Last Weekly Digests have brought us new M&A deals from Russia, Finland, the US, and etc.
Let’s look at some of the biggest products from the perspective of core & meta gameplay, and monetization mechanics.
1C, thatgamecompany (PC&Console games)
Poland-based PC game publisher 1C Entertainment (>$59M total sales since 2003) is an ex-subsidiary of Russia-based holding 1C Company. Its main published games are the well-known IL-2 Shturmovik, King’s Bounty series, and Men of War franchise.
Now their main revenue driver is Men of War: Assault Squad 2 (>$11.8M total sales since May 2014) – core strategy in the WWII setting.
- Core gameplay is the top-down RTS (real-time strategy) with single player narrative campaigns, and multiplayer maps (1×1, 8×8). Players manage their troops to win over the opposite army choosing one of the virtual nations.
- Meta gameplay is the direct control over the military troops such as tanks or a sniper. With the control activated, the game becomes a 3rd-person action strategy.
- Monetization is based on a paid model where the original price is $29.99. Additionally, DLCs with new maps are available for loyale players starting with a price of $6 per DLC.
US-based game developer thatgamecompany has released 4 games since 2012. Their biggest titles in terms of downloads are Journey (>3.4M total sales since 2020 on Steam, but its main audience is on Nintendo and PlayStation), and Sky (>100M installs since 2019).
From public data, we can say that the main revenue driver is Sky: Children of the Light (>$88M total revenue on mobile, and >70M downloads on Nintendo Switch) – an adventure game with 70%+ of the paying audience coming from Japan, Taiwan.
- Core gameplay is in an open adventure world where players complete narrative quests, save spirits and move forward through the planet.
- Meta gameplay is a multiplayer MMORPG where players can progress through quests together. They can also chat using a lot of character expressions.
- Monetization strategy is based on offering $5 in-app bundles with additional content to play in (locations and quests).
Next Games (Mobile games)
Finland-based mobile game developer Next Games ($133M total revenue since September 2015) specialized on midcore games with in-game brands IPs.
Their main revenue driver is The Walking Dead No Man’s Land (>$90M total revenue since October 2015) – a core battler with 46% of the paying audience coming from the US.
- Core gameplay is top-down tactics battler in the survival setting where players research map locations to kill zombies. They can also combat with other players in multiplayer battles.
- Meta gameplay is rounded in the RPG upgrading system, which allows players to increase the power of their characters. They can upgrade abilities, weaponry and armor.
- Monetization is based on energy (to move through the map), and gatcha-based packs to upgrade the characters.
Written by Artur Davydenko,
Venture Partner at Flyer One Ventures, CRO at HoneyLab