King’s Choice Analysis: Drama & Romance In Royal Court
This article was originally published on Udonis’ blog.
Did you know that King’s Choice is one of the top-grossing role-playing games?
This game has been quite successful in not only acquiring players but monetizing them as well. The secret to its success is a mix of many different things. Primarily, King’s Choice is a well-designed game with many engaging features. However, its advertising strategy is also efficient and unique, just like its monetization approach.
Learn all about King’s Choice in this extensive dissection!
(Unless stated otherwise, all data in this article comes from Apptica, a top mobile intelligence platform. Apptica provides a discount for our readers! To get it, just tell Apptica’s managers that you came from Udonis blog.)
King’s Choice Game Info
King’s Choice is a role-playing and choice-based simulation game with some strategy elements. In other words, it combines several different genres and meta-layers to create a unique experience. King’s Choice lets players experience what it’s like to be a king or queen and rule their empire.
It was developed by ONEMT, a Chinese game developer, in 2021 and it is its most successful game.
King’s Choice Top Features
Set in medieval times in Europe, King’s Choice simulates life in a luxurious royal court — dazzling outfits, loyal knights, opulent feasts and balls, and fiery romances.
The players’ goal is to build and expand their empire. They need to take care of all government affairs, battle enemies and defend their kingdom, develop trade, and suppress rebellions.
But that’s not all. Here are some of the features that make this game stand out from similar games.
Knights are a big part of this game, as they help the ruler win battles. Players start with five default knights, but as they level up, they can unlock and recruit additional ones. Besides standard knights, players can also unlock and collect legendary heroes. For example, there are famous historical figures like Joan of Arc, Vlad Dracula, William Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Aristotle, Homer, Robin Hood, and Queen Elizabeth. Each one has unique skills and attributes.
Each knight can be upgraded in terms of strength, talents, levels, skills, aura, and intellect. All those attributes influence battle outcomes. It’s important to note that battles are automated and can even be fast-forwarded. This game also offers PvP battles, which is great news for players who love competing against other players. Additionally, knights can also be sent out to battle in places like the Arena or Knight’s Parade, which earn rewards and prestige. Knights that are not needed can be sent to exile.
Marriages and Lovers
In King’s Choice, players can date princes and princesses and take up lovers. Not only that, they can send lovers to dance balls to compete with other beauties and earn dazzling rewards. There are even different types of relationships players can have or as the game calls it, intimacy phases. For example, intimate lover, deep attachment, true love, soulmate, etc.
These relationships produce heirs and by increasing intimacy levels with lovers, heirs get higher talent and upgrade attributes. Players can even marry their sons and daughters to other players’ heirs, which results in an even stronger kingdom.
Furthermore, there are diplomatic marriages where players can marry other Lords’ heirs to boost their state’s power.
Narrative and Interactive Elements
The narrative aspect is quite prominent in King’s Choice. From the very first moment a player opens up the game, they’re met with a storyline that’s the starting point for the game.
As players navigate the game and level up, new storylines are revealed. This gives the game additional depth and makes it appealing to a wider audience of players.
There are also choice-based elements like we see in many interactive simulation games. The choices players make have an impact on the game and its storyline. It makes sense, as the game is named King’s Choice.
To keep players interested and engaged, this game offers various events. Most of them are limited-time events that encourage players to join as soon as possible.
During the event, players need to meet certain requirements to win the corresponding rewards.
Besides these stand-out features, there are many other cool things players can do in this game. For example, hunt, visit other kingdoms, go to the Dragon Island, hold negotiations with other Lords, build a fair, and patrol the kingdom to encounter interesting events or people.
All those game features positively impact user retention and engagement, as well as meet specific player interests.
Learn more about who this game is for in the next section.
Who Is Playing King’s Choice?
Considering King’s Choice combines several different genres, it can attract a wide audience of players in terms of demographics as well as motivations for playing.
This game appeals to both male and female players. However, the gender distribution skews slightly more to the female side.
According to Apptica, on iOS, 57% of King’s Choice players are women and 43% are men. On Android, 58% are women and 42% are men.
Different people play mobile games for different reasons. For example, some are motivated by social connections and enjoy playing with friends and joining guilds. Others like games with design and décor elements because they’re motivated by self-expression.
It’s important to understand these motivations and player archetypes to create an engaging game as well as optimize your user acquisition campaigns.
Because King’s Choice is a mix of different genres and meta-layers, it appeals to many different groups of players, but primarily those motivated by power, self-expression, discovery, and escapism.
Let’s break it down.
For players motivated by power, winning is everything. Not only that, but they enjoy playing the role of a king, queen, or an emperor and take satisfaction in running everything.
Since King’s Choice is all about embodying a king/queen and running an empire, it’s easy to see how it would attract this group of gamers.
