A mobile, cover-based third-person shooter called "WeFire" in China and it was developed by Tencent. It is a hugely popular and a #1 chart topping hit in China, South Korea, and Taiwan. Glu partnered with Tencent to localize WeFire and release it in the United States and Europe.
After v1.0 released, we found a large percentage of players were not upgrading weapons and armor and those systems were a main source of revenue. We conducted player surveys that returned feedback users were not understanding the upgrade process for weapons and armor. As a result, we analyzed the top performing games in the shooter genre and found they use much simpler upgrade systems. Our game utilized complex upgrade systems based on RPG (role playing game) mechanics popular in China. In addition, there were lots of superfluous items and pertinent information hidden from the player. Our conclusion was the RPG mechanics in our game didn't resonate well with a western mobile shooter audience and we needed to redesign it for the next update in order to improve revenue.
For the next update of Rival Fire, we decided to remove the superfluos elements of the old screens and highlight the item's statistics to encourage upgrading. We grouped the component button with its corresponding attribute and made less friction for upgrading because the old design was heavy on text and lacked a complete loop for players who fell short on resources. If players didn't have enough resources, they were forced to leave the upgrade loop and go to the game's store or earn them through playing more. We completed the upgrade loop by adding the ability to purchase missing resources using the game's hard currency. Updated designs and a flow diagram of the upgrade loop are below.
RPG mechanics do not perform well in western mobile shooters. Although these systems have a large depth of player spend and outperformed in eastern markets, they do not do so well with shooter players in the west. Competitive analyses of the top performing mobile shooter games in the west indicated players wanted simpler upgrade loops and gameplay. By simplifying the designs of these existing complex systems in the game, we were able to improve average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) for this feature.