The Pick King
- Role: Role: Design Lead | Creative Direction | Visual Design
The Original Pick King Concept
Seeking to replicate a Vegas-style betting experience, the Pick King originally began as a basic multi-sport betting app. Using Pick King "Cash", bets can be placed on a variety of sports games for most professional and college leagues including MLB, NFL, NCAA Football, PGA, and Nascar. Players can make in-app purchases for more Pick King cash at any point. A leaderboard was set up to track player's overall progress, offering a competitive addition to the traditional sports betting.
Low retention. Why are players leaving the app?
Noticing a very low retention rate for a large percentage of overall players, I set out to understand player dissatisfaction. Why are players putting down the app, but not picking it back up again?
I conducted user interviews and game statistical analysis to help identify a potential problem and formulate a possible solution. My research showed that as the lead grew between the top player on the leaderboard and the rest of the field, players lost interest in the overall app. Since the only true gameplay achievement was the leaderboard, there became a point at which the lead was insermountable.It became clear that the game mechanics needed to change in order to level the playing field - making it more difficult for any one player to take over the leaderboard without making significant achievements.
Enhanced Game Mechanics
When researching ways to improve the Pick King game mechanics, I turned to popular games such as Candy Crush and Angry Birds for inspiration. I took cues from these games when creating a challenge-based game mechanics approach to our app, hoping to replicate the addictive nature that has made these games so popular.
Our new approach used both levels and achievements, along with winnings, as the basis for the leaderboard. Players must satisfy specific achievements within one level before progressing to the next level.
Examples of achievements are:
- Successfully select 3 winning games in a row.
- Win a bet over $1,000,000.
- Win a 4 game parlay.
Based on early statistical analysis, the changes made to the game mechanics of the Pick King had a dramatic effect on player retention. Players found that the level achievements helped to create a more well-rounded experience, allowing all players to fight for the top spot on the leaderboard while having fun betting on sports games at the same time.