The gaming industry has shown exponential growth in the last few years. According to an estimate, there are more than 2.6 billion gamers worldwide wherein 1995, there were only 100 million. The landscape of game development has changed in the last 10 years especially after the rise of smartphone games. According to eMarketer, there are more than 2 billion smartphone users in the world and most of them play video games to kill time. We have seen many success stories where a group of 4-5 developers made some great video games. We did our research and found some points which were common among all successful games.
Your game should have a unique idea. You can take the examples of many great games like Flappy Bird, Clash of Clans, Boom Dots etc., and all these games had a unique idea. However, when we say “unique idea” we don’t mean that it should be complicated. For example, in Boom Dot, all you have to hit the ball with another ball and this game has over 1 million downloads on Play Store. Similarly, you can take the example of the Flappy Bird, which was earning $50,000 per day on ad revenue. So try to find the unique idea, as it will attract the investors and gamers.
First mover Advantage
First mover advantage is one of the key factors in the success of any game. If you have any idea you should execute it, but you should follow a discrete approach to test your idea first. For example, Clash of Clans was first released in Canada and when gamers in Canada had shown interest in the game, then Supercell released the game in the US and within 3 months, Clash of Clans became #1 top grossing game in the US. After the success of Clash of Clans, many developers tried to replicate the concept of Clash of Clans and now we have tons of duplicates on Playstore.
A business model is also one of the major aspects which can attract the investors. If your business model is not good, investors will not have the return on their investment and it would be considered a bad investment. If you look at the famous games you would notice that all of them follow different business models. For example, in some games, you see the ads and you also get some game’s resources e.g. coins etc. as a reward. Similarly, some games offer in-store purchases, for example, in temple run, you can continue your run using the diamonds which can be bought with real money.
Advertise your game
If you have developed your game independently and looking for investors and gamers then you should advertise it. There are multiple ways to do it, the first and most effective way which is kind of free is to make your game perfect. Google Play Store team select the multiple games if they are up to the mark and feature them in their editor’s choice and if your game can make it to that list you can easily attract a number of potential gamers and investors. Another method is to strategically advertise your game, the sites like LinkedIn and Facebook offer multiple options like the targeted audience, a region for showing Ads which you can use to attract the gamers and investors.
Scalability is another big factor which can attract both gamers and investors. If your game is not scalable then chances are the players will get bored and eventually leave the game. If your game is scalable, investors will be more than happy to invest their money in your game.
Now, you which features & Attributes your game should have to attract the gamers and investors, now let’s discuss Clash of Clans case study.
Clash of Clans is a strategy game which was released by Supercell in 2012. Supercell itself was founded in 2010 with the aim to provide the games which gamers should play for years. Supercell developed many games to achieve their goal but they were not satisfied with their games and they killed many games including Gunshine, Pets vs. Orcs and Tower. In 2011, Supercell released the Hay Day which was a farming game and it got a good response from the gaming community. Following the success of Hay Day, Supercell released the beta version of Clash of Clans and it was released in Canada with the codename “Magic” and after few months Clash of Clans was released worldwide in August 2012.
The Business model of Clash of Clans is free to play however players can buy the gems using real money and then gems can be used to buy the other resources like gold, elixir and Dark Elixir. We did our math and found that if a player decides to instantly upgrade his Townhall using gems, he would have to spend whopping 22 thousand USD to upgrade the Townhall to the max level. Clash of Clans business model is effective and that is the reason why the company enjoyed millions of dollars as profit in the last 5 years. In the year 2013 to 2015, the company’s revenue increased by 562%, the company earned more than 1.5 billion euros as revenue. In 2015m the company revenue increased by 36% and profit by 60% and in the same year company bought shares from its employees for 114 million euros. At the end of 2017, the company was earning around 5 million USD per day.
If we take a look at the Clash of Clans Idea, it is very unique and the reason behind its success is the dedication of its developers. The company killed around 14 games before the Clash of Clans as those games weren’t engaging enough. Another reason behind the success of Clash of Clans is its unique clan system. In the game, you can join a clan and make new friends or you can connect your Facebook with the game and add your friends to your Clash of Clan’s ID and can make your own clan. So Clash of Clans is a mixture of game and social gathering.
Another reason behind the success of Clash of Clans is that the Supercell is very regular in updating their game. Supercell release at least 3 major updates for Clash of Clans every year and many minor updates. The company also bring new events each week which keep the players engage.
Supercell got the major investment in 2011 when Accel Partners invested $12 million in Supercell, after the success of Clash of Clans and Hay Day. In 2013, Softbank acquired the 51% shares of the Supercell for $2.1 Billion. In 2015, Softbank acquired additional 22.7% shares. On June 2016 Chinese video game Company Tencent acquired 84.3% shares of Supercell from Softbank with $8.6 Billion.
The company got the major investment in 2013 and there were many reasons behind these investments. The main reasons were that Clash of Clans’ idea was unique and scalable.
We have summarized all the ingredients you need to make your game successful but you will need to be clear on what you want. Supercell killed many of their games just to focus on the ones with the potential for growth. So if you are an independent developer you can start with the basics. If your game has potential, it will attract potential users and investors.
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