How Standoff 2 improved retention rates by over 60% with Vivox

Learn how Axlebolt studios integrated Voice Chat from Vivox four years after their mobile game’s launch to supercharge their in-game community and gain a 63% increase in day 90 player retention.

Axlebolt Studios and Unity Gaming Services

Axlebolt studios is an international mobile game developer founded by gamers for gamers. Their flagship title, the mobile FPS Standoff 2, launched in 2017 on Android and iOS – but it wasn’t until 2021 that the Axlebolt team decided to empower player communication through Vivox’ mobile-optimized Voice Chat features.

  • The challenge

    Improve the in-game community and player experience with a proven voice chat solution that works well with mobile

  • Launched

    2017, integrated Vivox in July 2021

  • Platforms

    Android, iOS, Huawei Appgallery

  • Engine

    Unity

  • Genre

    Mobile first-person shooter

ゲーム内チャットで既存のプレイヤーコミュニティを活性化する

Empowering an existing player community with in-game chat

Building a community relies on communication. For Axlebolt, after four years of success with Standoff 2, they decided to supercharge their in-game community by adding in-game voice chat. By partnering with Vivox, they were able to launch new voice chat features to players quickly and boost their long-term retention rate by more than 60%.

The results

  • Connecting more than 2.5+ million daily active users across Android and iOS with voice chat
  • Powering over 400 minutes of chat per player per month
  • Increased ARPU by 12% 
  • Increased day 90 retention by 63%
The results

Building a stickier game

Building a “stickier” game with voice

How do game devs track the strength of their in-game community? One major metric is player retention. Being able to track the amount of players who return to Standoff 2 day after day is a clear sign of the “stickiness” of the game and the community it provides for players. 

Since launch, Standoff 2 showed nearly double the average Android FPS retention rates from day one through day 90 – but after integrating Vivox and effectively enhancing the community-building features in-game, their long-term retention numbers skyrocketed. 

In addition, this boost to long-term player retention drove Standoff 2’s ARPU up by 12% – meaning Axlebolt could keep on creating new experiences for their players. 

“Voice chat is unequivocally a must-have mechanic for multiplayer games.

“In our opinion, voice chat is one of the fundamental mechanics that supports the competitive nature of a shooter game.

“When we introduced voice chat, our long-term retention increased considerably because our midcore/hardcore players need to stay in touch with fluid gameplay, manage combat tactics, and just generally socialize with other engaged players. At some points the players have started returning not only for the gameplay, but also for the social aspect of being a part of the Standoff 2 community.” – Salah Sivushkov, CBDO

Building a mobile-first multiplayer title

Building a mobile-first multiplayer title

Axlebolt set out to build a game that they would want to play themselves. In a sea of FPS mobile ports, they sought to create a mobile-first experience designed for the players gaming from the palm of their hands. 

In their research, they found that the average mobile FPS didn’t satisfy their own expectations as gamers, especially projects ported from an existing PC or console title. 

Axlebolt’s goal with Standoff 2 was to create a fully self-sufficient gaming experience on mobile – and now, with the game going five years strong, they’ve succeeded. 

Prioritizing the player experience

Prioritizing the player experience

For Axlebolt, their main priority is user experience – focusing on developing what gives the player the best gaming experience, time after time. Standoff 2’s updates are prioritized based on user feedback and features that will improve the mechanical and aesthetic experience of the game. 

“Our main priority is user experience, quality of life. We try to imagine what gives the best possible experience to the user. We try to listen to our users a lot, and not to roll out features because they’re ‘hip’ or ‘trendy’ but because the users talk to us as a community. We want our game to be mechanically and aesthetically pleasing.” – Salah Sivushkov, CBDO

As part of that goal, in 2021, Axlebolt decided to offer an in-game voice chat solution to players in a game update to improve the gameplay experience for their player base. 

“Voice chat became a reality within one of the major patches, connected to the gameplay adjustments. We made a decision in favor of an already polished solution. 

“We could have developed some algorithms and features of voice chat ourselves, but it would have taken a considerable amount of time, postponing a release. We chose in favor of bringing voice chat to our users quickly, so they can enjoy it as much as possible.” – Timur Yalchibaev, Lead Developer

 

Supercharging the in-game community

Supercharging the in-game community

With multiplayer games, a self-sufficient in-game community is essential to the livelihood (and enjoyability) of the game – and Axlebolt takes their community seriously. 

The Axlebolt developers foster their competitive gaming community by setting up tournaments, encouraging discussions and content sharing on social, and are even planning an e-sports league dedicated to Standoff 2. 

But what about building community within the game itself? Axlebolt found that the addition of in-game voice chat to Standoff 2 was crucial in improving the community experience. 

“There is no game without the community. When we just released the first patch containing the voice chat integration, our users were incredibly happy with that release. Nowadays, it’s difficult to imagine Standoff 2 without voice chat. This element has definitely made a massive impact on user experience and gameplay.” – Timur Yalchibaev, Lead Developer

Tackling voice chat for mobile

Tackling voice chat for mobile

Implementing a seamless voice chat experience on a mobile title presents a few unique challenges – such as quality of hardware available (mic, speakers), echo, reduction of background noise, and more. 

All of that is covered by Vivox out of the box, and does not require additional resources or inputs from the development team.” – Timur Yalchibaev, Lead Developer

With Vivox, Axlebolt had access to a trusted in-game chat solution equipped with built-in mobile-optimized features. 

  • The Automatic Recovery System kicks in to keeps players connected when they temporarily lose internet connectivity when moving between connection points
  • Smart Platform Audio Management ensures the player has the best audio and communications experience no matter how they’re playing – automatically configuring the audio devices on the handset depending on what the user is doing in-game.
Timur Yalchibaev, Lead Developer

“It was considerably easier to deal with the hardware-related processes by using Vivox. A lot of processes, such as noise cancellation, echo, post-processing, reducing sound artifacts from a speaker and other algorithms – all of that is covered by Vivox out of the box, and does not require additional resources or inputs from the development team.”

Timur Yalchibaev, Lead Developer
Salah Sivushkov, CBDO

When we asked our players about the most beloved features, Vivox voice chat has easily made it into the top five.

Salah Sivushkov, CBDO

Empower your players with a trusted in-game chat solution

Mobile-first multiplayer studios like Axlebolt put gameplay first and rely on trusted solutions from Unity to improve their player experience. Tried and tested at scale, and evolving with industry changes, Voice and Text Chat from Vivox help foster an in-game community and keep you ahead of the competition.

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