Hello, players. Today I want to talk about all of you, the people who play MilMo. If you've been using MilMo for a while, you've probably noticed that there are more players around these days. If you're a new arrival (the game has grown a lot during this last month), I want to extend a warm welcome. As I write this, MilMo has over 400 000 monthly active users on Facebook, and several more on milmogame.com and on Orkut, the leading social network in Brazil and India.
Reaching out to players is one of our top challenges, believe it or not. To play MilMo you must first know the game is there. The media flow is a competitive place, packed with noise, so getting exposure is either hard or expensive.
|MilMo in Portuguese|
So let's take a step back and think about these things. Where do you learn about the games you play? Maybe a friend offers you a recommendation. Perhaps you see an ad somewhere on the Internet. It could be you read a review, or regularly browse something like the Featured Games Dashboard on Facebook. Whether you find a game you want to try or not when you do these things is the final link in what can be a long chain of events.
When we first released MilMo in December 2009, we used Google Adwords to create awareness. Perhaps you're one of the people who found out about the game way back then? The nice people who had been with us through Alpha also helped bring in a lot of their friends, of course, but it was great to see so many new users try the game with fresh eyes. Some of our early players made YouTube movies that helped spread the word, and we eventually got some early reviews on different game sites. Much to our surprise, we received nice reviews in Brazil, and in the spring of 2010 we had a huge influx of Brazilian players!
|If you use Google, this will be old hat|
After we released on Facebook in July of 2010, we put resources into Facebook Ads (duh) to see what would happen. The results were pretty good with lots of new people learning about MilMo. We were also helped by the fact that MilMo was a new entry that sorted near the top in our category in the Facebook games directory. That exposure meant that a bunch of players noticed our title. A lot of the Facebook players were people who hadn't played 3D MMOs before, so it's been nice to find that they seem to like it. A lot.
|Google's Orkut is huge in Brazil and in India|
Recently, we have begun a new round of expansion, which started when we released MilMo BR on Orkut. On the 17th of December 2010 we launched the Orkut version. MilMo BR runs on its own set of servers and is entirely in Portuguese!
|MilMo's European servers, that service milmogame and Facebook|
The big boost in user numbers on Facebook and milmogame.com also came in December, but was unrelated to the Orkut launch. Since the middle of last month, we've seen MilMo grow from tens of thousand of active users to hundreds of thousands. Though this has put some strain on our servers, it is amazing to see this kind of growth!
There are a lot of considerations when making games, but few are as important as reaching out to your audience. A game without players is like a party without people: a sad thing. Thank you for playing MilMo and populating the ever-expanding MilMoverse. It's going to be a fantastic journey.
All the best,
Today's post is made by Ola Holmdahl, game designer and CEO at Junebud. Ola's previous career includes teaching game design, doing game design and creating concept art. In a previous life he was a freelance artist and an academic (but not at the same time).