Poll Results: Next Steps for Pocket Tactics27 Jul 2017 16
A couple of weeks ago, we ran a poll on Pocket Tactics to mark a year since I took up post here. I felt it was important to give everyone a chance to give us their feedback so we can see how we’re doing and where we can improve, and also give us a snapshot of what the readership is currently like. For example:
We just want to take a moment to thank everyone who took the time to complete the form, and for all the feedback you guys gave us. It’s been very helpful! We won't be going into everything here, but here are few highlights and top talking points.
There weren't many surprises in terms of what the top genres where, although I was interested in seeing what the favourite non-strategy games where. Unfortunately, the market isn’t offering up as many premium strategy games as it used to. While we will also be looking into content that looks back at past games, that too has its limits.
For the moment, I think I’d rather talk about something rather than nothing, so while we will definitely stop talking about some types of games we will still branch out into things that we hope a significant portion of you enjoy. These results will help guide us with that.
One a Day
Quite a few of you were asking about why we only do one post a day – the unfortunate answer is simple: Budget.
It’s not appropriate to go into too many details here, but it’s important that this company tries to make up for the costs of running everything, including freelancers and salaries. I have some figures on how much money the company was making before I got here, and I of course know how well we’re doing right now. The current policy on how much paid content we can afford per day is reflective of all that.
When I got here, due to the changes and uncertainty, Pocket Tactics (and Wargamer) had gone through a period where nothing was really going up with any regularity. I especially felt it was important (in order to get things back on track) to make sure you guys had at least one article to read per day, every day, five days a week.
Originally, along with the review or feature that was due to go up that day, I’d also write up a bit of news. Given that I didn’t have the time to dedicate to doing *all* relevant news, it started to feel quite arbitrary which news item I was writing up. This, along with my concerns over what would be needed to keep up with the news cycle in general, led me to favour weekly round-ups in the form of News by Numbers. Coupled with Tof (and then Nick) handling the Out Now wrap-ups at the end of the week, there wasn’t much room for other content that could be done by me alone.
I know many of you were used to Owen, Dave, Kelsey et al writing up whatever interested them whenever they felt like it, which resulted in shorter & more frequent posts. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s possible with the structure we now have – it’s not something a freelancer can do (as it requires a larger more time/money investment), and I don’t really consider myself as knowledgeable in terms of mobile gaming to be able to make regular postings about it. Which is fine – I see it as my job is to hire knowledgeable people to talk about the games you care about – it’s just there’s a limit to what we can provide currently.
Pocket Tactics Content
Looking at the feedback, we seem to be doing well with News by Numbers and Out Now. We’re going to make sure we’re not getting complacent with these, and along with the new re-focusing of included genres we’re going to look at ways we can keep this content relevant and fresh.
Generally, you guys find our reviews library our strongest assets, although we have noticed many of you seem to be dissatisfied with the quality of the writing and editing. This is something we will definitely look into.
There also seems to be a portion of the readership who feel we’re covering CCGs a bit too much, although CCG & Card Games are a close contender for top non-strategy genre. I’d always thought these types of games would serve as a suitable point of expansion, mainly because I play a few CGs myself and I’ve always found them to be very strategic in nature.
I think it’s safe to say our experimentation with Free-to-play content hasn’t really worked either. The problem any kind of mobile site faces when it tries to focus on premium games is that those kinds of games are getting fewer and far between. I’d hoped to start looking at decent ones, or come up with some way to contextualise F2P games in the same terms as premium, but it hasn’t really panned out.
Feedback & Next Steps
A lot of you wrote in to with some encouraging words, and we thank you for that. Quite a few former readers came back as well to give us some constructive criticism about why they left. All in all, we have a lot to think about and a bit more work to do to make Pocket Tactics the best it can be.
In terms of short-term steps, here are a few things we will be looking into:
- CCG Coverage – we’re not abandoning it completely, but we’re going to let the market decide which games are worth talking about. I’ve always found Matt’s Hearthstone Hot Takes to be amusing, and they always generate good discussion We will keep an eye on any other CCG games that prove popular and look at coverage on those titles.
- Free-to-Play – we’ll stop covering F2P games, with the only exceptions being games that are ‘free’ that require a one-off payment to unlock the premium version. In our minds, these games are basically premium anyway; they just have a ‘demo’ of sorts.
- Quantity & Quality – while we’re limited in what we can do in terms of posting more than once a day, we will make sure we’re bringing you the best quality content we can.
- Android content – we will definitely see if we can redouble our efforts here, as while the majority of you are iOS users the Android market is getting bigger every year. I’m an Android user myself!
- Developer Interviews & More Competitions – these are things we used to do, and we should do them more.
- Lots more quality of life and minor suggestions – they are a bit numerous to list out, but there’s a lot more work we can do just in terms of site functionality and promoting the other sites more as well.
Thanks again to everyone who took part. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let us know in the comments!