If you are thinking of developing a game or gaming platform that users can enjoy via their smartphone, there are many facets to consider. You will need to decide whether to opt for iOS or Android, whether your product will be free or paid, and whether to include in-game microtransactions, among other things.
One of the most important decisions you will have to make very early on is whether to offer your digital product as an app or as a browser-only experience. You might think that this one is a no-brainer and that apps are the only way to go. However, as we are increasingly seeing in the realm of mobile entertainment, browser-based products are winning out. Here’s why.
Lower barriers to entry
When designing a digital product of any kind, one of the most important factors for success is how low the barriers to entry are. This essentially means how much work users are expected to do in order to access your product.
The shorter the “user journey”, so to speak, the higher your retention rates typically are. With an app-based product, you need to download and install something onto your phone, while also dealing with setting up your in-app preferences and purchases.
With browser-only products, users get more content for less effort. Let’s look at one successful example; the browser-only bingo UK site where users can play hundreds of online bingo and slots games via their smartphone.
Their product is designed to make the user journey as short as possible – once you have an account, all you need to do is head to the Buzz Bingo website and immediately start playing the full range of games from your browser. For many users, this is simply a more appealing prospect than committing to an app.
The world of mobile entertainment is incredibly competitive, often with razor-thin margins to boot. If you want to offer a flawless product in the most cost-effective manner possible, a browser game could be your best shot.
It is significantly cheaper to developer a browser game for HTML5 than it is to design, develop, test, build, and maintain a dedicated mobile app. When the user experience of playing an app vs a browser game is not that different overall, it surely makes more sense to go for the option that is cheaper, easier, and less resource-intensive to sustain.
Fewer technical requirements
With a browser-only game, very little is actually expected of the user. All they need is an internet connection and a browser. With an app, things are very different. For one, there are the often demanding storage requirements, which might compel a user to delete content from their device to make room for your product.
Then there are the operating system requirements and permissions required for an app to function. This serves to make app-based products less accessible and more onerous to use. With browser-only mobile entertainment products, this is simply not the case.
These are the main reasons why you should stick to browser-based development in the future, rather than developing an app. Your users will thank you for it.