Over the years I have learned the single thing that product leaders hate most: uncertainty. There is a common myth of epic leaders capable of having a solid vision to spread across their team. It is almost never the case. Usually the game vision is the result of team effort.
During the development of a new game or a feature for an existing game, there are a lot of variables that make the people feel uncomfortable and insecure regarding the return on that investment. Which is why the MVP, minimum viable product, concept has been rented from the startup “fail fast” culture.
You develop the basics of that new implementation and with that you measure the results. In theory, you will eliminate risks.
In practice, instead, often that way of producing things shows a lack of vision and understanding of the market. I saw many times the MVP converting to the final product. The team publishes the MVP of a new features, metrics and analytics seem OK and they pass to the next MVP without putting the right effort to make that feature really awesome.
This is a short term strategy that never works. Games are a refined craft that require passion for the details. That is where the magic happens.
MVP are useful to:
- Test the technical context and make proper development estimations
- Have something practical to show an idea to the upper management
- Run playtests with some cohort
MVP are NOT the right thing to do if you want to:
- Run split test with engaged cohorts
- Prove the growth potential of a new game
- Estimate the LTV improvement on the long term