The story about to be told took place in the Pre-Corona age. Back then, we would still actually meet each other in person, give a welcome hug, sit close together, in order to share ideas and pleasantries that were not absolutely necessary from a transactional point of view. We were brainstorming, exchanging ideas, even at the risk of also exchanging the odd microbe. That is how dedicated our team can be 🙂
In this particular brainstorming meeting, we wanted to talk about how to become better at keeping the interest of new signups. There had been a positive trend in “spontaneous” signups for a while, but not enough of these new signups would stick around for long. We could see that clearly in our statistics: Only 1 in 4 new users would still be in the game 30 days after their signup date.
Why was that? We did not see the same low “stay rate” for managers returning to Hattrick after having played in the past. But for people completely new to Hattrick, maybe it could be hard to have the patience to dig in and see the results of your earlier decisions. Also, the look and feel of Hattrick is a bit old school. Many of the bells and whistles users would expect from a modern game, especially a mobile game, is nowhere to be seen in here.
We just wanted to try something new, something that would not offend or disturb our current user base, but that might help with the newbies!
The last time we had tried this was when we introduced the official Mentoring System, now quite a few years ago. Users who chose to have a Mentor became about 18% more likely to stay longer than 30 days! Back then, the focus was on educating the newcomers. This time, our focus would be on something more controversial, namely instant gratification. Instant gratification started to be a “thing” after the massive increase of mobile gaming. It is when you give the user some kind of reward, gratification, almost every time they log in. This gives a feeling of rapid progression, even if it may not always be very real. Gamers want something, and they want it NOW. It doesn’t have to be a big win or a trophy. Just a shiny cosmetic badge or a daily bounty. Something that they will feel they earned.
Someone on the team said, “This is not something we want to impose on all the users, but we could try it out for new users only and see how they react. Let’s just implement something simple and do an A/B test”. An A/B test is when we let one group of, in this case, new users have the new feature, and then let another control group continue with the old system. After some time, we will be able to see in the stats if the new feature had an impact or not.
Said and done, we started working on it. We opted for a Login Streak – a daily bounty. This Login Streak would keep track of reward users when they stuck to the routine of logging in to the site most or every day. The longer they kept the streak going, the better the rewards. We figured if they could keep going a month, they would have had time to see the deeper set, and more powerful, “delayed gratifications” of our beloved game.
This is how we put it to the users:
“Active managers often get good results. For this reason, the Hattrick Football Association will reward managers that demonstrate unwavering dedication to their teams. You can earn rewards by logging in to Hattrick every day during your first month. You will receive reward points for your daily logins, and as you reach login milestones. Team cash rewards may be added on any day as long as you maintain your login streak.”
And this is what users see. Simple as that. A shiny dashboard with a big check whenever they reach a milestone.
Each user will receive 10 Reward Points every day for 30 days in total, plus bonuses on the 3rd, 7th, 14th and 30th day which in total means 1 500 Reward points. In addition, if the user logins every day and he is lucky enough, he might receive some cash as a gift. Cash that doesn’t affect the competition in the league but is good enough to give that extra instant gratification feeling.
Did it work? Definitely. We kept the A/B test for a while and monitored the activity of each group. Those users that participated in the experiment of Login Streaks had a 52% higher likelihood to stay after 30 days! Impressive, right? For the last few months, Login Streaks has been available for every new signup on our website and given the impact, it is just a matter of time to have it in our mobile apps as well.
So, depending on how much ist the financial reward, basically it is either cheating old users (who don’t get the reward), or cheating new users, who get a “reward” that means nothing. A sad state of affairs.
Wow, your glass sure is halv empty Envy ;-D
I think this sounds like a well balanced and quite innovative solution – well done HT!
Everything else is advantageous to old users. They got to build their team with much cheaper transfer prices, for instance. Buy cheap and sell high. New teams, with the non-changing starting money, have way tougher time in the transfer market than old teams had. A chance for more cash is a good thing in that way. However, if luck determines this cash bonus isn’t for everybody, it becomes a bit of a letdown. Maybe players will start a new team as many times as necessary to get it or smth?
