Facebook Lauds Marvel’s Avengers Alliance Game

By Justin Lafferty 

The Avengers didn’t just slay the competition at the box office — they were quite successful on Facebook, too. Facebook highlighted the game Avengers Alliance (developed by Playdom) on the site’s developers blog, praising the game’s ability to implement quickly and its use of open graph technology.

Avengers Alliance, where users jump into action as their favorite Marvel superhero, has spread like wildfire on Facebook. According to sister site AppData, Avengers Alliance has 5.3 million monthly active users. The game has also recently earned a spot on Facebook’s developers blog.

According to the blog, the game was up and running quickly. It took just one day to prototype, and then there was one week of internal testing and one week for staging and going live.

The game has become successful, Facebook notes, largely because of the quality of its open graph actions. The makers of the game wanted to ensure that the actions sent out by players would rise above the simple ones informing friends of achievements. In short, they wanted the players’ friends to click and become interested in the game:

When modeling which actions and objects to publish, Playdom focused on achievements: defeating a boss and recruiting a hero. The actions of defeating or earning were sweet spots for publishing via open graph: According to Product Manager Jason Sheldon, Playdom chose these actions because they only occur once to a few times per game session and are rewarding for players.

When a player recruits a hero, the news feed story features a short video clip that shows all the moves that hero can make. When developing its “recruit a hero” story, Playdom was aiming for an “I want that” response among players’ friends, which paid off with a high rate of click-throughs.

Playdom found that 50 percent of the traffic on the game came from open graph actions and the other half from timeline actions. Facebook also found that users who installed the game after being referred from custom open graph stories made in-game purchases twice as often as users referred from invitations.

The game also has one great advantage: The Marvel brand. By owning that brand and the characters, Playdom was able to tap into the spirit of fans of the movie and the comic books. When a friend sees an open graph action highlighting Iron Man, it leads to a little more intrigue.

Producer Gabe Brown was quoted in the blog, talking about how important quality is with regard to open graph actions:

In everything we do, like video custom open graph stories, we want to tell the story in a way that captures people’s imaginations, and really share the experience of (playing the game) with other people. Open graph really made it easy to expand the reach of our storytelling.

Readers: Do you play Avengers Alliance?