Because this is a royal role-playing game set in medieval times, it allows players to immerse themselves in another world. That, as well as the game’s narrative layer, appeals to players who are motivated by escapism.
People who play mobile games to express their identity and personality are also drawn to this game, as it has some character customization options and lets players make choices.
In King’s Choice, there’s a lot to discover — from exciting characters and storylines to places to visit. Because of that, I’d say many people who play this game are motivated by discovery and get a thrill from exploration and novelty.
How Successful Is King’s Choice?
Wondering how well this game is performing? Let’s take a look at some stats from Apptica, our data partner.
King’s Choice Downloads and Revenue
Two of the most essential KPIs for any mobile game are downloads and revenue. Here’s how King’s Choice fared when it comes to these metrics.
From its worldwide release up until now, King’s Choice has been downloaded more than 4.6 million times and earned almost $9 million in revenue on Google Play.
Peak downloads happened in March 2022 (600 thousand for that month), followed by a peak in revenue in April 2022 ($1.5 million).
As you’d expect, the majority of downloads and revenue comes from the United States, followed by Germany, France, Russia, and the UK.
Apple App Store
On Apple, King’s choice was downloaded 4 million times and earned more than $32 million from its release. Interestingly, even though the downloads are pretty much the same on both Android and Apple, the revenue is wildly different. It’s safe to say that iOS players are much bigger spenders when it comes to King’s Choice, compared to Android players.
On iOS, this game’s revenue has been rapidly growing and peaked in May 2022. We expect it to grow even more during the following months.
The majority of King’s Choice Apple revenue came from the US — more than $23 million.
Top Charts History
Another indicator of this game’s success is its top charts history. Let’s see which Google and Apple top lists it appeared on.
During the last 90 days (March to June 2022), King’s choice was among the top 15 top-grossing role-playing games on Google Play in the US. Interestingly, in June 2022, it shot up the trending RPG list and reached 36th place in the US.
Apple App Store
On Apple, King’s Choice was among the 10 top-grossing simulation games in the last 90 days in the US, it was among the 15 top-grossing role-playing games as well.
If we take a look at the top-grossing games top charts, King’s Choice was among the top 50 games in the last 90 days. It might not sound like a high-ranking position but take into consideration that’s among all games from all genres, which makes this an outstanding result.
I’ve also included games similar to King’s Choice, i.e., some of its main competitors, according to Apptica. Most of the games on this list are role-playing and strategy games with some simulation elements.
King’s Choice Advertising Strategy
Now that you’re familiar with the basics, let’s get to the fun part — King’s Choice advertising strategy.
I’ve analyzed the top-performing ad creatives for this game and this is what I’ve learned.
Regardless of the ad concept and theme, all King’s Choice ads feature choices. Highlighting the interactive story elements of the game is smart, as this is a very popular game feature most simulation games have.
These types of ads also put focus on the game’s narrative elements, which are a big part of the game. In other words, all King’s Choice ad creatives are story-based and focus little on other parts of gameplay like battles, for example.
No Gameplay Footage
Another thing I’ve noticed about ads for this game is that there’s no gameplay footage. Instead, 3D simulated footage is used to create various storylines. Even though that makes the ads not true to the game, it allows for some creative freedom, which makes them more fun to watch.
It’s All About Romance and Drama
Most King’s Choice ads revolve around royal court life and all the drama that comes with it. More specifically, they’re about falling in love, winning the King’s heart, getting married, sabotaging your enemies, getting pregnant, and raising heirs. All stories are told from the female perspective.
People tend to fall for dramatic storylines and they identify with the characters. In fact, all King’s Choice ads have the same protagonist — a woman who is supposed to be the king’s spouse, as her character is marked as “consort”. We see her in many different situations, both good and bad. That makes it easy to connect with her and root for her, even though some of her choices are questionable.
Tales of Overcoming Hardships and Getting Revenge
Another common theme in King’s Choice ads is overcoming adversity. In many ads, we see this character in the role of a servant, being bullied and humiliated by one of the King’s lovers. She desperately wants to get out of this situation and seeks ways to move up the ladder.
We witness the amazing transformation the ad protagonist goes through — from a lowly abused servant to an educated and confident woman.
Many people can relate to her as most of us have been through hardships and tried to overcome adverse situations. It’s what makes these ads relatable.
A big part of turning your life around and rising above your enemies is getting revenge. At least that’s true for this game. We see her finally get even with her nemesis and it’s so satisfying to see her win. This is another reason why it’s hard to take your eyes off these ads.
Sticking with Creative Trends
I’ve also noticed many of King’s Choice ads follow the tried and tested ad formula where game characters fail to accomplish seemingly simple tasks. Oftentimes, these ads are referred to as “fail ads”.
For example, the main female character in the ads decides to dance for the King’s birthday. However, she trips and falls on the girl holding the birthday cake, which then lands on the King’s face. So, instead of gaining some points with the King, she ends up getting scolded by him.