This is an arguement i read a lot: “The old users had cheaper transfer prices”. actually it’s a question of purchase power. the price level might be higher today but it’s also easier to make money in short time with training. So this arguement actually has to be challenged…
this is a very good point. developers should be well aware that they might piss off the old users with developing ht to a “modern online game”. i’m playing hattrick for almost 20 years and i pay 150-200 euros a year for my membership. with the game developing in this direction i’m not very happy. by the way: i don’t play any of those so called “modern online games” 🙂
Developers should rather think about how they can give back more financial flexibility to the users. having a maximum of 25 mio. euros on the bank account is pretty annoying.
thanks and of course i still love hattrick – even after 20 years…
Doesn’t the financial reward affect the competition? I mean, this way the competition will be unfair on the transfer market for those who hadn’t receive the bonus?
Also I wonder what happens after 6 months.
For instance, I noticed that when I started, we started with over 100 teams in the same week. Now, only 8 teams are still playing. That’s also a figure to worry about and in my opinion a more important one….
Great! Keep trying and testing new stuff. Hope this one work out well!
Candy for kids every days, but bottle of wine every year for old fashion users without mobile apps ! If some get hungry, others would be thirsty. (joke)
Well, why not for newby ? Some thens thousands of euros freely doesn’t sound like such a big deal.
One of the worst decisions mad on hattrick! Well done guys.. one of the best things about hattrick when compared to other online ‘footbal manager’ games is that you can not buy a success, you do not get money just because you log in (well you DID not until now).
Start focusing on real problems and how to make game more intereseting for new guys:
– new guys usualy play against BOT or lose like 7:0. In real life Real Madrid can lose against teams from 5th league so let’s do this in hattrick – so why newbie has to wait 3 seasons to have team that can win at least from time to time (often even in the same league! (if it is not full of bots))
– when you check games you can see that almost always when playing against better team they usually concede 3 goals in 2 minutes -> usually by same player.. -> after exactly same event -> So why would they stay? How many times this happens in real life?
– add features that would make it more interesting for them, what about loaning players and signing contracts that they have to play to earn expecrience and training so that new guys do not have to immediately spend money on transfers but rather having 2-3 not as bad players in squad on loan
But instead of this you chose easier “solution”… now let’s see when you add micro-transactions for helping teams in game..
Well, as a returning manager who received the log-in bonus, I have to say that the negative comments are based on near total ignorance. Over 30 days I received about €13.000 in total. Obviously, this sort of bonus will completely warp the transfer market. Now I am guaranteed to get rapid promotion and beat the long-term members who missed out on this (obviously due to the money, not their inability to manage their clubs).
Put into perspective, the cash bonus was about 5% of what you get for completing the manager license.
Personally, I would like to see this extended to all clubs, at very low rates. Something like one gear after thirty/forty consecutive active log-ins (where you do something).
Anything which gets more active managers is a boost to everyone. Whinging that someone getting something I don’t is just pathetic, especially when it is so minor.
I get your point and your “clever” irony, but it’s not about the amount you and others received, it’s about the principle.
This isn’t a long term solution, it’s not fixing problems, it’ll just postpone them – didn’t you read the comment above yours, from LMSMirec?
Although I like Hattrick, you and basically every user have to admit the game is stagnating for past few years.
Yes, I know they’re working on it and it’s not a simple task (I work in IT, I know what it takes to build and maintain a certain platform), but honestly, their ideas aren’t attractive.
They should focus on building new features, which will force users to come back every day on their own, not just for the money, whatever amount.
€13.000, €25.000 nor €50.000, that won’t help you, I agree on that with you.
It will not convince everyone to come back tomorrow.
Loaning a player might do the trick, that’s feature a lot of managers might be interested in. It will force you to search for ideal players, negotiate with different managers.
Or perhaps a feature about “A” team and “B” / junior team – you can contact a manager and make a deal that you’ll be training players he will send you for half/full season and he’ll be paying you for that.
In simplier words – interaction between managers, that’s the first and most important role of football manager, isn’t it?
Just ask yourself a very simple question – why wasn’t this announced like every other big news, changes and etc? Like those “improvements” in World cup and etc (honestly, who gives a **** about news in those functionalities in Hattrick – a very, very small percentage of users).
I think I can tell you why – they’re going for just one thing – increased number of daily active users. Why? That metric is a selling point – they’ll receive more money on ads and from their sponsors/stakeholders and etc.
