Case Studies > Voodoo

How Voodoo identifies hundreds of hit titles with GameAnalytics

Learn how GameAnalytics helps Voodoo get predictive insights about early-phase games and gather crucial feedback based on data.

Voodoo

Challenge

Taking a game from an initial idea, through prototyping and on to a successful launch is a difficult task for even the most talented of game developers. Arguably, this is even truer in the hyper-casual space, particularly when you consider the short lifespans of these types of games. For publishers like Voodoo, using programmatic data to identify titles with the best potential is key to their continued success.

Solution

Voodoo uses the DataSuite Metrics API to easily track and analyze KPIs across thousands of soft launch titles. Thanks to Metrics API we make all of their partner data quickly available in their own internal systems, so they can shortlist the most promising new titles from hundreds of different games pitched to them each month. They’ll usually evaluate by reviewing core success indicators, such as D1 and D7 retention.

Interesting facts

About Voodoo

If you’ve paid any attention to the mobile gaming landscape over the past few years, you’ll have noticed some interesting shifts in the market. One of the most talked-about is the emergence of the “hyper-casual” genre, a category of free to play mobile games which are typically quick to produce, played in short sessions with simple core loops, and primarily monetized with ads.

In just a few short years, Voodoo has released a string of hyper-casual hits. Since 2016, they’ve published more than 15 games which have reached the top 20 in the App Store charts. In fact, they’ve had such a meteoric rise to success that the name ‘Voodoo’ has almost become synonymous with the hyper-casual genre itself. Clearly, their efficient, data-driven strategy is working and fueling their success.

Just a few of Voodoo's highlights

Paper.io

Paper.io

60+ million downloads
Released: Dec 2016

Snake VS Block

Snake VS Block

177+ million downloads
Released: May 2017

Dune!

Dune!

55+ million downloads
Released: Oct 2017

Rolly Vortex

Rolly Vortex

55+ million downloads
Released: Aug 2017

Helix Jump

Helix Jump

452+ million downloads
Released: Feb 2018

Hole.io

Hole.io

177+ million downloads
Released: May 2018

Topping the charts

Speaking at Casual Connect Europe in London, CEO Alexandre Yazdi said that Voodoo was on track to reach 6 billion downloads for its games in 2022. In fact, as of 2020, Voodoo games have now been downloaded more than 1 billion times.

“The Voodoo process is less of a secret and more of a mindset, a way of working.”

Alexandre Yazdi, Voodoo CEO 

Where it all began

Voodoo started as a small team developing and releasing their own creations, and they weren’t immediately successful. What initially began as a failed attempt to bring the titles Bool and Quiz Run to market set in motion an epic journey as a publisher focusing on honing game retention, UA, and monetization optimization. The first chart-topper of Voodoo as a publisher was Paper.io, which became their first major hit back in 2016.

“Developers should focus on building games that people around the globe want to play, not just what appeals to them personally.”

From a game developer to a  publishing powerhouse.

“it was a case of developing and fine-tuning our approach to user acquisition to get the most value from our players, simply to survive.” Hugo Peyron, Publishing Expert at Voodoo

You can find out more about the early days of Voodoo in this interview from 2017.

These first few releases taught Voodoo two things. Firstly, the most successful publishers need practical experience in many areas of game marketing. Secondly, if they wanted to make the most of their knowledge of user acquisition and monetization, they would have to apply this to more titles than their own.

A shift to publishing

Voodoo decided to shift their efforts and apply what they’d learned to the broader market, leveraging their skill set to launch several games at any given time. They wrote a script to scrape the Google Play store to scale quickly, allowing them to promptly compile the details of thousands of studios for outreach campaigns.

This efficient approach, combined with data collection and analysis using DataSuite by GameAnalytics, helped Voodoo identify a new game called Fight List (based mainly on its promising D1 and D7 KPIs). It quickly became a hit on the App Stores, reaching #1 position in more than 40 countries. The key takeaway here: Voodoo’s publishing strategy streamlines the development and review process while minimizing the commercial risk of launching several titles.

Identifying core potential

When predicting the success of a title, you need data to recognize the titles with the best potential. Voodoo reviews this data with user-level access to multiple studios via GameAnalytics, looking at D1/D7 retention, playtime, and CPI.

“For us, DataSuite provides deep insights into the retention performance of studio partners. We look for the highest numbers possible. If a game has low retention, we will kill it and identify the problem Effortlessly.”

Voodoo has now become a world leader at finding and refining diamonds in the rough, using GameAnalytics DataSuite to identify critical KPIs (and even game error logs).

Tracking Data across 1 billion players

Once a game has been released, GameAnalytics still plays a role in ongoing optimizations and tracking performance for all Voodoo titles. With Metrics API, Voodoo can track all the KPIs and essential health metrics across its entire portfolio at a glance.

At the same time, product managers, game designers, and even partner developers work together with GameAnalytics to monitor and optimize the lifecycle of an entire portfolio.

A word from Voodoo

“At Voodoo, we review a lot of prototypes and games each month. Thanks to the data collected with DataSuite Metrics API, we’re able to help our partners with upcoming trends, clear creation guidelines, features to increase retention, and a unique ideation process.”

“One of the perks of working as a publisher is seeing how the titles of enthusiastic developers can be optimized to make a huge impact on their success. With the many different GameAnalytics SDKs and the Metrics API, we can synchronize insights and feedback with our partners and streamline the consultancy process. Using data to make judgments and informed decisions have proved critical to our success.”

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