In the highly competitive hypercasual landscape, the top publishing houses have clear key performance indicators (KPIs) for publishing a game - and they're mainly focused on games with the potential to scale.
These top publishers rarely publish games unless they are convinced they can top the charts, stay there, scale and make millions of dollars. That means they try to reduce the cost per install (CPI) and increase retention. It also means that only a small number of games actually make it to the top.
How small? On average, from 150 to 200 prototypes submitted to publishers in the big league, only one game will get published. For CrazyLabs this strategy has proven very successful from 2019 to 2020, and according to App Annie reports, in 2020 CrazyLabs generated an average of 30 per cent more downloads per published game than the other publishing houses in the top five, due to its use of automated user acquisition (UA) and monetisation tools.
Too many times developers find themselves with a game that’s good - but with less potential of becoming a hit, according to the top publishers. While a $20,000 or even $5,000 monthly profit can be an amazing income for the developer, it is well under the standard profit for the publisher.
The result - a game that could have provided a nice income for the developer who invested months working on it, ends up overlooked and unpublished. For the developer, this is sometimes perceived as lost revenue, and they’re not wrong.
Publishing For All
CrazyLabs is changing this course of action. The company's new initiative - Publishing For All - can create an additional revenue stream for developers. One that wasn’t available until today.
With this new offer, CrazyLabs supports its partners and helps them release and scale games that may otherwise not have been published. As game developers themselves, the company is deeply aware of its partners’ needs - having experienced it first hand. CrazyLabs knows how a monthly income from a game can set a new path for developers and push them forward.
True, the potential profit is lower than the standard CrazyLabs normally sets, but by generating a significant income for the developer, the publisher can help them stay in the game (pun intended) and continue working on their next hit.
The new plan sets specific key performance indicators (KPIs) but puts the developer’s interest first. Games considered for the program will need promising retention or average revenue per user (ARPU), which will be defined per case, as well as a CPI of up to $0.8.
The game will remain in the developer’s account, giving the studio control and responsibility for the game, its updated timeline and maintenance roadmap.
This is yet another step by CrazyLabs, a top-three mobile games developer and publisher, aimed to build more self-sustainable game development studios, that can create hypercasual hits on an ongoing basis.
This step follows other recent initiatives by CrazyLabs, including:
CrazyHubs - the hypercasual game accelerator for developers who are interested in learning how to create chart-topping hypercasual hits. Members of the hubs enjoy a three to six-month training programme along with professional and financial support.
Crazy Academy - an online programme of workshops, sessions and relevant content for preferred studios and developers, selected partners, and global hub members.
Development and publishing tools
The Publishing For All initiative will be supported by the CLIK software development kit (SDK) and the CLIK dashboard - CrazyLabs self-service platform for testing hypercasual games and monitoring usage to understand players’ preferences.
Together, CrazyLabs’ SDK and dashboard enable studios to monitor the entire publishing process and usage funnel with full transparency, so they can easily move forward to scaling their game.
"It’s very unusual and extremely helpful for a developer like me", said RoboFruits Games founder Alexandr Janashvili, the studio behind Road Hills.
"CrazyLabs’ ability to support Road Hills and offer tools to publish the game, even though it did not meet publishers’ KPIs for a hit, was a key differentiator for me and my studio. For us, it’s been incredible, the monthly income allows us to keep doing what we love - developing new games".
"As developers ourselves, we know how frustrating it can be to see your game get so close, only to end up nowhere," said CrazyLabs chief operating officer Guy Tomer.
"As part of the ongoing relationship with our partners, and further to their feedback, we decided to create a new funnel dedicated to games that can generate a profit for the developer. We’re proud to be working with over 350 developers worldwide and welcome new developers who are interested in applying."
The program is already up and running: gaming studios and indie developers are welcome to submit their hypercasual games and test them inside the CLIK Dashboard. Developers are also invited to submit games that have been passed on for publishing and enter the program.