The match-3 category seems to always surprise people.
Recently, there is another new match 3 explosion model, which appeared in the Top 15 best seller list in the United States in a low-key manner. Last year, Soft Launch’s “Royal Match” was launched in multinational markets in early April this year. In just two months, it has risen all the way from the top 50 iOS best sellers in the United States to the Top 15. At the same time, it has entered the top 10 best-selling list in more than 20 countries, and its performance is very strong.
Sensor Tower estimates its June revenue of 14 million U.S. dollars, which is approximately RMB 90.44 million.
The developer of the game, Dream Games from Istanbul, Turkey, recently received a US$155 million Series B financing. Earlier this year, their Series A financing exceeded US$575 million. The company’s current valuation has reached 1 billion US dollars. At the end of last month, Dream Games announced on Twitter that the monthly active users of the game reached 6 million in three months.
“Royal Match” is probably the kind of game that is not easy to see the potential of the explosion at a glance-no, I am not saying that the game is not well done.
From the external appearance, the game production is excellent. But the first impression is also limited to this, other than that, there are no outstanding highlights. If you follow inertial thinking, it may be difficult to imagine that such a game will be one of the fastest rising products in the European and American markets in the near future.
But such a match-3 game has become the biggest surprise in the mainstream category in overseas markets recently.
01 Seemingly plain match-3
Let’s start with the superficial features and take a look at this unremarkable match-3 game at first glance.
“Royal Match” (hereinafter referred to as RM) is a vertical-screen match-3 + construction and management game. As a mobile game launched in 2020, the appearance of RM is indeed more refined than some of its counterparts in previous years. It is easy to see this from the overall picture quality or some details of the UI interface.
At the same time, under the vertical screen layout, the overall look and feel of RM’s UI is very similar to a Supercell game-there are several symbolic function buttons corresponding to the main gameplay systems of the game, and the levels are distinct.
In terms of core gameplay, the game’s mechanics are the same as most match-3+builds. By eliminating the various resources obtained from the level, players can gradually unlock different construction areas and different buildings. Of course, as the name and icon clearly indicate, the construction and decoration in RM are all royal/royal themes, rather than the various “manors” that were common before.
Yes, even the hammers are “royal”
However, the feature of RM in this respect is that the game speeds up the rhythm of the levels to a certain extent. Under the frame of the vertical screen, these elimination levels are smaller and the average time it takes for players to clear the levels is shorter.
At the same time, the construction of this line has also been greatly simplified. More is to follow the progress of the level to automatically unlock different landmarks and landscapes. It does not require players to exert too much subjective initiative in DIY. It is a bit like a subsidiary achievement/collection system. At the same time, this part of RM’s gameplay is not like “Dream Garden” and “Dream Home”, a story with a detailed main storyline around this gameplay.
In addition, the game also has a built-in mini-squad/guild system. Players can exchange information and get extra “life” (number of clearances) and other rewards through the interaction of teammates-this is a bit like the click acceleration in the SLG game .
But these are not enough to make it have a strong gameplay distinction from its peers-I mean the difference between “Dream Garden” and “Candy Legend” or “Project Makeover” and “Dream Garden”.
Compared with many similar products, it is a match-3 that “can be remembered after two eyes”, but it is indeed not a product with major innovations and mechanism changes.
02 What is special about this game?
It seems commonplace, and there is indeed no obvious innovation in the actual gameplay. Such a game’s rapid rise in the European and American markets has also driven developers to get huge investments.
So there must be some highlights that are worth bringing out, right?
Let us combine the summaries given by some senior designers and analysts to take a look at some of the advantages of RM that are not so easy to see directly. For example, Erno Kiiski, an analyst at Game Refinery, listed some of the advantages of the game in the monetization mode:
One is the Universal Battle Pass (the name in the game is Royal Pass). Players can unlock treasure chests by collecting keys in daily level settlement, and obtain different rewards such as gold coins and boosters.
The second is a paid item similar to a light subscription, through which players can obtain additional life and golden (season) avatars.
The third is a system called Bonus Bank. Based on the Battle Pass, giving players some long-term feedback, allowing players who have achieved all the goals of the Battle Pass to continue to receive some additional rewards that are not too high in value. So that those highly active players can also maintain the enthusiasm of the game for a longer period of time.
In addition, RM’s Battle Pass is priced at US$9.99, which is a bit more expensive compared to the US$6.99 of “Consumer Manor” and US$4.99 of Playrix’s three matches. But after the player purchases, other team members can also get some bonuses.
