I used to play and enjoy Hearthstone in the past and was quite hooked on completing the daily quests. After playing for over a year, I still enjoyed it but it started to feel like a waste of time. I waited for quite a long time to test out Splinterlands because I was too cheap to spend 10$ on a game that in my view looked horrible (now it has improved massively See image below) knowing there was a risk I would get hooked again . Getting a free Starter pack code around 9 months ago made me test out the game and it didn't take long to get hooked seeing the massive potential. The idea that you own your cards and are able to sell them while earning some rewards from playing a game that is actually fun and challenging is something quite new in the gaming world. My card collection feels like an investment and growing it has been plenty of fun while time and money spent doesn't feel like wasted but a +EV deal instead.
The visual improvements that have been made since the game was launched are massive and plenty of new features (Dark Energy Crystals / Tournaments / Guilds / Potions / New Cards) have been added with plenty more on the way. This along with the fact how much I like it makes me believe the game is here for the long run and we are just getting started!
The fact that the game itself is solid combined with the incentive to onboard new players with the Affiliate Program made me set a goal to onboard 100 active new Players. In the past, this was quite difficult because getting a Steem account wasn't all that smooth and it was impossible to test out the game without paying the 10$ for the starter set. Right now, anyone can sign up within a minute and test out the game for free (only a limited amount of matches because of the resource credit system) which makes it way easier to onboard players.
The Splinterlands player base is currently also mostly limited to people who are active on steem meaning a big part of the Crypto community & more importantly the Gaming community is still untapped territory! By putting some effort into it, it should not be impossible to onboard 100 new players and reap some affiliate rewards from it over time.
The way I go about onboarding new players is the first show that it is actually possible to make money from the game by making a monthly earnings overview post. (January +136.44$ &February +105.25$) Sharing this outside of the Steem Ecosystem while offering a nice deal to anyone who wants to try out the game for themselves by leasing out a fair amount of extra cards which gives an early game advantage. This creates a win-win deal giving a good incentive for people who are interested to try it out while putting extra cards I have to good use. I have been reinvesting Affiliate earnings to buy more cards on the market to increase what I'm able to lease out.
I have honestly been quite discouraged to make another push to onboard new players because of the entire situation on Steem with the Justin Sun hostile takeover along with the uncertainty that comes with the new hive platform. While it doesn't cause much difference for Splinterlands, just the idea of having to explain the entire Steem / hive ecosystem and how ridiculous the entire upvote system model is puts me off. I also noticed that hype in the crypto markets because of rising prices really makes a world of difference in getting new players to try it out. Right now many have a strong prejudice on everything in crypto is a scam and I can't even blame them for it.
Now on to the numbers and how many have tried out the game so far using my Affilite Link. The first attempt I made to promote the game by putting up a Splinterlands Promo offer (Link) dates back to 6 January 2020. It was only until I made my first Earnings Report ( which got over 3000 views on Publish0x that things really took off.
I have been keeping track of my affiliates in an excel sheet. These are the numbers and retention rate so far...
|Total New Player Sign-Ups||67|
|Only 0-2 Games Played||32|
|Got Summoner's Spellbook||18|
|Active Ranking Now||19|
|Total Games Played||17397|
Having new players give the game a fair chance seems to be by far the hardest thing the overcome (~50% gives up before even trying). Pretty much everyone who signed up and got the summoner's spellbook seems to enjoy the game and continues playing which gives me even more confidence in the game actually being good enough to make it with the non-crypto pubic. My actual affiliate earnings are always included in my monthly earning report (January +0$/ February +35.67$)
ACTIVE PLAYERS ONBOARDING GOAL : 18/100
I still have a long road to walk before onboarding 100 active players but I plan to do some more promoting on the game outside of Steem the coming months.
Given the fact that so many that sign up never get further than playing 1 game, it would be nice to see the Splinterlands team adding some kind of enjoyable tutorial which explains all the important aspects of the game. I've heard multiple times that the game for new players is a bit overwhelming which works paralyzing. Having all aspects explained including gameplay, Resource credits, DEC, Rewards, ... in a short off-chain tutorial which gives a reward when completing it would be a major step in onboarding new players. Also allowing new players to earn reward chests that they can only open after getting the Summoner's Spellbook would be a huge incentive for them to get it. Feel free to contact me on the SBC Discord (username is costanza#2335).
I continue offering everyone that signs up with my affiliate link to try out the game for free around ~25 extra cards delegated to them in case they purchase the 10$ Summoner's Spellbook which unlocks the Daily Quests, Dark Energy Crystals, Tournament Entries which al allow them to earn rewards from the game. These card delegations offer a clear early game advantage and make it possible to reach Silver 1 without further investment. The current card delegation deal that I have running right now can be found here. It is changed a bit each month based on the cards I have available. Currently, the first one that gets a summoner's Spellbook will get leased a Rare 0 Mana Golden Furious Chicken which gives +10% DEC earnings on pretty much all low mana games.