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Game Feature: Daily Login Bonus

Daily Login bonus was a system originally to address retention. At the time of inception there were so many clones of the similar type of TCG (Trading Card Game) that the only way to retain these users was to give them rewards on a daily basis. But the durability of this features only extended itself for the first month or so. After this, many have failed to create innovative features that can sustain the motivation and the drive for players to continue to come back on a consistent basis.

As advance analytics pave the way on how companies make strategic decisions on where they put their money, game development has also adapted to these changes and PM’s have started to calculate the ROI on an individual feature basis, and mostly green lit features that will have a biggest impact on the bottom line. The current state of of advanced analytics allows developers to segment for specific cohorts and metrics to effectively analyze on a feature by feature basis.

As per Daily Login Bonus, the general assumption is that it benefits retention is ‘vague’. Product Managers are now required to design specs to help increase more granular retention metrics:

  • Day 1 Retention

  • Day 7 Retention

  • Day 14 Retention

  • Day 30 Retention

  • Day 60 Retention.. And the list goes

The strength of Daily Mission lies in the strength in the first 30 day and after this the rewards are so minimal that it gets ignored. This may have to do with the conditioned state players fall into. At the start, the carrot is usually enticing enough for players to comeback as motivation to excel in the game is fresh. Unlocking new characters and earning hard currency just to login feels great. But once the novelty wears off, and the grind gets ‘Real’, so does the effectiveness of your Daily Login feature. The diminishing return or reward for that matter is so minimal that it doesn’t impact the players game play at all.

The simple solution is to scale up the rewards but doing this has massive impacts on the bottom line and thus not recommended.

Many have tried but failed to keep this system durable, notable failures:

  • Scaling rewards -> Effectively decreases Revenue

  • Unlock more characters -> ROI just isn’t there to hand out players for free

  • Hand out more old characters -> Has no effect to Retention, old content is old content

Dear Daily Missions,

i would like to have a toast to Daily Missions. i’ve accepted you for who you are, I apologize on how developers try to make you more than what you are. I have finally realized that you for who you are and every developer should appreciate you for what you have done for their game. Keep doing what you can do and don’t change. The first 30 days are extremely important and i thank you for this. Any dev trying to change you have them come to me and i’ll have a word with them of your importance to every game in the app store.

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