Do You Support Your Free Users?

Anastasia Sukhanova @devtodev
3 min readJun 8, 2020

Picture this: you made a game/app that you have successfully launched. And since day one (or maybe even since the soft launch) you keep on getting messages from your players/users. They ask questions, point to bugs, curse you, praise you, that is, do everything they usually do. At first, the developer team tries to answer them, but when the volume of the inquires becomes too big, they look to outsource the support.

Can you choose not to answer those questions even if they have no direct impact on your project and those people do not pay you money? No, you can’t. Why?

Why do games need to provide support for users?

The answer is “money” (or revenue). Almost every project is made for profit. If you have a F2P game with an in-game store, and incentive ads, banner ads, offerwalls as sources of indirect revenue, you may think that free users’ opinion does not affect your income. But you are wrong.

If you want to show the ads, you need to acquire users first and then retain them in the project for as long as possible. In other words, you need to make them like you and make them happy even if they are “non-payers”. If you give no feedback, if you ignore their questions, if you do not listen to their wishes, they will quickly forget about your app and switch to another game (luckily there are so many these days).

Do non-paying users deserve good support?

You may say: “Let’s provide good support to the users that generate sales”. In this case, you do not need to spend money on the whole team of support agents, you can just hire 2–3 people and kill two birds with one stone: provide support to payers and save money on salaries. But it’s a wrong strategy again. Let’s take a look at the reasons:

  1. A free user can convert into a payer or even into a whale.

According to statistics, only 1% of the users pay in F2P games and 86,6% of the revenue comes from whales. But it takes whales some time to get started before they begin making purchases. What if whale-to-be encounters some problems in the first days, sends a message to your support, and will get eerie silence for an answer? Will they continue playing your game? Highly likely that they will remove the game from their device and forget about it for good.

So, the first and the most important reason for supporting all players is that you just don’t want to let a whale (or a dolphin) slip through your fingers.

2. All players write reviews

Keep in mind that anyone can write a review on Google Play or Appstore. It is not restricted to the payers only. And if a player likes your game but finds a bug or have problems with passing a level, then they will send a message to the support. If they don’t get an answer and get the feeling that you ignore them, they may get angry and leave a negative review. If you receive quite a number of one- or two-star reviews, then you may experience problems with the acquisition of new players. And this is the worst that can happen.

As a result, you can’t be picky when it comes to support. You need to provide good and fast service to everyone. But of course, you can assign your paying players into a separate group and make your support for them a little bit better and faster.



Anastasia Sukhanova @devtodev

Customer Success Manager at Everything you need to know about analyzing and improving games and apps.