Splinterlands | Onboarding 100 Players (Affiliate Report #1)

in hive-13323 •  2 months ago 

I never shy away from using Affiliate links when it comes down to products I personally use and willing to recommend to others. Splinterlands is one of them and I have set myself a goal to onboard 100 new players to the game this year also keeping track of all the numbers. This post is my 1st Affiliate Report...


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.


Let's be honest, the ability to earn some money by playing the game is one of the biggest selling points and that is the main thing new players are interested in. Unlike most other crypto games, Splinterlands is not a short term Ponzi Scheme where you can only earn something is you are in very early before it collapses not so long after. The game has been running and going strong for over 2 years now growing its market cap despite the brutal crypto bear market. Many see their card collection investment as something of a safe haven that has retained and even grew in value while it allows earning a little each day from it.

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-Ups67
Only 0-2 Games Played32
Got Summoner's Spellbook18
Active Ranking Now19
Average Ranking1716
1600+ Ranking12
Highest Ranking3202
Total Games Played17397

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.


Big thanks and shout out to everyone that signed up with my Link these last months! I will continue to lease out the cards in place for as long as possible.



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18 players only generated $35? They really have no idea in this space how to make money, or an appealing affiliate system. Cripples steem since the beginning... Hopefully hive comes up with something better

That was just the month of February, affiliate earnings in Splinterlands are not a 1-time thing as players tend to grow their collection over time. Also when new expansions come out it might give some more revenue. I can't really complain about the affiliate program and overall earnings from the game. I do think improvements can be made by the team to market their game getting a much bigger audience than just the Steem crowd. The trailer that is available is not really all that appealing to get new players to join for example. Right now it's also a very uncertain situation with Steem/hive having a scattered community especially with the airdrop exclusion list which hit the Korean Community making it harder for Splinterlands to move to hive.

This is awesome.
And I agree with you all around.
Onboarding has been the biggest hangup, but now it's considerably easier, which is nice. Still a bit of a hurdle to explain how to get their earnings OUT... but it's a start.

Tutorials: YES! These were started last year, 21 of them, explaining all the things. I made one that was the tits... but not good enough to share from the team 😎 But! We do/did have a couple of people working on them. I'd assume/hope that's coming in the near future... but now the website has updated so... I guess just remember we are all just a bunch of humans working outside our normal jobs trying to build something amazing. And like you said, it's already been two years and we keep on going! I have no plans to stop. 😍

Thanks for sharing this! I think it's great to show all the different aspects of earning that Splinterlands offers.

It's nice to see things moving forward. I do hope some more effort will be put in actually getting more players on board at some point.

An idea I have is for there to be some kind of 'Affiliate Deal' website where existing players can offer leased Cards & SP automatically for new players that sign up with their referral link.

  • As a player with many spare cards you could put in a deal similar to what I do setting certain requirements like buying the Summoner's spellbook, card packs, reaching certain leagues which automatically leases out cards / SP to the affiliate player helping him or her along the way. It would potentially bring about good returns for players with a lot of cards and give incentives for players to buy cards on the market.

  • As a new player you could scout around to get a good deal to start off with especially if there is a reliability score on the player that leases out the cards to their affiliates. It on top gives more incentive to buy cards or packs growing their own collection.

Probably a lot of work to implement but I think it could give benefits for both existing and new players.

anyway, it's just an idea :)

Yes! I like this.
I know several people do a similar thing, but having something more automated is always helpful. And I know there are a lot of folks who are on the 'leasing' side of things and this could really push up their potential for earnings. Love it!

Thanks for your input and suggestions! I love that Splinterlands is a kind of 'community project'. While this has its fair share of issues, mainly working in realtime rather than behind the scenes for years and finally dropping a finished product, it's nice to know everyone is doing their best to listen to the community and implelement ideas.

Hey, a good plan.

An unrelated question. Can you play the game on Hive only?

Thanks!

From what I understand, the core game still runs on the Steem blockchain but might move over at some point but the HIVE token is fully integrated. Anyone who creatse and account now will get both an account on STEEM and HIVE. Existing Steem/hive accounts can just log in with their account. I hope this answers your question.