Founded in 2013, Helsinki-based games developer, Small Giant Games, believes small, highly motivated, and experienced teams can accomplish giant things. Success in the casual mobile games market gave the team the appetite to create games that players could enjoy for months and years, with fabulous characters, rich animations, and multiple compelling levels.
A team of twelve created Empires & Puzzles, a role-playing game (RPG) with Match-3 battling. The game launched globally on Android and iOS in March 2017. The plan was to find the right combination of User Acquisition (UA) channels, user segments and creatives to allow Small Giant Games to scale the game profitably.
Given the very competitive RPG market, Small Giant Games needed to be agile and creative in their approach. Google offered the tools and guidance to help expand their ambitious marketing goals.
Painstaking research went into making Empires and Puzzles a must-play game. The game was initially marketed on a small scale to pull in data and learning and, when the metrics were right, marketing was scaled up. Google’s aim was to support Small Giant Games in exporting Empire & Puzzles into the markets they were having success with, localising campaigns for those markets, and testing for new territories.
Google worked with Small Giant Games, and moved away from Google Search and Google Display campaigns to focus purely on Universal App Campaigns. Measurement of success evolved from max installs to in-app events such as first purchase, levels, and tutorials. And the possibilities continue to grow, as Antti Paikkala, User Acquisition Manager at Small Giant Games explains: “Google has an incredibly vast audience, as well as a huge array of data points to find the right types of users. All of which allows us to experiment with different kinds of optimisation, and targeting. UAC just keeps getting more accurate, having more options, and becoming better and better.”
Within six months, Empire & Puzzles hit Top 20 positions in the major European markets, including number one in the revenue chart for Russia, on both Google Play and on the iOS App Store. Reviews on Play Store are glowing, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.
“We definitely think that part of our success comes from working with Google. Google has been one of the top sources for growth for us in the months we’ve been working with them.” - An Vu, User Acquisition Director at Small Giant Games
Check out Small Giant Games here!