Pixonic, best known for their hit tactical shooter War Robots, knows how to keep their player base engaged. War Robots still rocking the top grossing charts four years after its initial launch. We sat down with Fedor Belyh, Head of Analytics at Pixonic to talk a little about how GameRefinery helps them with feature development to stay on top of their game.
Where did Pixonic start out?
We started in Moscow in 2009 with a team of less than 10 members. As a social game developer and publisher, we worked both in Russia and abroad. But of course, already from the start, our goal was to release our projects and other developers’ projects in a number of international markets.
In the first few years, we launched a couple of successful products: Adventure Island, Airport, Domovyata, and others. Two years in, we changed the direction of our development and decided to focus on developing and publishing mobile games. And by then we had grown to a team of 40 talented people.
In 2011 we released our first mobile game Robinson about living on a deserted island, which quickly became popular, hitting App Store and Google Play top charts. And in 2014 we launched War Robots, which has become our most profitable project so far with 100 million installs and 1,5 million DAU.
Now we’re a team of 200 people in four offices.
Where does GameRefinery fit in your development?
One of the main challenges for our company is to prioritize the development of features that are both in demand by players but also provide maximum revenue. Alongside expert reviews and internal analytics, we use GameRefinery to help us choose the right features.
We use GameRefinery to aid our decision-making in several ways. Apart from Powerscore, we consider the probability of whether a game with a specific feature will be in the top 50. Conversely, we also consider what that likelihood would be if it doesn’t have that feature. To calculate this probability, we divide the number of games with/without a feature within the top 50 by the number of games with/without this feature across all games. We also check if that feature is used in successful games with a similar genre. For example, we used this approach for plan development of social mechanics in War Robots.
Another important use case that GameRefinery helps us with is market research. This is where Market Explorer and its genre and market filters have proven particularly useful. We try to find new niches and get insights before the development of new products: We analyze dependencies between the position in top-grossing, number of downloads, and release date. And check for similarities among different games. For example, it was useful to find out that there are significantly more franchise games within battlers than within other genres.
GameRefinery helps us allocate resources properly and prioritize. This helps us avoid putting effort into things that won’t bring value to our players. So we can build the best experience for our players both in War Robots and new products. The secret to War Robots’ success has been our correct understanding of its unique selling proposition. That’s why choosing the right features is very important for us.
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