Presented by Scopely
The mobile games industry is growing at breakneck speed with the competition for players’ attention at an all-time high. With more variety and choice than ever before, it’s no longer enough to produce a few novelty hits — gamemakers, such as Scopely, must continuously aim to build the most rewarding, immersive experiences that are important parts of players’ lives today and for years to come
Yahtzee With Buddies, our social player versus player (PVP) game based on the classic dice game from Hasbro, has seen its biggest successes yet in the past 12 months, five years since it first launched.The game has far surpassed $500M in lifetime revenue and sees players on average spending an hour of their day rolling dice, taking more than 110 turns each day.
We’ve learned a lot along the way and identified some key drivers of this growth that can serve any gamemaker, across genres, on their quest to create an unforgettable experience for players.
Spend time within the casual game genre and you’ll likely notice there’s typically a limit to the amount of identity you have as a player within those experiences. With Yahtzee With Buddies we wanted to break this rule and early on realized that while our players were enjoying the core game experience, there was a clear opportunity to build a stronger sense of community, more immersively inviting players to a truly social experience. We thought a lot about how we could invite a deeper sense of belonging and ownership with such an iconic brand, making every individual feel like the gameplay experience is uniquely theirs.
Leaning into self-expression, we introduced more personalized content like profile picture frames, vanity dice (over 1,500 different dice in our game today), custom celebration animations, and a monthly goals and rewards system which provided players a more immersive experience than many casual games can offer, keeping them coming back. Over time we saw that the more personalization elements we introduced through richer player profiles, the more players wanted to engage.
There are specific challenges that come with being entrusted with a brand as iconic as Yahtzee. While the original Yahtzee gameplay is what attracts players, we recognized a need to experiment and evolve it for the mobile experience. In 2019 alone, we introduced six new game modes, building on the foundation and stakes of rolling different Yahtzee combinations. By reinventing a classic game and discovering new ways to present it, we created some of our most popular features ever.
Tournaments, with new configurations like Solitaire and Bingo, and Survivor, our 100-player-per-arena live experience, offered a fresh take on Yahtzee and a new variety of gameplay that resonated with our players in different ways to drive engagement even more — giving them new goals to reach for, new challenges to discover, and more to share with one another. These features have been hugely successful in retaining longtime players, by tapping into the competition and chance at the core of what makes Yahtzee so fun.
This should come as no surprise: casual players have a more enjoyable experience when they can share it with others. Beyond integrating with social media friends lists and building a rewarding invite system, we found success in designing features specifically to reinforce the social fabric of our community, which spans generations all around the world.
Almost 70% of players engage in our core PVP game mode each day, and over a third belong to a Yahtzee “Family” where they can share gifts, challenges, and win great rewards. Players consistently tell us that meeting people from around the world and making new friends through Yahtzee is one of their favorite parts of the game — we’ve even had a wedding or two result from connections made!
Offering players the choice to play Yahtzee collaboratively, through our Families feature, or competitively, through Tournaments, broadens the experience and adds to the ways our players can communicate and enjoy the game together.
We are extremely proud of the continued growth and positive player response of Yahtzee with Buddies over the last five years, which has come as a result of continually challenging the traditional interpretations of our core game mechanic and pushing the boundaries of our genre. Through everchanging themes and live operations, innovating on ways to personalize the player experience, and investing in the social and community aspects of our game, we’re focused on keeping our modern interpretation of a classic game fresh and fun for years to come.
Beth Nations is Senior Director of Product – Growth at Scopely.
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