, Sharp and Inherently Viral from Tom Kinniburgh


  • Discussion of the Messenger Landscape.  Who controls which apps, what is the scale and usage within these apps.
  • Blue Ocean – Currently the number of developers making messenger games is low, there is still opportunity to land grab.
  • How Messenger Gaming works – how a user gets a messenger game on to their device.
  • Why Messenger games are unlikely to work with IAP, but will focus more on social distribution.
  • Breakdown of a number of top messenger games.  What are the good and bad game design decisions that have been made:
    • Give player meaningful choices on each round
    • Everything should be instant, high intensity.
    • End rounds naturally, by easing people in and easing people out
  • EverWing uses social mechanics to drive higher engagement and to bring people back to the game more often.
  • Messenger games have more, short sessions. Design yours for 30 seconds rounds.
  • How to write engaging messages to bring people back in messenger. Dynamic, Social, Competitive.
  • Messenger games retain for longer periods due to compelling social, and less competition in the space (being first helps your game to be noticed and played more often)
  • Why are you not thinking about messenger games?
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