Your first success: a burden or a new opportunity?

Discover the different strategies to manage your old game titles

Ignacio Monereo
Dec 19, 2018 · 15 min read
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What is an ‘old’ game?

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“Respawnables” by Digital Legends was launched 5 years ago. However the game is continuously updated, giving the game a fresh look.
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“Runescape: Old School” by Jagex was launched in 2001 in PC but only in late October 2018 on mobile
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“Critical Ops” by Critical Force was first published in the Play Store in 2015, but official launch only happened in November 2018
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How are old games performing?

What strategy should you take with old games?

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The back catalogue route: Keeping the status quo

Anatoly Ropotov, CEO of Game Insights, commented that there are two main reasons to keep their old games alive:

“At Game Insight we believe the community is critical to maintaining the brand perception and reputation of our studio and thus we continue to update our old games in-house. Although back catalogue games only generate 14% of our total revenues, profitability is 50% higher than the overall portfolio thanks to the community and we still have a flow of new organic users.”

Automatizing the LiveOps can also help to keep the game fresh, according to Martial Valery, CEO of OhBiBi Games:

“Since we have seasonal content and time limited quests produced from past years, we automatically push these events to players. As a result, new players will still get the sense of playing a live game.”

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The burden route: Divesting old games

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Dirtybit’s first title, Fun Run, published back in 2012, went viral and reached some of the top charts in several countries.
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Dirtybit’s portfolio as of April 2018, Source: Dirtybit
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Dirtybit’s portfolio as of August 2018 Source: Dirtybit

A shift in strategy

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Example of tests with Fun Run 3 icon in the Play Store in Dec ’17. Top right icon saw an impressive +46.5% increase in organic conversions versus other versions (Top left — control icon, and bottom left — second test icon). Source: Dirtybit.
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“Fun Run” query in Google Play US according to AppAnnie (Oct ’17) shows app’s total search traffic generated by the keyword Fun Run

Pulling the plug on old games

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Evolution in downloads in Turkey after Fun Run 1 is unpublished Source: Dirtybit
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Chart 4: Evolution in downloads in Turkey after Fun Run 2 is unpublished Source: Dirtybit

What impact did this have?

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Evolution of global Dirtybit downloads after both Fun Run 1 & 2 are unpublished. Source: Dirtybit
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Overall Dirtybit revenues only via in-app purchases from April to August 2018 growing at +22% Source: Dirtybit
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Overall Dirtybit Active 30D installs from April to August 2018 decreasing by 12% Source: Dirtybit

Key learnings

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The opportunity route: Revamping the first success

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Drive Ahead! Sports, second title by Dodreams launched in October 2016

Challenges with the portfolio approach

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An example of new LiveOps methods in the game Drive Ahead!

What happened next?

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The evolution in Active 30D installs since January 2018 until August 2018 Source: Dodreams

Key learnings

Conclusion

What do you think?

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