Carlton Forrester and Richard Harrison are the co-founders of Fogwatt Games and the developers behind the hit game Bead Sort. Carlton and Richard founded Fogwatt Games in 2019, after having worked together for several years on another software venture. Here Carlton explains how switching Bead Sort to Supersonic Studios got the game to #1 on Android and iOS in the US - in just 2 days.
Journeying into game development
I was a software developer for many years, but was always interested in game development. Then about four years ago, I started developing games as a hobby, with the dream of transitioning to it full time. I made about 12 games during this time but soon realized that few people would come to play my games without some sort of marketing - that’s why I began submitting my games to publishers.
Teaming up with Supersonic
I worked with many publishers over the course of a couple years. Eventually, I was introduced to Supersonic Studios, who I learned were backed by ironSource - that’s what caught my attention, seeing that ironSource is one of the biggest networks out there. I had a great call with the team there, and we decided to test a few games together.
We started with Bead Sort - a game that had previously been published, reached #100 in the top charts, but was stuck there and not moving any higher. Yet I still believed in this game and felt there was potential.
Hitting the ground running
Supersonic immediately saw the potential of Bead Sort. The day we decided to test it together, they started developing advanced creatives like playables and interactive end cards, optimizing the sets to find the best performing one ahead of the launch.
Similarly, the same day that I transferred the game to Supersonic Studios, their team started running user acquisition campaigns - and the game got to #4 on iOS. In comparison to other publishers, where the wheels turned a bit slower, this was the fastest turnaround I had ever seen. I wasn’t expecting such quick movement.
"This was the fastest turnaround I had ever seen. I wasn’t expecting such quick movement."
- Carlton Forrestor, Founder at Fogwatt Games
Once the scale of the campaign reached a significant point, Supersonic began optimizing both the creatives and the CPI strategy - choosing the winning creatives per each channel and geo, challenging them with new creatives concepts, analyzing the quality of each source and sub-source and constantly updating the CPI accordingly.
They eventually saw that the video and interactive end card was the best-performing creative set. It had an extremely high IPM - over 45. The creative was really the key to this launch, since that's what drove most of the traffic and pushed the game to the top of the charts. The high IPM let Supersonic bid low and keep a stable CPI.
This is how our user acquisition within the ironSource network looked like on the very first day:
On the second day, seeing how quickly the game jumped, Supersonic said the soft launch for Bead Sort was over, and we were ready to go global. It blew me away - we got to #1 on the app stores within 2 days. In fact, on Day 1, we had 1.2 million users playing the game.
Besides optimizing marketing, Supersonic invested a lot in pushing the LTV to be higher. Even without changing anything in the game, and focusing only on great waterfall management, we increased LTV by 20%, in comparison to the month before working with Supersonic. On top of that, Supersonic offered many recommendations to increase the LTV even further, such as adding more meta to the game improving ad engagement.
Everyone had the same goal
Throughout the process, the Supersonic team provided all kinds of feedback and assistance, including game design, technical support (especially important since I had no experience building games for Android, just iOS), and marketing and monetization. It was clear that everyone had the same goal - to make the game as good as possible.
For example, the game designers suggested starting each level with the beads already in the board, instead of waiting for the beads to drop into the board as it was before. This way, users could play immediately and even play up to two levels without hitting an ad, rather than viewing an ad at every level. Meanwhile, the monetization managers set up A/B tests, testing the frequency of the interstitials to make sure everything was aligned.
Great attitude, unmatched transparency
If I were recommending a publisher for other developers, I’d definitely suggest Supersonic. From the beginning, the attitude of the Supersonic team had been “let’s go, let’s do this”, which was very different from other publishers I had worked with in the past. With others, it was easy to feel lost in the system and feel like a cog in a big machine.
"The level of transparency Supersonic gives us is unmatched."
- Carlton Forrester, Founder at Fogwatt Games
The level of transparency Supersonic gives us is also unmatched. The team is great at sharing information with us as it comes in, keeping me in the loop on how things are progressing, while other publishers kept metrics more hidden. For example, three days after launch, Supersonic sent us charts on Slack about D3 LTV and again on D7 and D14, and explained their approach.
All in all, I’m very glad I made the switch to Supersonic.
iOS and Android in the US
Players on D1