How GameRefinery Helps Guide Decisions At Rovio

Rovio has rocked mobile gaming since 2009 with the launch of Angry Birds, now a staple of the industry with over 4 billion downloads across the brand’s 17 games. As the Rovio team works to deliver the next big thing into the hands of players, they need tools that help them find new opportunities and make the right development decisions. We sat down with Bugrahan Göker, Product Manager at Rovio, to discuss a little about how GameRefinery helps guide their vision in the right direction.

Let’s start with your daily workflow, how does GameRefinery fit in?

I use GameRefinery daily to stay up to speed on the mobile gaming market.  I check my emails every morning to see if any new games have entered the top 200. So that I’m able to see what other games are doing in the genre I’m working on – usually mid-core games, e.g., 4X and RPGs.

One of the tools I use the most is Market Share because it helps us find the right categories for new projects. We can look at Market Share for really valuable insights, to see if there are new games in the West or if there are changes in the top competitors of each category.

Is there something unique that only GameRefinery’s market data can help you with?

GameRefinery helped us understand what type of game art style is the perfect fit for our game. When we were working on a 4x game, we checked whether competitors are using realistic or cartoony art styles more, or whether they are making fantasy games or modern games. So it was handy to see what other top grossing games are doing in terms of art style – it’s how we found our art style direction.

Visual Explorer was useful for identifying app icon trends as well, and Game Names helped us find the right keywords for a unique fresh title. It gave us the tools to look into the optimal length of titles in the 4x category. For example, we found that games with an average of three words (with a combined character length of 15-20 characters) had a higher top grossing rank and that there were some common keywords these games are using.

Have GameRefinery’s tools helped you find inspiration?

GameRefinery’s tools that cover implementations are great for ideas.

Implementation Examples is excellent for seeing how other games implement their features, which gave us ideas on how we can execute the same feature in different ways and make ours unique. 

Likewise, FTUE videos help me gain inspiration from Eastern markets. The industry is moving faster there, and western games often follow trends that were already pioneered a year earlier in the East. But I don’t have access to those games here (and I don’t speak Chinese). GameRefinery’s First Time User Experience videos let me see the first 10-15 minutes of gameplay and the included tags explain the progression of gameplay. Thanks to FTUE videos I know what’s happening, what players are doing, whether it’s core game or an in-game shop. All valuable insights.

How does GameRefinery help guide your decisions?

GameRefinery doesn’t just help us with research and major design choices. Having GameRefinery’s data even helps us with simple decisions. For example, some in the team were wondering whether we should or shouldn’t have gachas in this type of game. Based on the data, it was clear that gachas are a common mechanic in all top grossing games, and with a really high revenue impact as well. So after presenting the team with the data, it was a no brainer to convince everyone.

When we have opinions and ideas about something, it’s good to back those up with data. Especially when we have a couple of ideas coming from everyone, it’s essential to know what other games are doing to see if we’re on the right path. GameRefinery supports our decision-making process because we can use all of these things we can’t find on other platforms to drive our decisions.


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