Gametion: A Unity case study
How does a studio translate a nostalgic Indian strategy board game to a mobile gaming app and reach a vast range of gamers? A simple concept with a short learning curve brought many nongamers into the realm of the Ludo King mobile app.
To take a simple and familiar game concept and give it massive global reach
Simple development and rich features for rapid growth
When Gametion chose to develop Ludo King on the Unity platform, the simplicity of the platform meant less trial and error, saving costs in time and resources, and ultimately produced tremendous and rapid growth.
On Google Play:
- 1 million installs in <25 days post launch
- 100 million installs in <500 days (that’s less than 1.5 years)
- 475 million installs since launch (the highest of any Indian game developer to date)
- Top of the charts in India and many neighboring countries in various categories from release to present (including No. 1)
An engine fit for a king
In 2015, when Gametion first set their sights on developing a mobile game that would be loved across generations, they were still searching for the right game engine to work with. Until then, Gametion had produced mostly online Flash games; they were new to the mobile development market.
“To be frank, back then I was not aware of what game engine or platform was best to work on,” says Vikash Jaiswal, CEO and Founder of Gametion Technologies. He did some research and consulted friends who were already developing games – they all suggested Unity.
“Finally, I chose Unity for two reasons: 1) you can code once and deploy to any platform, like Android, iOS, and 2) the interface is so easy to work in.” Since Unity reduced the overall complexity of development, Gametion was able to quickly add game features and launch Ludo King in 2016.
A game that crosses communication boundaries
The nostalgic aspect of Ludo King helped engage family members spanning generations. The COVID-19 pandemic also boosted the popularity of multiplayer games like Ludo King as people felt a greater need to connect with each other.
By using features such as increased frequency of push notifications, Ludo King saw a tremendous uptick in traffic.
- Over 51 million daily average users (DAU) during the peak of lockdown
- Monthly active users scaled to over 185 million
- Player daily engagement exceeded 50 minutes
Recruiting made easy
With Ludo King’s skyrocketing success, scaling while remaining responsive to users was a top priority. Although the mobile app is based on a simple, traditional board game, its multiplayer element combined with rule variations throughout the world generated the need to respond to player expectations. This meant finding and onboarding developers quickly.
“Today, players have an eye for detail,” said Vikash. “We believe the key to maintaining success is to hear what your players need and respond by adding short features with faster turnarounds.” Thanks to Unity’s ease of use and expansive repository of documentation and online forums, Gametion was able to quickly hire and train developers. As a result, there was little to no learning curve when onboarding developers. “If we had used any other platform, there would have been a massive learning curve.”
Regular SDK updates
Ensuring the game continued to run smoothly even as traffic exceeded 10 times the norm was key. For Gametion, player experience is of utmost importance, including monetization elements such as in-app purchases (IAPs) and serving ads with minimal lag time. Unity’s regular SDK updates allowed Gametion to run Unity Ads without issue, including smart caching of ads and fast loading and display times.