Several days ago, I really got into FIFA Mobile. I started playing for hours, trying to build my "dream team."
In case you're not familiar, FIFA Mobile is a game where you can play soccer (duh :)) and build your team by buying/selling players.
Every time you decide to buy a player, you're faced with a tough choice: should you buy X, or get Y who is better at shooting but sucks at dribbling.
How do you decide which player to choose? I accidentally discovered a site to help me with that. It's called FifaRenderz and it allowed me to compare players, something I couldn't do with FIFA Mobile.
I decided to do a bit of research on this site and discovered that ranks in the top 25,000 websites in the world and has over 2 million monthly visitors:
A site like this is essentially a CRUD app which allows you to view and compare players. The founder found a way to import player stats to the app (probably using some API), added some basic comparisons and that's about it.
I wondered: Are there such sites for every popular game? So I decided to do some diggin...and boy, was I in for a surprise.
FIFA, the desktop version of FIFA Mobile, has a pretty big community of third-party sites.
I also discovered a bunch of sites around other popular games.
If you go to any popular DOTA forum, you'll inevitably see someone linking to a DotaBuff match stat. DotaBuff had 6.6 million visitors in October:
This is a site that basically allows you to see detailed match stats for a DOTA game.
Again, these are mostly CRUD apps that any average web developer can build.
Want to find your MatchMaking Rating in League of Legends? Use WhatIsMyMMR, a seemingly simple site which allows you to enter a player's username and get their rating. The only 'unusual' thing about this site is that it has over 1 million monthly visitors.
A smaller site is Replays, which allows you to save your game replays.
Another one is SeeBot, a Fornite Discord bot with over 1 million members.
These web tools are huge and players are actively using them.
I found that almost every game with 1m+ players has a set of web or (less often) desktop tools around it:
Battlefield has a site which can tell you if a player has been banned from other servers. It has 116,000+ monthly visitors.
Borderland has a site which allows you to compare game items. The site has over 500,000 monthly visitors.
Elders has a site where you can do combat analytics. It has over 300,000 monthly visitors.
In FIFA, they want to get the most bang for their buck, so they compare player stats on sites like FifaRenderz. On Battlefield, they want to make sure to get good players for their severs. And for League of Legends they want to compare their Match Rating.
This is where you come in: These tools aren't that hard to make if you're a competent technical founder. Most of them are CRUD tools with stats/analytics, etc.
The big question is...
The simple answer: Play games.
Here's the thing: Each game is its own universe. The way I discovered FifaRenderz was through playing FIFA Mobile and finding a problem. I did some Googling and FifaRenderz came up.
To find the tools for the rest of the games above, I used a shortcut.
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The way I found most of the tools above was by using Reddit. I made a small script that scraped game communities and looked for links. Sure, many of those links led to generic game news sites, but many of them led to specific game-speficic tools that players found useful.
Using Reddit **can be a good way to narrow down on which games you want to focus on. **
For example, when looking for web tools for GTA 5, all I found were mod sites. This made me realize that gamers probably don't have goals that a web app can satisfy.
Compare this to League of Legends which has an insanely rich ecosystem of web and apps that get millions of visitors each day.
If you find an interesting third-party tool being mentioned, you can then use Google to find even more mentions. For example, Battlefield has a site called Battlefield Tracker, and if you do more research you'll find over 1000 (!!!) mentions of it on Reddit:
The developer ecosystem around gaming is huge: And hopefully this article made you aware of that.