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Top tips: levelling up hypercasual partnerships in 2022

Voodoo's head of publishing, Alexander Shea gives his six top tips on creating more successful collaboration in hypercasual games in 2022
Top tips: levelling up hypercasual partnerships in 2022
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It’s vital for hypercasual publishers and studios to work closely together to reach long-term success. Creating clear and consistent communication between the studio and publisher throughout the development process, and providing ongoing product feedback to help the studio build a portfolio of successful titles, can have a significantly positive impact on success rates.

Over the years, Voodoo has worked with a diverse range of studios and solo developers, creating a tried, tested, and proven approach to building strong relationships. We feel that we are a core part of our partner studios’ teams and, as a result, our partnerships are long-term, direct, and ultimately successful.

Read on for our six top tips on how to foster better collaborations in the hypercasual space in 2022 and beyond.

1. Flexible launch Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Setting informed, data-driven KPIs for launch is key to showing early indicators of success. But these KPIs need to be flexible, as even with rigorous testing, hits occasionally demonstrate a combination of strengths and weaknesses in their early testing metrics.

For example, if a prototype has a high cost per install (CPI) but strong engagement metrics, we would deploy market developer and creative teams to work with a partner studio and lift the early marketability of a game. Conversely, if a game has a low CPI with weak retention metrics, we will prioritise crafting deep, tailored product roadmaps and allocating additional resources to execute them. Our role as a publisher is also to understand the hidden potential of a game, beyond its early metrics.

“Our role as a publisher is also to understand the hidden potential of a game, beyond its early metrics”
Alexander Shea

2. Flexible launch timings

Studios should expect a degree of flexibility and control over their launch timings. We’ve virtually never turned down a launch or a delay whenever a studio makes a compelling case in this direction. Equally, you should expect a great degree of directness and reality checks in the prototyping phase – we would rather kill a prototype that has no chance of scaling, rather than provide more comforting news that can ultimately cost a studio days or weeks of fruitless work.

3. Flexible commercial solutions

Not every studio is going to have the same commercial needs. Some will require higher levels of financial support, while others will be happy to take on more risk in order to reap higher upside.

4. No lock-in periods

Publishers should have enough knowledge and data to be able to determine whether or not prototypes have the potential to become a hit within a relatively short period of time; sometimes as little as a week. Abolishing lock-in periods keeps you in control of your prototypes and ideas.

“The best partnerships involve bespoke coaching for studios at every level of experience”
Alexander Shea

5. Coaching and resources to drive success

The best partnerships involve bespoke coaching for studios at every level of experience. Offering studios that have developed promising prototypes some hands-on time helps elevate their prototypes into global hits. E-learning platforms can also be hugely beneficial for all studios with step-by-step guides on how to make hit games, whilst regular live streams and market reports will help keep you up to date with best practices and current trends in the industry.

6. Studio communities to share experiences

Building a community of studios by organising online and in-person events is key in terms of learning from others and their experiences. Meeting other studios will not only help in terms of knowledge sharing but can also spark inspiration for your next big hit.

The long-term value of levelling up your partnerships

When it comes to hyper-casual partnerships, communication and flexibility are essential. As a studio, if you have more flexibility in terms of KPIs, launch timings, and commercial models, as well as powerful coaching, resources, and events – the benefits will bring long-term value to your team’s success.