When we look at hyper-casual games, we not only see unprecedented growth in market share but also a minimalism technique that can be merged with other game mechanics. Whether it's a battle, simulat...
Our CEO and Co-Founder, Burak Vardal, met with the leading technology and economist press journalists last November, soon after the announcement of ByteTyper, Zerosum, and Creasaur Entertainment acquisitions, and answered the most anticipated questions. From key factors to Rollic’s success to reasons behind Rollic’s M&A strategies, this series, which consists of three parts, gives an in-depth look into Rollic’s vision of the mobile gaming and hyper-casual industry. Let’s dig deeper into “Rollic Yanıtlıyor” and its content.
Part 1: 2021 Recap and Acquisitions
In the first part of “Rollic Yanıtlıyor,” Vardal starts by giving us a recap of how 2021 went for Rollic and what it brought to the company, explaining that it was a hectic but equally successful year. High Heels! became the most downloaded game in the US App Store in Q1 and led to the acquisition of Uncosoft, the partner studio of the title. Following High Heels!’ success, Hair Challenge became the most downloaded game in the US App Store in Q2, which raised Rollic to the leader position, with two games being the most downloaded game, two quarters in a row. The success of Rollic continued in Q3, with Arrow Fest being the most downloaded game in August and Rollic surpassing 1 billion downloads overall. Vardal finishes the recap by stating that Rollic has published 60 games with 62 partner studios overall, consisting of 42 Turkish studios entering Q4.
The video continues with the Q&A portion, where Vardal answers acquisition and studio-related questions:
- “What factors do you consider and pay attention to when acquiring Turkish studios?”
- “Are there any cities that attract your attention in terms of game studios in Turkey?”
- “What kind of benefits are there for the founders of acquired studios?”
- “What do you do with game studios that don’t perform so well?”
- “How involved is Zynga in studio acquisitions?”
Vardal explains that due to Rollic’s publishing nature, the company works closely with every partner studio, knows their way of doing business and that Rollic can follow their development and work, which leads to a customized approach to each studio to allow them to realize their best potential and performance. He explains how he believes every region with a university can form a studio to be a potential partner, talks about the kinds of benefits Rollic experienced after being acquired by Zynga, and how he wants to give those benefits to the acquired studios. To watch this episode of Rollic Yanıtlıyor, which offers an in-depth insight into studio acquisitions and Rollic’s dynamics with its partner studios, click below!
Part 2: The Game Ecosystem in Turkey and New Generation Game Design
In the second episode of the “Rollic Yanıtlıyor” YouTube series, Vardal talks about the game ecosystem in Turkey and how new generation game design has an important effect on games’ successes. Burak answers some important questions about the gaming ecosystem:
- “How do you preserve the human resource of the acquired studios from other large companies?”
- “Has the level of developers working in the Turkish game industry increased? What are you doing to ensure its continuity?”
- “How long does it take to develop a successful game? How many people work in a team?”
“What makes a game TikTokable?”
Here, Vardal talks about the importance of the team’s founders’ and leads’ talents and how it affects the team’s production and development, supporting academic programs that help the progress of game developers that can lead to recruitment, new-generation game design, and much more. Burak discusses a new type of game design which he calls “Tiktokable,” where the animations in the game and the character mechanic are influenced by the new generation. He gives the example of High Heels!, which had a significant impact on Gen-Z and caught an organic reach on TikTok. This new kind of game design that started with High Heels! later became a model for other hyper-casual game developers for the rest of the year. To watch the full episode that gives a detailed look into Turkey’s game ecosystem and this new generation game design, click below!
Part 3: Mobile Gaming: Business and Innovation
In the final episode of the series, Vardal answers questions related to business topics:
- “As Rollic, apart from Hyper Casual, would you think of a business model like 'play-to-earn?’”
- “How much do you notice a local developer (studio) that develops games for other platforms?
- “Do you see any advantage or disadvantage due to the fluctuation in exchange rates?”
- “What do you think are the long-term benefits for Rollic from the progress of operations under the Zynga umbrella?
Vardal talks about how Rollic’s perspective of publishing games is not limited to the traditional hyper-casual mentality because of the continuous out-of-the-box updates they bring to the industry, such as the real-time online leaderboard of Hair Challenge or the themed events. Such novelties mix hyper-casual’s fast production and scalable concepts with detailed updates leading to a high-retention genre that cannot be defined as mere hyper-casual gaming. He also talks about how Rollic’s know-how consists of mobile gaming, but that Rollic is supportive of Turkish companies that publish games of other genres. Here’s a fun fact about Burak Vardal: his favorite PC game is “Bannerlord,” made by a Turkish gaming company! Vardal also talks about how the fluctuation in exchange rates affects Rollic and the team and how operating under the Zynga umbrella affected Rollic’s production and business. To get more detailed information about Rollic’s perspective of business and innovation in mobile gaming, click below and watch the final episode of this informative series!