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Product Overview: Bungie, 6waves, Cubic games, Royal Ark

WRITTEN BY | 10 Feb 2022
Product Overview: Bungie, 6waves, Cubic games, Royal Ark

5th and 6th Weekly Digests have brought us new M&A deals from the US, Japan, and Russia.

Let’s look at some of the biggest products from the perspective of core & meta gameplay, and monetization mechanics.

Bungie (PC&Console games)

US-based gaming company Bungie has been known for its Halo, and Destiny franchises.

The Halo series has been acquired and published by Xbox. So the main revenue driver in 2021 is their game Destiny 2 (>11M installs since October 2019) – an action MMO in the sci-fi setting.

  • Core gameplay is a first-person shooter with deep multiplayer PvE adventures on different planets. It includes an open-world backed by a main linear narrative with quests, as well as non-linear 3-player dungeons, 6-player raids.
    The game offers a rich PvP experience where players can choose between rumble (6×6) survival (deathmatch), classic mix (3×3), and private matches (player hosts the invite-only location with up to 12 players).
  • Meta gameplay includes 2 big systems. First, a character classes progression system is divided into 3 main classes: titans, hunters, and warlocks. Each of these classes has its skills, bonuses, and deep sub-class trees.
    Second, players upgrade their gears to have higher defense and attack.
  • Monetization is based on a GaaS model where the initial game download is free-to-play. 

In-game Gaas monetization includes: Premium currency (players need it to buy resources and upgrade their gears quicker), Season passes ($9.99 quarterly to open special locations and quests), and Loot Boxes (packs of random currency amount plus resources).
Outside of the game, Bungie also sells merchandise like toys, narrative books, etc.


6waves, Cubic games, Royal Ark (Mobile games)

Japan-based mobile game developer 6waves ($>430M total revenue since May 2012) has a portfolio of core games with 98% of the paying audience coming from Japan.

Their current revenue driver is “Sengoku Haou Senki” (>$97M total revenue since 2019) – a core 4X strategy that is available only in Japan.

  • Core gameplay is 4X Strategy (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) with a mix of turn-based strategy (spend energy to move), RPG (hire and upgrade leaders for your army), and real-time strategy (PvP).
    Players move on the map using their commanders by spending energy.
    As the result of meta-gameplay, players build their castles and armies to exterminate other players. Battles are usually not skill-based, so players are just comparing their armies’ power.
  • Meta gameplay is the main part of the game. Players build mining buildings to expand their empire on the map. The more players mine, the more they exploit the total resources available for all players.
  • Monetization is based on microtransactions where players can buy energy to move, and currency to speed up the creation or upgrades of their buildings and armies.

Russian-based mobile developer Cubic Games has their main revenue driver Pixel Gun 3D ($>197M total revenue since May 2013) – a core shooter with 58% of the paying audience coming from the US.

  • Core gameplay is a first-person shooter with different PvP modes: Battle Royale, Deathmatch, Duels, and Imposter. Also, players can upgrade their weapons to give more damage in battles.
  • Meta gameplay is rounded by PvE Clans wars, where players team up together to raid other clan fortresses. The more fortresses players control, the more coins they gain.
  • Monetization is based on microtransactions where players can buy weapons and currency to upgrade it. Also, players can buy skins for their characters.

Another Russian-based mobile game developer Royal Ark has their main revenue driver Dawn of Zombies ($>10M total revenue since June 2019) — a core survival adventure with 51% of the paying audience coming from the US, and Russia.

  • Core gameplay is a top-down survival game with a focus on finding resources on the map to craft items and build the shelter. Also, players have a skills tree that adds bonus health, damage, and etc.
  • Meta gameplay is the focus on co-op PvE raids and gathering rare resources. These resources are needed to craft and upgrade rare vehicles, and weapons.
  • Monetization is based on microtransactions where players can buy energy to move, currency, and resources to craft items.

Written by Artur Davydenko,

Venture Partner at Flyer One Ventures, CRO at HoneyLab