Product Creation with the 70/20/10

We have a new game coming out on Friday! Besides my Mom's bday, what could the date signify? While we ponder that question...

Many of my friends and colleagues have heard me pounding the earth, shouting, "THE HIGHEST LIKELIHOOD OF SUCESS WHEN CREATING A PRODUCT IS TO FOLLOW THE RULE OF THE 70/20/10!!!!!" We live and breath it here at Built, as did numerous teams I ran at EA and Zynga. It's how I was able to create a bunch of ROI positive games. We use it as a tool, in the form of a framework, to help increase the quality and cohesiveness of product through a tight feature focus so you don't waste time on unnecessary work. 

Here's how we do it:

Look at any market and find the top 3-10 competitors. Find the 1-5 top failures. Each market varies. Tear down each game, marketing channels and fan hot spots; the more in depth you go, the better.  Know where you're audience is going to come from. Most play your competitors. Know what they want and deliver on it.

Step 1: 70% Proven
Write down all of the proven features that make that genre. Keep it to under five. This is what makes up the foundation of your market and game. This is what players expect. Better deliver on it well. 

Step 2: 20% Evolutionary
Write three features that make it better. Chose three small to medium features or one meaty feature that fans have been complaining about. This is what players expects that you'll do better. Pick a few that are huge player wins. 

Step 3: 10% Innovative
Come up with something that the genre has never seen before. No more.

Step 4: Consumer Positioning

Now put on your marketing hat and think like a consumer and how they talk to their friends.

Example 1: Fortnite is like PUBG (70), with way better servers (20) and you can build these forts that protect you (10)! You 'gotta check it out! (Incremental WOM installs)

Example 2: Game of War is like Kingdoms of Camelot (70), way easier to use on mobile (20), and has auto translated chat (10). You can play with anyone in the world! So many more people to play with!!!!

Example 3: Minion Rush is like Subway Surfer (70), looks like a console game (20), and has bosses! WHOA! You gotta fight them!

Step 5: Try it Out

This method roots out what features composition you should focus on. It creates a foundation of market expectations with Proven,  creates something and creates one line marketing statements for your product positioning. Here's how we look at it in general (excluding outliers): 

  1. Too much Proven = a me too game. You copied.
  2. Too much Evolution = an unfinished, buggy product. You did too much.
  3. Too much innovation = risk of alienating. Cool game, small audience.
  4. Just right = a good chance for a win

If you have any improvements, hit us up on social. Love to hear from you!!

And here's something I'm working on for Fireball Ministry! They rule!


Until Friday! 


Michael DoomBuilt Games