To turn the narrative game Become a Queen into a hyper-casual hit, Unlock Games collaborated with Supersonic. Arkadiy Kulikov, Unlock Games’ CEO and creative director, and Anton Slashcev, co-CEO and executive producer talk about what it was like to work with the Supersonic team to create the concept and make it into the top 10 on Android.
Unlock Games is a mobile game development studio based in Cyprus specializing in hyper-casual and casual games. The studio’s team is constantly experimenting with game mechanics and creating engaging games that users enjoy.
Casual game concepts for hyper-casual audience
The Unlock Games team is an experienced developer of games based on storytelling and decision. They noticed no hyper-casual games with such principles in the top charts.
The challenge was to turn a casual narrative game into a simple, accessible story that everyone would enjoy. The idea for «Become a Queen» was taken from a popular casual fun with a similar narrative, but Unlock Games made a change: focusing on the transformation and development of the female character.
The studio developed a prototype, which it tested with Supersonic. The CPI of«Become a Queen» was low at $0.32, which was impressive against the industry’s inflated CPI. This signalled that the game concept was in demand in the market, and Unlock Games began developing with the Supersonic team.
Content that never sticks
When creating a game based on storytelling, it’s hard to create unique content so that users don’t repeat the same scenario. Making the right content takes a lot of developer resources and time. In addition, the quality control process is complicated for this type of game because the game is not looped, and every mistake is isolated.
The Supersonic studio gave us the freedom to experiment, so we focused on the product.Arkadiy Kulikov, CEO and Creative Director of Unlock Games
Unlock Games continued to work on the«Become a Queen» build and add content, while the Supersonic team provided statistics and user feedback. At the same time, the studio worked closely with the creative and monetization teams to increase ARPU and lower CPI. A/B tests resulted in an average ARPU increase of 4% in D7.
Top 10 on Android
Through A/B tests, creative optimizations, and game improvements, Unlock Games and Supersonic turned«Become a Queen» into a profitable game that made it into the top 10 on Android.
By the time it launched, Unlock Games had created more than 1,000 builds of the game, which shows the uniqueness of the development process. Today, the studio is focused on creating more content and improving its monetization strategy.
The Unlock Games team has noticed increased engagement with rewards videos, so they are testing in-game purchases. The studio is happy to work with Supersonic. There are plans to optimize the game, continue climbing the charts together, and increase profitability.Anton Slashcev, co-CEO and executive producer of Unlock Games
Side note: Breaking the myth of hyper-casual games: creating long-term retention.