Emoji Puzzle is Fun Velikan’s first hyper-casual game from founders Dmitriy Kurylev and Artem Oparin. After partnering with Supersonic to quickly publish their app, Dmitriy and Artem saw the addicting puzzle game reach the top of the charts across the globe in both the App Store and Play Store, generating significant profit from the first day it was launched.
Emoji Puzzle was globally launched at the end of August and was nominated among the top-10 most installed games worldwide by SensorTower for both September and October. Read on about Dmitriy’s experience growing their game with Supersonic.
Diving into hyper-casual development
Before getting started in hyper-casual development, I developed mid-core games on PC. But, my partner and I both recognized the major appeal of hyper-casual games - they get to the top of the charts quickly.
We began educating ourselves through online resources, like the ironSource blog. After two years of filling in the gaps and gaining hyper-casual development experience, we designed Emoji Puzzle. We knew we needed an interesting, new idea that the market hadn’t seen before because there were already so many hyper-casual games that shared similar concepts or themes. We were thoughtful in designing something that no one else was doing. With this in mind, we designed Emoji Puzzle after seeing many puzzle games on the top of the charts, and recognizing that an association game would have broad appeal with users of all ages.
As we were developing Emoji Puzzle, we knew that not only were association games popular with all ages, but emojis and simple game mechanics were two features that kids and adults both loved.
However, we didn’t have the resources and publishing expertise to get our game into the hands of such a broad audience ourselves. If we partnered with an experienced publisher that could help us show off the uniqueness of our app while applying their resources and industry insight, we’d have a better chance at success.
Finding a publisher that offered developer support and speed
Speed matters in hyper-casual development because the market for these types of apps shifts often and quickly - and clones are always waiting in the wings to compete with your idea. We needed a publisher that was efficient and could help us get our app in front of users as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.
Our previous experience with publishers showed us not every partner has this speed - it took 5-6 months to even get through the marketability test (which is only the first step of the publishing process) with publishers we tried working with before.
Not only were we looking for speed, but we also wanted a publisher who launched games like Emoji Puzzle. We looked into Supersonic’s portfolio and saw they had similar, simple puzzle games like Sort It 3D and Love Pins, and almost all of their games reached the top of the charts, which showed us they had the expertise, experience, and success we were looking for.
Game improvements and UA optimizations
When we first started working with Supersonic, users could complete all the levels in 30 minutes. But this reduced our ability to monetize, limited the game’s retention, and impacted playtime. So Supersonic suggested we make the following changes:
- Introduce mini-games
- Simplify game mechanics
- Improve the game design. This included adding an onboarding tutorial for the first level, adding 300 more levels, and polishing the game
After these changes, we stood out from other hyper-casual puzzle games even more - players had to match objects by topic, not similarity, our design looked authentic and fresh, we included a variety of tasks for users to complete, and we showed users the clear progress they were making through the game.
Getting from our first prototype to publishing took only one month.
Reaching #2 on Android and #3 on iOS in the US app charts
After less than 2 months from our first test with Supersonic, we transitioned Emoji Puzzle from an MVP to a full game, added the monetization layer, and started the soft launch - now we’re seeing Emoji Puzzle climb the charts of the app stores. With $0.22 CPI and D1 retention of 47%, we were looking forward to seeing how Supersonic could help us scale user acquisition. For creatives especially, Supersonic’s in-house creative studio helped us lower our CPI with a video that effectively showed off our different levels and mechanics.
They didn’t let us down - 5 days after the global launch, our game already reached #2 on Android and #3 on iOS in the US. The tremendous amount of creatives generated by the Supersonic team, coupled with our high LTV of more than $0.60, helped us keep CPI low and scale big, so we saw great profit margins across the board.
"The tremendous amount of creatives generated by the Supersonic team, coupled with our high LTV of more than $0.60, helped us keep CPI low and scale big, so we saw great profit margins across the board"
- Dmitriy Kurylev, Co-Founder of Fun Velikan
Collaborating with Supersonic quickly and easily
Having worked with a few publishers, we find that sometimes other publishers add unnecessary work without understanding the game fully. This adds to the time it takes to get through each step, leading to 4 or 5 months of back-and-forth changes that aren’t in line with the game concept or goals. But at Supersonic, the entire team really listened to us, understood our game, and supported our decisions.
Communication between us and Supersonic was excellent, which helped us quickly implement their suggestions and design tweaks. The entire process and how we worked together made us feel like we had a family on our side. We were able to fully launch the app in a short amount of time - compared to the 5 or 6 months it took us just to get through the first step with other publishers - and reach the top of the charts just 5 days after launch.
on Google Play Store