It’s been a couple of months since our first event back in June, but the Arcade R(E)volution is back, and this time we focused on the idle genre. Accompanied by publishing giants, Homa Games, and Idle experts, Kolibri, we presented an evening full of insights, stats, stories, advice, and lessons. All on how to create hit idle games.
If you made it that evening, brilliant! Thanks so much for coming. And if you sadly missed it, no worries. We recorded the entire evening, saved the decks, and put together some key takeaways. So you can get the low-down on what’s happening in the idle world, all of which you can find below.
But before you dig in, we just wanted to share some information with you about the Arcade R(E)volution, and when you can expect to find the next one…
So, what is the Arcade R(E)volution?
In short, we’re hosting a series of events around casual mobile games, which we’ve labeled as the Arcade R(E)volution. During these events, we invite industry leaders to share their stories and advice, while GameAnalytics presents the latest stats and findings at a genre level (from a sample of up to 100K games, across 1.2 billion monthly players).
The first event in our series was all around ‘hyper-casual games’ (you can find the highlights for this one here). Our second one focused on the Idle genre. And just like last time, each speaker shared key lessons they learned while making their hit idle games. There were free drinks, pizza, and games as always, with Mario Kart on the very big screen again.
So when’s the next one?
As you probably know by now, we usually do these events around once every 3 months. We’ll be sharing updates for the next one (which will probably focus on puzzler games) on social channels and our newsletter (you can subscribe at the bottom of this page). But, make sure to follow us on meetup to avoid missing out.
Please keep in mind, due to Christmas and some bigger events in January, we’ll likely do our next one towards the end of Q1. But we’ll keep you in the loop once we know more.
Now that’s out of the way, here are the talks, videos, and slides from our idle event.
Talk 1: The Latest Trends in Idle Games
Ivan Bravo, Director of Customer Operations at GameAnalytics
Using data from up to 100,000 mobile games, our Director of Customer Operations kicked off the evening with an industry update and shared the freshest insights and KPIs for the idle category. Here is a copy of the slides to see the stats up close:
Learn how the superstars are performing
We’ve recently been working on a new dashboard that will let you compare your title against our portfolio of games, all at a genre level. We touched on this during our presentation, but to put it simply, this will be an interactive version of our industry reports. And in this dashboard, you’ll be able to see our data for different time periods, genres, and quantiles (including the top 5% of games). This is still in development at the moment, but you can register your interest for this here.
Talk 2: The Story of Idle World
Olivier Le Bas, VP Business Development at Homa Games
Next in our lineup, we had Homa Games, where they shared their story of how they launched Idle World (the title that achieved over 8 million downloads worldwide) in just 12 days. In this session, they went over the steps they took to make this game such a success, as well as different ad routes, key stats and analytics they tracked, and how they optimized their in-app purchase model. Here are the slides, in case you want to see more:
You’ll need a starter pack
Launching a game in just 12 days is no easy feat (especially for something as complex as an idle game). What Homa Games does (and did) when launching an Idle game is put together a ‘starter pack’, as well as decide who is going to tackle what task in the agreed period. Watch the video to hear it from them, but this is what they recommend you should include and aim for when releasing an idle game:
- Make sure you add rewarded videos – this is a big revenue generator for Homa.
- You’ll want to reach day 1 retention of around 60% if you want to be successful.
- In-app purchases are a must for these types of games.
- Don’t underestimate customer support. Complex casual games like idle have an audience which is super involved in recommendations, so invest time and money into your customer support.
Talk 3: What we learned from making idle miner tycoon and idle factory tycoon
Nate Barker, Director of Business Development at Kolibri
Having created one of the most popular idle games on the market, Idle Miner Tycoon (reaching over 100 million downloads), Kolibri shared with us what they learned from their first title, and how they used these lessons to create their next big hit, Idle Factory Tycoon. In this talk, Nate Barker digs into the details, discussing topics like the different features they used, how they used season passes, and simple mechanics behind the complex casual genre. Here the slides if you want to look in more detail:
TLDW: Lessons at a glance
- Don’t get in way over your head on a project that you have no idea what you’re doing. Unfortunately, this was the case for Kolibri in the early days, and they had to kill their first project when they were about 60% through.
- Don’t underestimate events in your game. Kolibri started running events for their idle games, and when they did this, they saw their revenue double. So make sure you consider seasonal events.
- And do seasonal passes. These were Kolibri’s second or third best source of IAP. Similar to Fortnite’s and Apex’s season pass model.
If you have any questions about these talks, or would like to get in touch to learn more about these events, feel free to email us here. Our next event will be about Puzzler games, which we’re hoping to host again in London around February/March.