These days there are a plethora of hyper-casual games on the market, a genre spearheaded by publishers like Voodoo.
But behind the success of those publishers are indie developers creating hit addictive games played by millions the world over.
These days, one of the most popular hyper-casual game is NikSan Tech’s Fire Balls 3D. The concept? To, as its title would suggest, fire balls at the central tower while avoiding moving obstacles. Hit them, and you’ll have to start over.
It’s a simple yet fun to play concept that has seen the game generated more than 20 million downloads since its launch in October.
How did it get so popular? NikSan Tech and Voodoo share their insights.
Who are they?
You might consider NikSan a veteran of mobile games development now. Its portfolio stretches back for years and includes games like the single tap arcade title Spinning Hero, endless tap and dodge app Dual Dash and addictive casual game Color Stairs, to name a few.
For an indie studio like us, we don't have a big budget for the marketing and even if we do, we don't know marketing strategy.Nikunj Brahmbhatt
Perhaps ahead of the hyper-casual curve, its titles share the same DNA - casual, snackable experiences designed for maximum fun and lots of replayability.
When it came to Fire Balls 3D, the experienced developer decided to work with a publisher.
“For an indie studio like us, we don't have a big budget for the marketing and even if we do, we don't know marketing strategy,” says NikSan Tech co-founder Nikunj Brahmbhatt.
Working with Voodoo
Voodoo has published games from hundreds of mobile games developers, racking up hundreds of millions of downloads in the process.
Previous partners include the likes of H8 Games and its hit game Helix Jump, which went on to rack up more than 200 million downloads as of October 2018.
It also published Taichi Kobayashi’s labyrinth puzzler Tenkyu, which generated more than 30 million installs between July to December 2018.
For Brahmbhatt, while he wasn’t quite sure at first how much support Voodoo provides developers and what studios get in return, the team felt the similarities between the two companies’ portfolios could prove a potent partnership.
We have learned so much from this game and Voodoo helped a lot in this process.Nikunj Brahmbhatt
“We thought it would be good as Voodoo games get an amazing number of downloads and it works with casual and arcade games, which indie studios like us can make,” says Brahmbhatt.
And so in October 2018, Voodoo and NikSan Tech launched the title, with the help of the French company’s proven publishing capabilities.
Brahmbhatt says the results “exceed all our expectations, both downloads and reputation-wise”.
“We have learned so much from this game and Voodoo helped a lot in this process.”
Following the successful launch of Fire Balls 3D, NikSan Tech aims to continue concentrating on polishing the game. “Much more work still needs to be done on it,” says Brahmbhatt.
It’s not solely focused on the title though. The studio plans to allocate some of its resources to developing new prototypes as soon as it can - such as the life of a hyper-casual team.
And it plans to keep a close partnership with Voodoo for those new titles too.