Founded in 2007, Innogames is a company of developers born with the aim of creating free titles for browsers, and that over time has expanded to the mobile market. In the year of its tenth anniversary, Innogames can count on an increasing number of employees and sales of almost 200 million euros a year.
During Gamescom, we got to talk to some members of the company to find out what the ingredients are about their success.
Developing a free game for browsers and mobile requires a different approach to that of a console title. In this case, the goal is not to sell a finished product but to offer users a product that can accompany them over time. In the case of a console game, with the exception of the game, the game has a predetermined duration that, however wide it may be, is always present.
In creating a mobile title, however, Innogames developers intend to create something that players can constantly come back with, without ever stopping playing.
Obviously, this is something easier said than done. Why do you convince a player to play back to a title on which he has already spent a good deal of time? First of all, the time between a game and the next must have meaning for the player to be tempted to make it spend as little as possible.
This is where the rewards system comes into play, now used by many titles: the more you play, the more you get rewards that, in turn, invoke to play, creating a seamless circle. The desire to play is kept high by the presence of continuous updates and regular challenges, which keep the gaming experience fresh.
The functionality of this method is soon demonstrated: Tribal Wars, a title originally launched in 2003 for browsers, still counts millions of active users along with its sequel, Tribal Wars 2 , confirming it as one of the company’s biggest achievements.
The game is nice when it lasts so much
As we said, therefore, time is a key element for this type of video game: the time we spend on a title, the duration it can have in the long run.
All Innogames titles have (and continue to have) a long life thanks to the continued support of the company, which continues to introduce new products to the market. Of course, some types of gameplay are better suited to this market model, and Innogames specializes in strategic and management, genres that stand out, among others, for intrinsically set up time.
Part of the success, however, is due to the choice of the devices. Innogames, as we said, started by broswer, then went to smartphones. The common denominator is obvious: we all have a PC smartphone, nowadays.
And opening the digital store to installing an app is something so immediate to be mechanical for new generations. This is why Innogames has chosen to focus solely on the broswer and mobile market: it is the market that more than anyone else can really reach anyone.
Consoles grind impressive numbers, but if you can find a person without a console, it’s almost impossible to find anyone without a PC or smartphone. That is why the Innogames titles are not even converted to consoles after their release: in the company’s view, the investment would be far from being fruitful. Even in the case of a portable console, such as PS Vita or 3DS, or even in the case of a hybrid like Switch