Kongregate Launch 101

Kongregate has a number of unique advantages, and quirks, compared to other platforms and social networks. As you get ready to launch your game with us, it is helpful to understand more about the community, the ratings system, exposure opportunities, and general best practices for managing a game over the long run. This guide is meant to provide a crash course in the Kongregate platform and culture and to help give your game the best chance of success possible.

Soft Launches and Hot New Games

After a number of experiments with various launch strategies, we've found that the safest and most effective strategy is to go with a softer launch (see the bottom of our submission checklist for details) for the game. This will help build a community within the game who understand and advocate for it, so that hopefully when the game gets bigger promotion on the front page the existing community will help the new players with questions they have about the game.

Once the game has launched and gotten some players into it, we'll look to put it on the front page in our Featured section. This location will typically generate 10k - 40k clicks over a week and will bump concurrent users (CCUs) to 50 - 500+, depending on the appeal of the game and length of the game sessions. We will check with you before putting it on the front page to make sure your servers are ready for the influx of players.

Community Management

As true on Kongregate as any other online destination, managing your community is essential to keeping a lively and enthusiastic environment around your game. Keeping your players satisfied and engaged through responding to comments, and posting news updates all go a long way to showing the players that the game is growing and that you as the developer are active and attentive.

There are a few main channels for player engagement. There is a "News" section below the game that you can update with the game's developer account. The five most recent news updates will be visible at all times on the game page. Finally, we recommend looking over comments left on the game and responding to those that are articulate, popular, and/or have constructive criticism. The developer account can leave official replies to all comments, which is especially great if you have addressed a common problem.


Comments left on Big Head Bash, with developer replies

Ratings, Recommendations, and User Acquisition

Perhaps more so than on some other sites, a game's rating is rather important to your exposure and the likelihood of players clicking on the game to try it out. Once a game gets a 3.30, it'll appear in our highly rated games list and get some exposure if it happens close to the launch time. At a 3.75 is when we'll consider putting it on the front page, though we recommend getting higher if possible. Above a 4.00 is very strong, with 4.20 identifying truly standout entries.

Game discovery on Kongregate is quite different from other platforms. Rather than having to buy users through expensive ad campaigns, Kongregate players are here to find and play cool new games, and Kongregate is an effective game discovery system.

General Features & Tidbits

There are a few other points and features that are worth mentioning so that you're familiar with how they work on the site. First off, here's a breakdown of our homepage with some of the major sections highlighted. You'll see the above-the-fold “Featured” exposure, and the “Popular” section where re-engagement promotions and new badge announcements are placed.

  • Badges / Achievements (they're used fairly interchangeably on the site) are Kongregate-created challenges for players to attempt to obtain in games. These are fairly rare as they are put on highly-rated games at a maximum of 4 on any particular game. Virtual goods games are in high competition with all of the other games on the site for achievements, but if you can qualify for achievements the resulting front page promotion and incentive of collecting the badges will bring lots of new and highly-engaged players into your game.

  • Kongregate is highly social with opinionated game comments and an active Discord. Kongregate also has a concept of "friends" and players with lots of friends tend to be very engaged and active on the site. Friends on Kongregate are more analogous to "following" - it's a one-directional relationship that does not require confirmation. If I start following someone, they are considered my "friend", and I am their "fan". Games absolutely can make use of friend relationships for social elements, but it's important to remember that it's not the same as a typical social network and dynamics of invites and friend sharing are different. Please email us if you'd like to discuss friends and social elements on Kongregate.

In addition to posting comments, players have the ability to submit bug reports through Kongregate's reporting tool. When this happens, if you have opted in to receive bug reports for this game (it's one of the options when you upload or update a game), an email will be sent to the email address associated with the developer account for the game. In some cases you will not receive a reply-to address for these reports - those are cases where players opted out of allowing you to contact them back.

If you have any additional questions about Kongregate, monetization strategies, community management, etc., please don't hesitate to contact us. We are friendly and accessible and happy to help where we can.