Guide: Harnessing the Hybridcasual Opportunity

For the past handful of years, the rise of hypercasual has become something of an obsession for developers, publishers and investors alike. Truly cementing its presence in the F2P mobile game market through 2018, the hypercasual form arrived with dazzlingly low CPIs and the promise of beguiling even larger audiences than casual and midcore. Here…

Retention Framework: Keep Your Players Forever

Here at Department of Play, many of our clients are deeply interested in improving player retention in their free-to-play and paid games. The reasoning behind that fascination is fundamentally straightforward. The longer a player is retained the more time they spend engaged with a game, broadening their opportunity to spend. So far, so simple. But…

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…