Deconstructing Supercell’s Match-3: Hay Day Pop

What Is It? Launch Date: 16 March 2020.Status: Soft Launch (New Zealand, Australia and Finland).Genre: Puzzle / City Builder.Similar to: Gardenscapes, Toy Blast, Hay Day and Candy Crush Saga. Supercell, the studio behind Clash of Clans and Clash Royale, are revisiting their first breakout hit, Hay Day. However, where Hay Day was a farming sim…

It’s Our First Birthday!

18 months ago I started thinking about lots of big questions: How will we work in the future? What are the problems facing games companies? How can I help? As these questions bounced around my head, I began to realise the answer was incredibly interconnected. I believed there was a demand for some kind consultancy…

How We Make Remote Working Work

Our CEO Will Luton talks about why we chose not to have an office, the great things it did for Department of Play and the great things it can do for you too. When I founded Department of Play, I was used to working in huge companies, with huge buildings jam-packed with facilities that seemed…

Lessons from Warframe: The Silent F2P Hit

Warframe is a silent success that has defines what a free-to-play PC and console hit can look like: High production values, slick gameplay, hardcore mechanics and monetision that keeps players happy. Launched by Unreal co-creators Digital Extremes in 2013 – as the studio’s last ditch attempt to save itself – the title was met with…

Four Monetisation Alternatives to Loot Boxes

It is increasingly common for our clients to ask us to advise on player-friendly monetisation that explicitly excludes loot boxes. And this is a timely way to be thinking: Following Belgium’s outright ban on loot boxes, causing devs including Nintendo to pull games from the region, a committee of MPs in the UK last week…

Is Apple Trying to Kill F2P with Arcade?

Yesterday Apple announce the launch date for their new Apple Arcade subscription service: Thursday 19th September. And along with the date they showed off a bunch of games, including Konami’s Frogger reboot, Capcom’s underwater adventure Shinsekai: Into the Depths and Sneaky Sasquatch from my buddies at RAC7 (I played an early version of the game…

F2P, Regulation & Our Responsibility To Players

This article first appeared as the opening column in issue 20 of Wireframe. Free-to-play has brought gaming to billions of new players across the globe: from the middle-aged Middle Americans discovering hidden object puzzles to the hundreds of millions of mobile gamers playing MOBAs in China. People who wouldn’t (or couldn’t) buy games now have…

4 Predictions for Hypercasual in 2019

Just when the mobile F2P market was threatening to get stale, along came hypercasual. As the star of 2018 with Zynga snapping up Gram Games for $250m and Voodoo raising $200m from Goldman Sachs, where does the genre go next? Here’s my key predictions for 2019. 1. CPIs Will Rise Hypercasual is predicated off buying users…

The Principles of Building A Game Economy

What Is It? Economics is a large field of study covering how and why the production, consumption and transfer of items occur. For example, the UK’s economy is defined by the complex flow of money between corporations, households and the government. Why Is It Important? As games become more complex with currencies being created, used…

Read Mathematics of Balance for Free

Today new industry magazine Wireframe hit shelves across the UK. My eight page article The Mathematics of Balance: Part 1 features, giving a complete introduction to curves and probability. While the mag costs a measly £3, you may know that I’m a big fan of free things. Well, the good news is you can download…