Laura Taranto, product manager of Deconstructor of Fun, detailed several design advantages of the game. The original text is very long, and several of the points are more instructive, such as:
- RM puts a generous amount of props in the level, especially clearing props such as bombs and rockets. Items of the same nature also have a larger range of influence and stronger effects in RM. The purpose is obviously to make the player “eliminate more coolly.”
The range of influence of bombs in different elimination games
- Unlike some earlier elimination games, RM does not force players to use the clearing items immediately after they appear, which allows players to have a stronger sense of on-site control.
- The clearing props in the game are relatively smart, and will not cause waste of props in the level.
- The level simplifies some unnecessary elimination steps, allowing the player to easily know whether the conditions required for the level have been reached.
In addition, another point about RM has to mention the game developer. Dream Games was founded by a group of senior consumer-three category practitioners. The company’s founders are from Peak Games and have participated in several classic match-three products of “Toon Blast” and “Toy Blast”.
Peak Games was acquired by Zynga in 2018. Since then, some senior developers have come out to start their own businesses, including product directors, product managers, and several senior programs and artists.
The most recent round of financing was led by Index Ventures. Index Ventures has a unique vision in the gaming industry. Prior to this, it also invested in King, Supercell and Roblox. After several huge financings, Peak Games also set a new record for local startups in Turkey.
Dream Games’ current team is small, with only more than 30 people.
In an interview with Beluga’s overseas trip, Magic Tavern’s CEO Yongkai Zhao once mentioned, “If you want to make a product similar to “Project Makeover”, you need a team of 150 to 200 people to support content production. You can do it if you have conditions. In detail, if you like to eliminate games and are confident to make novel levels, then a game with a structure like “Toon Blast” is enough for 30 people.”
To a certain extent, this also explains the fast-paced, small-scale levels of RM, and the branch line construction gameplay that seems to be just a “take a form”-the first game started by a small team of former core developers, putting more emphasis on design On the edge of “elimination”.
Therefore, although RM does not have a big breakthrough in the three matches, the products made by a group of veteran entrepreneurs still let the past R&D experience give full play to its value.
According to DoF’s blog, the game was first launched in Turkey, the United Kingdom and Canada last year by Soft Launch. From the data shown at the time, the RM single-user revenue data clearly exceeds that of traditional match-3 games, and is almost the same as match-3 + simulation operation. Class products are just as good.
But as we said above, the game is very “light” on the side of simulation management-this shows that they have found a suitable “middle way.”
03 Is there still so much room for the third consumer market?
The competition for classic categories like Match 3 is fierce…
In the field of match three, there are many fist products of sample giants such as King and Playrix…
Whenever similar topics are mentioned, such preconditions are always inevitable. But even so, there are still latecomers like RM who appear from time to time, bringing new surprises to people.
“Whether it is the Red Ocean or the Blue Ocean, the higher the income from the consumer three categories, the more manufacturers will be attracted to join it.”
In the blog about RM, DoF explained why in a category that seems to have fierce competition, there are still chasers coming forward.
According to their calculations, the market share of casual games in the Western game market (mainly outside of China, Japan and South Korea) in 2020 is about 9.8 billion U.S. dollars. Among them, the consumer three categories account for the largest proportion, with a market share of about 5.1 billion U.S. dollars. A year-on-year increase of 29%-one of the most common classic categories, still maintained a growth of nearly 30%, which is also a major reason why various manufacturers are still competing for layout.
At the same time, in the first half of 2020, the overall growth of elimination games has increased by 18%, but most of the growth momentum comes from match-3 + home improvement/business gameplay, and “Tile Blast” gameplay. In contrast, the traditional three consumer products have not contributed much to the overall growth of the category.
Indeed, in the early days of mobile game development, when we mentioned the consumer three categories in overseas markets, we would consider it to be King’s territory. In the next few years, the status of “first in category revenue” was gradually replaced by Playrix, and more emerging products began to try the game modes of “Dream Garden” and “Dream Home”. Of course, in the past two years, there have been domestic games such as “Project Makeover”, which has gone further in this direction.
While the broad market of consumer three categories is growing, the direction of internal subdivisions also fluctuates to a certain extent. And the rapid rise of RM now allows us to see that there are further and more subdivided forms among the several mainstream subdivision routes within. A category that is very familiar to the publicstill maintains considerable growth and evolution.
This may be the biggest surprise.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/top-15-best-selling-list-in-the-united-states-with-developers-valued-at-us1-billion-a-new-storm-in-the-consumer-three-category-has-emerged/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.