Whether they use this money for maintanance, building a real and attractive new feature or fix bugs in the engine, that’s a completely different story…
I think that you totally misunderstood the point here. I do not care if new guys are getting 1$ 30000$ or millions. The problem is this part: “In addition, if the user logins every day and he is lucky enough, he might receive some cash as a gift”. This ‘lucky enough -> might receive’ is against fair play in the game.
I am not against giving users some gifts like ‘credits’ or sending them T-Shirts but giving them hattrick money is just wrong from my point of view.
Also I am totally for giving new users more money for license IF that helps BUT let’s give everyone doing the same thing the same amount of money – if two people logs in the same amount of time why should one of them recieve anything that helps in game?
The real point here is that is precedence for affecting game based on number of logins you make. So question is do we want this in hattrick? There are bigger problems here and instead of addressing them they are randomly giving money to some users for daily login.
The one and only thing that should be done is flatten the series pyramid. 70-80% of all users is now playing in the lowest series and the vast majority will stay there forever. Recipe for disaster in retaining-numbers. 1-4-16-64-256-1024 should become something like 1-4-16-64-128-256-512-1024
Not a bad idea if you ask me! Promotion means remaining active. 🙂
The most important is giving new users the possibility to progress sooner. The lowest league in a country is such a high level that it is not nice to start there. It takes many seasons to even reach the first four of that league. That makes the game not interesting enough. I understand that new users leave soon than.
It should be again as in the best years of Hattrick. Countries should have 10 league levels. A new user can start than with lower level players that can have success already soon. That is also nice for the longer playing managers. They can sell lower level players again.
Also the idea for players on loan is a fantastic idea. You get more interaction between managers. And the new users can have higher level players sooner and get earlier promotion success with them.
That is what it should be. That gives it a lot more fun.
The only big problem that there is is how to get 10 league levels full of action in every country.
Maybe it is possible to make bots which are more active. Bots who make every match automatically the best line up possible. Maybe you can give managers an extra team for free in a low level league for a short period.
And, as metioned above, the lower leagues should not be such a big pyramid anymore.
And, together with that, the supporter prices should be much lower.
I think that this is the only way to keep new users as long as possible again.
yes I agree
I agree on more leagues. Promotion should be harder, but more leagues means more promotion and degradation. It is a reason to remain activ.
I agree on hiring players and working with contracts. Seems a good idea
I also am a fan of female teams as a 2nd team. You don’t hear from it, which is a pitty as women football becomes more attractive these days. It is a big opportunity for hattrick.
I don’t agree with supporter prices that need to be lower. You need to review them, as today we have too many possibilities and everybody thinks it is all to expensive. I’d say give people three options:
1) a free one
2) a support package: you then pay like 45€ each year for extra functionalities and a 2nd team.
3) a VIP package: you pay like 95€ each year for extra functionalities, 2 teams, 1 extra abroad and 1 women team. (in total 4 teams)
Result: more teams, so more leagues, affordable prices and no big deal about too many supporter packages…
Another idea when it comes to marketing: create a hattrick shop. The page has now become to old and these these you can create a lot of amazing stuff. I think off your team’s kit. Buy it in real life. How cool would that be?
I agree with a lot of the sentiments here. The key issue for me, as a relatively new player (been playing for about 1,5 year now) is the division system. I keep ending up in dead leagues with bots, and naturally win all my games. I then get promoted into a league with all human players, and I get absolutely bombed in all matches because the team quality difference is huge. All motivation is just lost to me because every sunday match is just an automatic lose. I can’t go out and buy better players, because I don’t have the same amount of income nor money as these clubs. I can’t achieve the same amount of income as these guys because they all have stadiums at least 4x my own stadium size. After that my logins decreased a lot, and I did not renew my supporter subscription. I just left my team alone for 2 seasons with barely any logins. When I returned mid 4.th season (4.th season since the clubs creation) I had enough money to expand my stadium heavily. Now I was only slightly behind the teams 1 division above me in terms of stadium size. My team was still far behind them, but now I at least had a decent income so that I could focus on saving up money to improve them, but as I was still losing hard in every match in the 2.nd lowest division, I had no reason to log back in, so I just let the money grow slowly.
