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Whaleapp has reached 40 million mobile game downloads thanks to Blitz: Rise of Heroes, the first midcore title released by the casual game creator.
The Israel- and Ukraine-based company has seen growth of 158% in the last three months, and Whaleapp’s flagship titles – Hidden Hotel, Family Zoo and now Blitz: Rise of Heroes – have amassed 40 million installs.
Whaleapp released Blitz: Rise of Heroes worldwide on November 9 on iOS and Android, and the title now has more than 100,000 daily active users just weeks after launch, said Ziv Kitaro, director of product management at Whaleapp, in an interview with GamesBeat.
It is not the first time that Whaleapp leaders have been successful. Ilya Turpiashvili founded the company with Lev Metchnik and Sergei Portnoy.
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Turpiashvili (and his brother Haim) co-founded Plarium in 2009. Thanks to the strength of Facebook and mobile titles like Stormfall and Total Domination, Plarium grew to more than 1,000 employees. In 2017, Aristoctrat Leisure acquired Plarium for $ 500 million.
Turpiashvili left the company and founded Whaleapp in 2018, and the success of the first company became a magnet. Whaleapp has been able to hire more than 500 people during the pandemic, a time when many other companies have struggled to hire people.
“This is a company created by people who really love business, who love games, who really want to turn games into a business, and everyone is doing the best they can,” Kitaro said. “Ilya participates in all the meetings and it is not about micromanaging. It’s about being involved and being loving. “
The first games were casual titles that had a lot of polish, as Whaleapp wanted to create casual games (titles for male and female audiences with great appeal) that were built with the care and polish of triple-A games. He also put a lot of emphasis on the meta to keep fans coming back.
Their goal was to overcome the prejudice that casual games were of lower quality. So the company doesn’t skimp on production values, Kitaro said. The company’s first two casual games, Hidden Hotel (a hidden object game) and Family Zoo, were hits on iOS and Android. The company also intensified its user acquisition and community management efforts.
Now the midcore title, one that has a hardcore theme but can be played in short periods of time, used the same process. The game has the complexity and depth of play of great turn-based fantasy RPGs, but is played with the ease of idle RPGs, the latter generally seen on mobile devices.
A soft launch gave Whaleapp the opportunity to fully test each major game system, further polish individual battles and boss encounters, and work on the game’s narration in real time. The company also tested the game on a wide variety of Android devices. Blitz has 4.5 stars out of 5 on Android and iOS.
Kitaro said that Blitz: Rise of Heroes is over-publishing. It has been the most successful title to date in terms of number of downloads, revenue, and user satisfaction. The game is also proving popular across borders, languages, and countries (including the United States, Germany, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom).
The company said its retention rates are higher by 10% or more compared to the top five competitors, and the average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) is higher by 50%.
“We are the youngest company to reach the top 10,” Kitaro said. “We are also one of the most lucrative gaming companies in Ukraine.”
Blitz: Rise of Heroes is coming to PC in Q1 2022. The idea is to create a PC version of Blitz that can run on anything.
With Apple’s focus on privacy over targeted advertising, it’s more difficult to get accurate Identifier Advertiser (IDFA) data. And that means the company has had to be smarter when it comes to user acquisition. And the company is increasing its marketing spend and adopting influencers. He has also recruited more people to his Discord channel as he prepares to enter PC gaming.
“They love the complexity, they love the fact that you have all these different characters,” Kitaro said.
The company has also started working on more games, including one based on IP, and will be making a big update for Blitz in the future.
“We will focus on both mobile devices and PCs in the future,” Kitaro said.
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