We have often stated that app creation and development work best when you solve a problem that a lot of people have. However, if you have a knack for games, they have the potential to be multi-million dollar enterprises. Gaming is said by many to be in its “Golden Age.” We don’t necessarily agree, but we do know that a lot of people are making a lot of money developing games.
DomiNations: Dominating 2015
DomiNations is the result of a collaboration between Nexon M, which is the Japanese arm of Nexon, and Big Huge Games. Brian Reynolds and Tim Train, responsible for a string of big sellers, finished the game in December 2014. Since then, it has seen 7.2 million downloads.
The game is now available across the globe. As of this writing, over 49.5 million battles have been contested on this game. The game is free to play, with players having trained over 1.6 billion troops. So far, over 166,000 players have created multiplayer alliances, involving the movement of 70.6 million troops.
DomiNations, if you haven’t guessed already, is a strategic combat game. It combines the elements of exploration, advancement and conquest with civilisations of the world from now dating back to the Stone Age. The app is free, but offers in-app purchases from $1 USD to $100 USD per item.
Despite all of its downloads, it is “only” a top 100 game in gross revenue. However, that still represents a lot of money. The owners and developers don’t know if they will surpass Clash of Clans, but they are happy with the way the game has progressed so far.
Chief Executive of Nexon, Owen Mahoney, is the happiest about the game turning out as he envisioned. He wanted to combine the game making talents of Reynolds and Train with the marketing and pacing talents of Nexon to create a great free to play game with the potential to “last and build a long time.”
Where does the Revenue Come From?
To advance in the DomiNations community, you have to spend money. It costs money to clear forests, train troops, build roads and do the other things necessary to advance. This strategy works well because it takes advantage of a trait common to all gamers: competitiveness.
A gamer can accomplish most of what they want without money, but it takes a lot of time. The developers are banking on people starting out free, getting a taste of the game and letting their competitive instincts take over. That is when users begin to open their wallets.
According to a Nexon infographic on DomiNations, 30.2 million forests have been cleared in the game. That’s 775,000 per day and 16.2 acres per year. 12,000 miles of roads have been created. The country with the most users is Japan and most battles are fought on Wednesday.
What it Means to You
If there’s one thing the smaller mobile app developer can learn from the “big boys,” it’s that you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. The market and format for combat games has been established for a long time. Whether a game is a standard combat game with contemporary armies and soldiers or a more fantasy based game with armies from all eras mixed with magical elements, a well-made game can make a lot of money for the developer.
The process of creating a game is different than coming up with an idea for an app, but there are some similar elements. You have your choice between trying to find something everybody will like or making a game niche-specific for a smaller audience.
You can even use the problem-solving approach. Play some popular games. Is there anything you wish one of your favorite games had but doesn’t? Can you change that game for a different audience or niche? Can you make a similar game with different characters and different rules?
If you would like to talk to the professionals here at SmarterApps about your idea, use the contact page or call us today: 0417 150 796.