Social Point has launched Tasty Town (because “Flavor Town” may already be under copyright), a free-to-play restaurant game for iOS and Android. This is the Spanish studio’s first launch since Take-Two acquired it in 2017 for at least $250 million.
It’s a take on the formula established in Diner Dash, but Take-Two’s Spanish mobile studio says that Tasty Town stands out from these games in several ways. This isn’t just a clone dash for cash.
“Dash restaurant games focus solely on delivering food against the clock, whereas in Tasty Town players can choose how they want to play — they can focus on building up their restaurant and farms, delivering food and/or serving food against the clock,” Social Point chief marketing officer Sharon Biggar said. “The beautiful art in the game is a big difference – we view high production values as crucial, so we took great pains to create truly appealing characters, food styles,and restaurant decorations.”
Restaurant games are a smaller niche in the $63.2 billion mobile market (according to research firm Newzoo). Another market analyst, Randy Nelson of Sensor Tower, notes that “the top 10 of these games by U.S. revenue last year grossed more than $92 million combined on both stores. To put that into perspective, the top 40 of these apps grossed about $100 million here in 2018.”
The top three restaurant games in 2018, Sensor Tower estimates, are:
- Cooking Craze (Big Fish): $28.8 million
- Cooking Fever (Nordcurrent): $20.06 million
Cooking Dash (Glu Games): $12.86 million
Tasty Town isn’t just about the restaurant — it involves farming, food trucks, and delivery (but no Digiorno). It’ll also have events, which games like Diner Dash lack. But the studio didn’t consult with chefs, food trucks owners, or farmers.
“No, we are not a sim in any respect, so we didn’t consult with real-life experts in those pursuits. Tasty Town is a game first and foremost, so our focus is finding the fun elements of farming, cooking, and delivering food,” Biggar said.
While free-to-play, Tasty Town does offer in-game transactions. Biggar said packages range from $3 to $10. You can spend money to speed up progress, but you won’t be doing so to skip through Harry Potter-esque timers.
Take-Two has pointed to Social Point’s games such as Dragon City as good earners before. Will Tasty Town be able to serve up similar revenue?