Unlike the previous ads, she doesn’t win in the end or get her revenge.
The final piece of the King’s Choice advertising puzzle is influencer campaigns.
The influencer market reached $13 billion in 2021 and is projected to expand to $16 billion by the end of 2022. This tells us companies still spend a lot of money on influencers and it tends to pay off. While influencer marketing in mobile games is nothing new, it’s still somewhat underused compared to other market segments.
The marketers behind King’s Choice took advantage of the persuasive power influencers have and collaborated with Loren Gray. The result was a charming ad campaign that performed well.
Loren Gray is a young social media personality and influencer, popular for her TikTok videos. Because of the influencer choice, my guess is that the goal was to reach a somewhat younger female audience.
In the ad, Loren goes through the most exciting characteristics of the game, emphasizing the romantic aspect of it. Because people want to hear influencers’ personal experiences with a product (in this case, a game) it is implied she regularly plays King’s Choice. That, of course, is a powerful motivator and makes people download the game.
She even says, “Download King’s Choice now, I’ll be waiting for you”, which is a terrific CTA. There’s even a catchy slogan — “King’s Choice is the best choice”.
Now, I’m guessing Loren is probably not spending her days playing this game, just like most influencers don’t actually use the products they’re advertising. But hey, who knows. The goal here is to convince people she loves the game and it seems to be working, as this is one of the top-performing ads for this RPG.
“Regular” People Play This Game Too
We’ve established that getting influencers or celebrities to advertise a game is very effective. However, people also want to hear recommendations from real people. That’s why many companies hire actors who look like “regular” people for their ads.
There are a couple of examples of this in some King’s Choice ads. The one above is cool because it blurs the lines between reality and fantasy worlds. In it, a man has to pick between his real-life girlfriend and girlfriend in the game. Of course, hilarity ensues. Not just because of the absurdly funny situation, but also due to the hilariously bad dubbed-over voiceover.
There’s another variation of this ad, featuring the same actors playing the couple. This time, it’s a parenting competition. It also mixes the real and fantasy worlds.
Judging by the choice of actors and themes, I’m guessing these ads target older players, both women, and men. That makes King’s Choice overall advertising strategy very well-rounded.
King’s Choice App Store Optimization
A well-optimized app store page plays a big role in not only organic user acquisition but paid UA as well. No matter where the users came from, all of them will end up in the app store if they want to download a game. Because of that, it’s essential to carefully design and think out every ASO element.
Here’s how well King’s Choice is presented in the app stores.
A game’s title is one of the first things people notice, which is why it has to be impactful as well as describe what it is about.
The name “King’s Choice” is quite smart because it tells you the basic info about the game — it’s about royalty and has interactive story elements.
Furthermore, it’s quite catchy and memorable. There’s also a 2016 movie with this name.
King’s Choice game icon is quite striking. If I came across it in the app store, I’d definitely check it out.
It features a portrait of a breathtakingly gorgeous queen who radiates beauty and power. She looks both delicate and strong at the same time. Adorned with the most luxurious jewelry and dressed to perfection, she commands attention and inspires awe. Everything about her informs us of her aristocratic status.
When I browsed through similar games on the app stores, I found that many similar RPG/simulation games with the king/emperor theme go with the same or similar icon style. Many feature a portrait of a beautiful queen, staring off into the distance.
App Promo Video
The game’s promo video is quite sexually charged. At least the opening scene is, as it features a row of stunning, voluptuous, and half-naked concubines who are coquettishly greeting The Lord.
If you’re wondering how to capture people’s attention right away, this is one way of doing it.
The video then transitions into various gameplay scenes which describe its main benefits. This is standard for a promo video — the goal is to highlight USPs and portray the gameplay experience.
App store screenshots are also a visual ASO element — it’s another opportunity to make people interested in a game and explain what it’s about. However, to accomplish that, screenshots need to be carefully designed to not only look enticing but successfully communicate marketing messages.
Luckily, King’s Choice screenshots are both very visually appealing and tell users everything they need to know about this game.
The latter is emphasized with the following image captions:
- The royal fate lies in your hands
- An epic romance starring you
- Raise your heirs and watch them bicker
- The battle for the king’s love never ends
- Judge, jury, executioner — be it all!
- Famous knights under you command
Each caption describes a distinct game feature or benefit and invites users to try playing it.
Above, you can see a list of keywords for King’s Choice on iOS, sorted by rank. As you’d expect, this game ranks first on keywords “king’s choice” and “kings choice”. However, it also ranks first or second for difficult keywords like “kings”, “royalty games”, “king”, “king game”, and “queen games”. However, the search volume for some of these keywords is relatively low.
Here, you can see King’s Choice keywords for Google Play, also sorted by rank.
This is the end of my King’s Choice analysis. Did you find it helpful? Did I miss something important? Let me know in the comments!