Throne Rush is a real-time military strategy game with elements of resource management created by Nexters in Moscow, Russia. With a fantasy setting in the land of Adergran, players rule their own kingdoms and bring them to prosperity while destroying enemies and capturing their wealth. Throne Rush is a sophisticated environment that offers 20 different buildings, ten types of troops, brotherhoods, and real-time battles and missions.
Available in ten languages, Throne Rush launched first on Russian social networks followed by a Facebook and cross-platform iOS and Android release completed in February 2014. By using Facebook tools such as Facebook Login, requests with action/object specified, friend invites, viral channels, as well as Facebook Desktop App Ads and Mobile App Ads, Throne Rush grew rapidly in number of players and overall revenue. The game now has 9 million MAU across all platforms and 3.5 million MAU on mobile.
Nexters’ strategy to take Throne Rush cross-platform paid off. Only three months after the Facebook and mobile launch, Throne Rush revenue hit $100K a day.
Synchronising the Facebook version with iOS and Android facilitated a 25% increase in Facebook.com loyal player-base as using Facebook Login, users were able to save their game progress regardless of the device they were playing on.
As a result, the number of paying users among cross-platform players is 4x higher for Throne Rush.
In addition to acquiring players and generating revenue, another benefit to launching Throne Rush on Facebook was retention. More than half of the active users stay in the game for over a month. Retention among multiple-platform players compared to single platform Throne Rushers is 3x to 4x higher.
Various Facebook tools helped Throne Rush expand the kingdoms. Throne Rush has experienced strong viral growth: their revenue has doubled every month since launch thanks to a variety of Facebook tools.
Facebook sharing channels for games like Open Graph and Share Dialog have bootstrapped a rapid viral growth of Throne Rush. Players are able to share their game activity like stories and achievements to Timeline or into their friends’ news feed.
Another feature that fuelled the growth of Throne Rush is requests. Nexters have created requests with added context by specifying an action and an object to ensure that requests are truly valuable and relevant to the player and relevant by adding an action and an object to the request.
One of the most desirable in-game resources is Mana and players are able to send ‘potions of sorcery’ to each other.
Customizing the language in the request to give players more information about what their friends are asking them to do in a game helped Throne Rush grow more effectively.
Throne Rush also created more exclusive and rare requests like giving ‘Crystal Shard’, a very desirable item, to a friend. Tying the request to an incredibly valuable player item drove a strong click-through-rate of 10%.
Requests and invites are also invaluable sources of both mobile distribution and re-engagement of players. For Throne Rush 20% of organic distribution on mobile platforms actually comes from Facebook thanks to these tools.
Throne Rush used Facebook Mobile App Ads initially to build an audience that could test and evaluate the game. Now, Nexters uses Mobile App Ads to expand its core audience and grow the number of daily players.
Throne Rush players acquired through Mobile App Ads demonstrate best-in-class lifetime value and allow Nexters to achieve ROI positive results quickly and effectively.
Throne Rush also taps into unique Facebook audience targeting tools, including Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences. Custom Audiences allow the developer to target ads to a specific set of people who they know are the target audience for the game based of information they know about them, like their emails or mobile advertiser IDs. Lookalike Audiences allow Nexters to target more people who look like their most engaged and most valuable players to find those that are likely to behave similarly. By using those tools, Nexters can enlist the best players for its game and make offers to them based on the players’ interests and behaviors.