Hypercasual market is getting harder and harder to crack. With excessive prototypes in the market, getting one with good KPI numbers is difficult. But when you do it’s necessary to ensure it has a very good LTV (Life Time Value). As time is passing by we are seeing more and more games moving towards a hybrid casual style. The developers are making sure there is more than enough in-game content to keep the player attached. It is also driving up the IAP, and opens up the opportunity to monetize even more than before. We will go through 2 games that are using meta-features to increase the LTV of the game.
Crowd Evolution by Rollic
This game clearly has a great LTV and marketability. It has been in the top charts for quite a while. The meta in this one has been done incredibly well and we should take a lot of learning points
The Level Progression is pretty basic with a Boss level appearing after every few levels. The boss level also acts as a bonus level as the boss guards the bonus chest
An interesting thing that happens at the end is that a stage appears very far away as the player tries to reach it. That is something that can take the players’ curiosity. Of course, reaching the stage would take a long time thus helping towards a great LTV. We have seen something similar in Tall Man Run where a big enemy stays at the end, which takes a long time to reach
We see the choice of upgrades at the beginning and the end of the level. The start of the level upgrades gives the user the chance to improve the universal starting condition. The end-of-the-level upgrades give the user the chance to improve the universal in-game condition. Interesting that they did not put the 4 upgrades on the start screen. Possibly because doing it this way makes the player more likely to use the end-of-the-level upgrades as they have this exclusivity of appearing only after a win. Or it could be to reduce the mental load which can happen by overwhelming the start screen which buttons. Which one do you prefer?
The shop is extensive
- Skins based on the age distribution
- Weapons based on the age distribution
- Pets that can help the player in-game by shooting and killing enemies
- Rare skins that have both skins based on the age distribution and unique weapons that go along with it
The skins are advertised to the plater by letting them use it for one level and then the game asks them to buy it using RV. By the scale of the shop, we can understand the massive cosmetic value it adds and how much it can offer using IAP bundles. And not just IAP bundles, it can offer skins by also letting the player complete the daily mission
Finally, the game also has a base that can be constructed using coins earned from gameplay. It represents the progress in the game and offers further motivation to continue playing. The buildings in the base generate soldiers that can be sent to attack other players’ bases.
Ball Up: Knife Racing by Voodoo
It’s a PvP game (of course the opponent is a fake player) where you race the other player to reach the top. It comes with a level progression that feels like you are in a tournament.
Level Progression works on a tournament basis where the player plays against the same opponent for 5 rounds. After that, the player gets a bonus level. Then the player can move to the next tournament. Each tournament offers the player a sculpture. That sculpture is later used as part of the meta. Although, I’m not sure how the sculpture relates to the game theme. It feels off and irrelevant.
Each level consists of 2 sub-levels. The first sub-level is the main level and actual gameplay. The second one is a follow-up level which works as a bonus level. The follow-up level starts right after the main level ends. The win UI pops up after the follow-up level ends. I have very rarely seen this kind of intertwined gameplay before. I would love to see the in-game numbers of this one with and without the sub-levels. Because it’s in there, it’s only logical to assume that it drove the numbers up and this is something we can try and test.
This is the main screen which has 4 tabs.
- Shop: It contains the Knives collection. It is basically a cosmetic shop
- Game: The actual gameplay
- Sculpting: It contains unlockable sculptures that can be unlocked after finishing a tournament. The sculptures can be unlocked by playing a mini-game where the player breaks the box to reveal the sculpture. A tournament is playing for x levels against the same opponent. It also has upgrade buttons to improve the player’s in-game stats. The sculpting here again, for me, does not make sense. The upgrade buttons in this tab seem completely misplaced. POLLHow do you feel about the sculpting feature? Looks good100%Feels off0%1 VOTE · POLL CLOSED
- Museum: The sculptures are kept here which in turn generates passive income.
In our own games, we can try to divide our main screen like this and keep relevant meta games.
These 2 case studies give us good ideas on how we can add content to increase the LTV of our games. I hope you could take something from this post. See you on the next one.