GDC snapshot: Lion Studios on moving to merge games

Key takeaways from Amy Choi’s session on moving to merge games

GDC snapshot: Lion Studios on moving to merge games

Lion Studio’s transition from hypercasual games to casual merge games has led to fundamental lessons, as delivered by director of product Amy Choi.

  • “In casual development, gone are low CPI gimmicks.” There is a heavier focus on quality engaging mechanics, with a harmonious theme . With this in mind, it is critical to begin with more marketable themes
  • With monitoring player journeys over lengthier periods of time, data analysis moves beyond level funnels and IAP conversions, and a greater understanding of a diversity of player. “At Lion, one of the first changes was to build a more robust data analytics team”
  • On publishing, Lion had to recognise how to build not only a game but a service, and similarly working with partners that have experience
  • Lion came from a hypercasual background, so there was less impact on the mentality of the team on the transition from hypercasual to casual. Particularly, the ability to “kill projects early and move faster”


Former editor of, Khai can also be found on Vice, Star Trek, and in numerous scientific journals and publications.