David Xicota

David is the CEO of Gamedonia, a platform that helps you design fun and successful games. You can follow him on Twitter @DavidXicota.

The key to success and drawing revenue for any game is to be fun to play. Shocking huh? I’m sure you had already figured that out on your own.

What you might not be entirely aware of is the importance engagement has over game revenue, and a simple way to improve it.
A recent study by Kongregate reveals compelling data that shows that having a player vs player mode is a really powerful engagement tactic.

Nothing beats human interaction when it comes to keep the players coming back for more. And more gameplay equals more chances of cashing in.
Let’s break down the numbers of the study. I think you’ll be blown away!

The more the merrier

When players like the game and are engaged, they are closer to paying because they find value in doing so. We’re shown that ARPU quadruples when players hit a certain threshold of play sessions.

ARPU in the 10-50 play session range raises $0.83 where 51-100 does $3.79.

It seems clear that the first step to stardom is to engage players and have them wanting more.

Keep players’ hands full! Multiple game modes offers more opportunities to appeal to the gaming experience each player seeks. So not limiting to a few play modes seems like a good idea. These are just examples of play modes on the top of my mind:

  • Solo and team PvE –player vs environment
  • Solo and team PvP –player vs player
  • Asynchronous raids
  • Guild battles
  • World boss raids
  • Farming
  • Town Building
  • Weapon/Gear Synthesizing & Upgrading
  • Astral Collecting and Combining

PvP can double game revenue

The study shows a clear trend in game revenues. Players are more likely to spend money if they can engage in player vs player mode. Whereas life-time ARPPU for single-player games cluster around $5-$10, PvP games range $20-$350.

At the very least, developing a multiplayer game will double your revenue.

PvP really takes the spotlight in the RPG genre. Considering an engaged player base, +50 play sessions, multiplayer RPGs has x5 ARPU than single-player RPG games and x25 ARPU than single-player non RPG games.

Skærmbillede 2014-12-02 kl. 14.54.24

Player vs player games boost revenue 250% in non RPGs and to 510% in RPGs.

A success example using PvP

Let’s go over the recent success that is QuizUp and see why they stand out from the competition.

  • Top notch graphic design
  • Every player has a subject she can enjoy
  • PvP game mode

Its become a worldwide hit on the shoulders of features that add user engagement.


You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to stand out. Introducing small tweaks to already established formulas can do the trick if done right. QuizUp has proven how simply adding a quick, thrilling PvP mode has set the app apart from many other trivia games.

Design powers revenue

When designing your PvP mode there are some important differences you should know.

Asynchronous PvP shows x2.5 ARPU than synchronous play. Also notice that when you have both synchronous and asynchronous PvP, not only ARPU stays high but you broaden the percentage of engaged players and top the percentage of buyers. Again, the more options you give players, the better it is for you too.

Asynchronous is better than synchronous because it allows players to play at their own pace and convenience.

Multiplayer games have x5 to x13 ARPU versus single-player games.

Bottom line being, revenue raises when you give players more freedom to enjoy the game. So, what are you waiting for to start building a multiplayer game? There’s no really downside to it!

Did you find this useful and know someone who would appreciate it? Send them a link to this article, I’m sure they’ll thank you later for doing so.

This is cross-post from Gamedonia blog, if you enjoyed the read, come visit us!


David Xicota

David is the CEO of Gamedonia, a platform that helps you design fun and successful games. You can follow him on Twitter @DavidXicota.

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