Mobile-social game developer Storm8 today launched tile-matching game Fruit Blast Mania for iOS from its casual social label TeamLava, the third social arcade title from the Redwood City, Calif.-headquartered company.
“When we decide to enter a genre, we decide not to be a one-hit wonder and will create multiple hits over time,” Perry Tam, co-founder and CEO of Storm8, told Inside Mobile Apps. “This is a great example of how we strategize our game launches to conquer a game genre to expand our footprint within the genre, and gain a user base by launching more titles.”
Fruit Blast Mania features two new modes for the tile-matching genre on mobile — Color Mode and Digging Mode. In Color Mode, players are tasked with matching a particular type of fruit, while in Digging Mode, users are challenged by navigating through the puzzle, unlocking hidden charms. Also, the game comes packed with 100 levels to play, and unlike many tile-matching games where players are pitted against the clock, Fruit Blast Mania features hand-crafted levels that were designed for users to solve each puzzle by strategically moving around tiles. Fruit Blast Mania also remains fresh for players by adding new obstacles to each level. Lastly, the game features asynchronous multiplayer gameplay where players can compete against their friends or family’s high scores for each level.
Storm8 launched its first social arcade game Bubble Mania in June 2012, which reached one million downloads in three days thanks to Storm8′s network it’s built up over the years. The game studio’s second social arcade game Jewel Mania launched in November 2012, and it’s constantly reaching the top 25 on the top grossing iPhone apps charts, according to our traffic tracking service AppData.
Speaking of Storm8′s gaming network, Tam says the benefits of a network include lower user acquisition costs because Storm8 can cross-promote games on its network, and the ability to extend a user’s lifetime, while reducing churn. Tam adds that a user who plays multiple games on its network are three-times more likely to continue playing Storm8 games compared to users who just play one Storm8 game. The network also allows Storm8 to monetize its users from multiple games. As an example of Storm8′s platform effect, the company spend zero dollars in marketing on Bubble Mania’s launch, despite the title generating more than one million downloads in three days.
“When we first started the company, we started with this network approach, which is different than a lot of other developers,” he says.
At the 2013, Game Developers Conference, CEO Perry Tam revealed deep insights as to how Storm8 grew without taking VC funding or plans to go public anytime soon. Although Tam wouldn’t disclose Storm8′s financials, he did point to app store analytics company App Annie’s recent report, which listed Storm8 as the No. 6 top grossing app publisher worldwide (No. 1 private company since the top five are all public companies). Storm8 was one spot above Supercell which is reportedly pulling in $1 million in revenue per day from just two games — Clash of Clans and Hay Day. He says App Annie’s report can give people a benchmark as to how well Storm8 is doing.
Storm8, which was founded in 2009, now sees more than 10 million daily active users across its gaming network, which consists of about 40 titles across five genres. Storm8 also accumulated 400 million total downloads across 200 million devices. Storm8 publishes games under its own game developer labels including TeamLava, casino label Shark Party and hardcore label FireMocha. Some notable titles from Storm8 include social casual titles like Pet Shop Story and Restaurant Story, massively multiplayer online role-playing games like World War and iMobsters, and social casino games like Bingo! and Slots.
For the rest of 2013, Tam says Storm8 plans to continue making games in the causal and mid-core genre, while expanding into the hardcore genre — all of which he sees as having potential for continued growth.