Hattrick needs less width in leagues, but more height. Get rid of bot divisions. Let humans play vs. humans. I want more social interactions in my division, like when I played hattrick +10 years ago. I want less bots, and a realistic view on my teams strength. I don’t mind a challenge. I want the possibility of loaning players from established clubs, so that I have some way of interacting and fighting back against the unbalanced increase in difficulty from bot teams in the lowest division to divisions full of +3 year old clubs in the 2.nd lowest division with +50k stadiums and +100k TSI players.
Totally agree with some comments here about huge difference in divisions quality. As a new manager I really do not mind slow start and having almost zero money, the problem is, as others have mentioned, that you play with either bots or much older teams (which are much stronger than mine). So you have two outcomes on league days, you win easily against bot or you lose heavily against another player. I would really like to play against human players which have clubs on the same level as mine.
Yeah we do not want to wait 3 years to become competitive, but that does not mean just give us money. We would like to compete against other human club which are similar to ours (TSI, finance, …).
I am happy to see that the instant gratification setup works with such an impact. Ofcourse other things can be improved as well, but great to see that you care and do something about this problem.
i would like to have an alternative for editing the uniform of my team cause flash is not available anymore
I got back a year ago with a old account that i kept alive during all that time. I had 100 million on the bank and i still can’t promote to a higher league after playing 2 full seasons. Imagine having to start with whatever you start with nowadays. I would run away as soon as i realize this game is broken due to old time players and inflated cash.
New players dont stop because of this but because of very very very slow promotion/degradation.
As an old player I started again in league VI. After 6 seasons (and become champ) I still haven’t got a chance off going up. The skill gap is just to great!!!
If not nothing is happening a game is no fun.
It would be much better if you make more leagues with top 2 always go up so beginners have more fun because they have something to play for quickly.
I would be better to start in league XX and have a promotion every two seasons than standing still for 8-10 seasons in league VI.
Maybe this could be a suggestion?
Leagues I-IV Pro league. (1 team promotion, 2 degradation)
Leagues V-VIII Semi pro league (1 team promotion, 2 degradation)
Leagues IX-XX Amateur league (2 teams promotion, 2 degradation)
L nr L teams teams/L Total teams
I 1 8 8 8
II 2 8 16 24
III 4 8 32 56
IV 8 8 64 120
V 16 8 128 248
VI 32 8 256 504
VII 64 8 512 1016
VIII 128 8 1024 2040
IX 256 8 2048 4088
X 256 8 2048 6136
XI 256 8 2048 8184
XII 256 8 2048 10232
XIII 256 8 2048 12280
XIV 256 8 2048 14328
XV 256 8 2048 16376
XVI 256 8 2048 18424
XVII 256 8 2048 20472
XVIII 256 8 2048 22520
XIX 256 8 2048 24568
XX 256 8 2048 26616
This will give more leagues, less skill gap per league, more movement (promotion/degradation) more fun.
i startet i new club in may 2020. in a country with 4 league-levels. i can’t rely to the critical comments that new users have no chance. it’s a matter of understanding the game. i reckon with 4-6 seasons until my team is ready for an attack on the top league. of course i reckon with another 9 seasons until i’m on top. that’s how i understand hattrick. you need a long breath and you have to enjoy building something for the long term. there’s no such thing as short-term success. i think it’s good that way…
I don’t know if you read these comments, but I just want share my opinion. It’s boring see all bot and non-supporter teams in green. Game design is uninteresting for all non-supporters, so maybe all new teams could to choose a default color and logo when they start to play. I want back to the game but I will have to play against bots first season or maybe first two seasons and I will see all of them in green.
Complete newbie here. I have just started playing Hattrick a week ago. So far I liked the game and what it offers, it’s all fun for my liking.
I read whole manual, also the unofficial manual on the forum, read wiki. My point is I like to research and learn but it might not be the case for every new player. Most of them won’t do this and quit the game even before they understand the game.
It is an exciting idea to form a new club and face new challenges on your way to the top leagues. It is nice that there are hundres of factors impacting gameplay and you can manipulate them to your advantage and yet I also like luck is a major factor because otherwise it would be just boring.
I believe showing these and other beauties of Hattrick in a more visual way could help new players understand how the game works. Maybe welcome the new user with a teaser video before the tutorial or something could help for this purpose.