How the Super Simple Game Block It Became a Hit


Block It is one of the 57 games published by Ketchapp Studio. It seems like Ketchapp always has at least one game on the Top Free list on App Store. Block It is a super simple short term game similar to Breakout, but without the blocks. The mission is to keep the ball over the lower level floor that the player can activate for a few milliseconds when the ball approaches.

The game quickly went up the charts to the Top 100 Free apps in the US, but are now it’s on its way down again. It’s probably a combination of a short-term popular game, heavy cross-promotion within existing portfolio and virality.

Block It has been doing really well for a few weeks, so we got curious to learn more about the game and decided to dig deeper to understand how they grow their player base from within the game.

Dissection of Block It

http://www.slideshare.net/bemegacool/how-the-super-simple-game-block-it-became-a-hit

Full screen recommended!

What You Can Learn from Block It

After playing Block It for a while, it’s pretty clear that Ketchapp has an aggressive cross-promotion strategy. We are assuming that this is how they drive most installs and why they are always present on the Top downloads charts. Even though you might not have as large portfolio of games to cross-promote with, there are some useful takeaways that we want to emphasize on:

  • Sharing from the Game Over Screen: It’s really simple to share your high score. It’s also a natural place to share in between game sessions.
  • Pre-defined text and image: An image of the highest score and text with download link is included as a suggestion when sharing. By providing pre-defined text, the number of steps to share is reduced and the likelihood of sharing increases.
  • Share on multiple platforms: Facebook used to be the place to share (like Soda Saga and Angry Birds 2 still seems to believe), but today we are communicating on multiple platforms. It’s, therefore, important to let the players choose where to spread the word depending on who he/she wants to reach.
  • Include links: When creating sharing functionality, always include a call-to-action so the recipients can easily learn more about the game and eventually download it.
  • Use hashtag: When sharing something, #BlockIt is used with the pre-defined text. Teach your players to communicate about your game using a pre-defined hashtag. This will help your players find information and discussions related to your game. The chance of trending on Twitter increases with the more players communicating with the same phrase or hashtag, like we experienced with Fun Run. Although, it’s a little overkill to use hashtag in a text message as it’s not part of natural language and, therefore, reduces the feel of authenticity for the recipient.

Suggestions for Further Growth

Even though cross-promotion is working like a champ for Ketchapp, there’s still a few in-game hacks that can take them even further. Here are our suggestions:

  • Aggressive cross-promotion: Never EVER start the game showing ads unless you are intentionally driving players to something else. Use cross-promotion at the right time, i.e. at the end of my game lifecycle when I’m likely to leave the game.
  • Have a pool of pre-defined funny texts: Be creative with pre-defined text for social sharing. By having a pool of pre-defined text suggestions, players are more likely to share it.
  • Share GIFs: Let players share GIFs of how they lost instead of only images of the score. GIFs are very popular and give recipients a better understanding of the game than from an image.
  • ALWAYS track links: Use parameters to see which platforms are most popular so you can A/B test and optimize the onboarding route for new players.

Other Dissections

Like our dissections? There’s more:

If you enjoyed this dissection and want to see more or give feedback, please suggest other mobile games to be dissected on Twitter: @Megacool_co or in the comments below.

Thanks for reading! Stay Megacool and recommend this post if you found it helpful so others can find it too :)

About Megacool

Megacool is helping app developers to boost their organic growth with GIFs and incentivized referrals. Sign-up here. Prior to founding Megacool, we successfully launched the Fun Run games with over 100 million organic players as part of the amazing Dirtybit team.