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One year on: A deep dive into Cultist Simulator’s sales since launch – Pocket Gamer.Biz

Mathilda Gabrilot is communication supervisor for French writer Playdigious.

Playdigious is a France-based indie recreation writer that has been within the gaming business for some years now – we’ll have fun 5 years of existence in May 2020, yay!

Even although we’ve not too long ago expanded our exercise to PC and console with upcoming video games like Dungeon of the Endless on Switch and PS4, Turmoil on Switch and The Almost Gone on PC, Switch and cell, we have got some fairly good outcomes with premium cell video games, akin to Evoland 2 and Dead Cells.

Thus, we figured it might be good to share some numbers on one in every of our tasks that was launched a year in the past on cell gadgets and tablets: Cultist Simulator.

But let’s begin with a little bit of background on this undertaking. Weather Factory is the London-based studio that introduced you the occult Cultist Simulator, a recreation that’s deemed to mesmerize you with its gorgeous writing and environment.

The gameplay is easy sufficient in itself: by combining playing cards, you purpose to create your personal cult and entry immortality. However, you will have loads of trial and error to do earlier than you start to grasp what your actions are literally doing within the hope of progress, and likewise your personal survival – not simply from enemies and rituals, however even from every day mundanities akin to starvation, sickness, and despair.

Despite its fairly area of interest style, Cultist Simulator has tempted over 400,000 gamers on PC alone! And it was our job, at Playdigious, to port this mesmerizing indie gem to the cell scene.

We began engaged on Cultist Simulator cell in September 2018. It wasn’t our first rodeo for a PC adaptation on cell. At this level, we had already efficiently launched Evoland, Evoland 2 and Teslagrad, amongst different titles.

Compared to different tasks, particularly Dead Cells, which we had been additionally engaged on on the time, the controls for Cultist Simulator had been fairly intuitive to adapt to cell: drag and drop playing cards, simple sufficient. However, that did not imply it was with out challenges.

As talked about earlier, the sport has superb writing. Which means: textual content. A LOT of textual content. Enough for a 250 pages-lengthy e book. And this textual content needed to be seen and readable on screens manner smaller than your typical PC.

The UI was not a simple job to adapt both: we needed to ensure that each necessary ingredient was seen sufficient to the gamers, so we needed to rethink it to make it extra cell and pill-pleasant. This included many adjustments, amongst different issues:

• Modifying the place of the verbs, in order that they all the time present up on the identical spot of the display as an alternative of above the desk and playing cards
• Implementing new positions for UI parts, in addition to new and extra accessible buttons for “Pause” & “Play/Fast Forward”, to assist gamers with the rhythm of the sport
• An choice to indicate and conceal sources to not cluster the display with too many parts at a time

Cultist Simulator on PC

Cultist Simulator on cell, with an tailored UI

After seven months of improvement and a number of other rounds of QA to make sure the standard of the cell port, we had been in a position to launch the sport on April 2nd 2019, simply in time for the BAFTA Game Awards, which included two nominations for Cultist!

But the sport launch wasn’t the top: we nonetheless labored on Cultist Simulator cell, whether or not to supply updates to enhance the consumer expertise and repair points, or to arrange for the DLCs.

A year later, on April 2nd 2020, right here is how the sport seems to be like on cell by way of knowledge and content material:

Cultist Simulator cell’s sales evolution in a year

• About 130ok Downloads [~75k on iOS, ~55k on Android] and three.5k Downloads for the Dancer DLC [~2.2k on iOS, ~1.3k on Android], for about $463Ok in income as of March 30th

• four.eight/5 score on iOS, four.7/5 score on Android
• Additional content material with three paid DLCs: Dancer, Priest and Ghoul
• Additional languages: Cultist Simulator is now obtainable in English, Simplified Chinese and Russian

All three DLCs are actually obtainable on cell!

Not unhealthy for a distinct segment recreation like Cultist, eh! Who stated premium cell video games had no future?

But let’s study these obtain figures extra carefully. Here is how the sales chart for Cultist seems to be from May 2019 to February 2020:

Download sales for Cultist Simulator, from May 2019 to February 2020

We can clearly see spikes in sales linked to actions carried out on our finish, like reductions or the launch of latest content material with the DLC, but in addition with that includes.

It’s fascinating to notice that reductions appear extra impactful on Google Play than Apple – though that could possibly be as a result of manner larger Android market, plus the truth that a reduced recreation is simpler to identify on Google Play, with the common value being crossed out and the chance so as to add the low cost on the sport’s icon, including extra visibility.

On the opposite, when a recreation is on sale on the App Store, the one option to truly inform folks about it’s to put in writing it down within the description, however that that includes on the App Store results in increased sales numbers than Android.

One spike round June 19th appears that it is not associated to any precise motion on the shops, however it might be linked to Lottie’s put up about Cultist Simulator’s cell efficiency, revealed a pair days earlier than this date.

Our largest markets for Cultist Simulator cell, as of March 18th 2020

It’s massive shock, however China and English-speaking territories are the place the sport bought essentially the most. The inclusion of Simplified Chinese undoubtedly helped reaching out to gamers in China. UK’s third place might be linked to the BAFTA wins and the truth that it’s a British recreation.

All in all, 75% of our sales occurred in solely three international locations: the US, China and the UK. When including the opposite 5 main markets which might be Canada, Germany, Australia, Russia and France, that quantities to 92% of our whole sales.

Cultist Simulator’s iOS rating evolution is the US from April 2019 to March 2020

One cause for Cultist’s good performances lies in its general good score and rating. Indeed, regardless of its area of interest enchantment, the sport has managed to stay within the Top 100 of the “Card” class regardless of a slightly excessive value level of $6.99.

This issues on the long run, because it ensures a sure visibility for the sport even months after its preliminary launch. Such visibility is closely boosted by short-term sales and that includes from the shop.

Cultist Simulator’s iOS rating evolution is China from April 2019 to March 2020

Beyond these figures, there are two issues we will take away, not solely from this undertaking, however from our expertise within the premium cell recreation market on the whole.

On one hand, the score is essential. In normal, we have observed that if a recreation (particularly a premium one) dips under a four/5, it ends in an enormous drop in income and downloads. At Playdigious, we often be sure that the bottom a score will go is four.2, to have some margin.

If we discover a drop, we examine to search out out the place the issue is coming from… But typically, there’s not a lot that may be accomplished (like, when some persons are giving a 1-star evaluate to demand we add a sure language…)

On the opposite hand, the score itself does not assure success. In truth, both a premium cell recreation will attain a sure threshold of downloads, and its income will begin getting fascinating… Or the consequence will likely be a bit delicate, even with the assist of a function from the shop and/or an excellent score.

All in all, Cultist Simulator was, and nonetheless is, a extremely enjoyable undertaking to work on, and we’re glad to see it obtain such good outcomes on the cell platform!

PG Connects Digital #1 is the perfect of our Pocket Gamer Connects convention in a web based kind, with a complete week of talks, conferences, and pitch occasions going down from April sixth to the 10th. You can register for the web occasion right here.

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