Founded in 2019, Dream Games is a Turkish mobile game developer with offices in İstanbul and London. Their first, and for a while the only game, Royal Match, brought huge success to its developer and carried the company over multiple milestones. At the beginning of its journey, Dream Games was the fastest unicorn in Türkiye and the fourth company to achieve over $1 billion valuation.
Until Dream Games set foot on the stage, the king of puzzle games was Candy Crush Saga, ironically developed by King Digital Entertainment. Both games depend on the same fundamental dynamics. They are match 3 or tile-matching games. But what Dream Games did cleverly was to slap a face to the game, which is the initial step to make it easier for people to bond with the product. Let’s take a look at both games’ Google Play descriptions to see which is easier and more encouraging to bond with.
As you can see, Royal Match revolves around King Robert, a person with a name and face who depends on you to guide him through some tough situations, while Candy Crush asks to blast sugar and spread jam. Opposed to what Candy Crush did, Royal Match offers a context that resembles a backstory and an adventure that the players progress through, giving a more meaningful purpose to play through hundreds of levels where you do the same thing: Match 3. It’s not a highly complex story, but it’s a story.
On the other hand, SensorTower attributes the success of Royal Match to its aggressive paid user acquisition strategy, which led to 61.5% of its downloads originating from paid channels. In its analysis, SensorTower also gives credit to Royal Match’s “captivating” features like the “Summer Pass” and the intriguing “Hidden Temple” minigame. However, we still think taking advantage of fundamental human psychology is a greater factor and also a basis, a foundation to build more meaningful things onto, like minigames or spin-offs. This brings us to their second game, Royal Kingdom, in which King Robert’s brother, King George, emerges as a protagonist.
As anyone can quickly notice, the “story” of Royal Kingdom is a bit more complex. Not to the extent of leaving the core concept, it’s still an easy-to-understand single-dynamic game, but enough to give the developers the freedom to add elements to the game to make it more fun and improve its replayability. In Royal Kingdom, players are not confined to helping a king decorate his castle or escape tough situations, but they are introduced to the clashes between various kingdoms. In this game, players can build their kingdom, expand it with various buildings and facilities, and attack other kingdoms. They still do all those through a simple mechanic: matching tiles. But it achieves multiple advantages this way.
First of all, it further improves the story and concept, which has the potential to encourage the players to become more invested in the game. It also provides a sense of achievement through kingdom improvements. The ability to attack other kingdoms will surely play to the requirements of more competitive players and attract them. There is another catch that lies in the ability to attack other kingdoms. The game encourages players to invite their friends to the game to attack their kingdoms. This dynamic alone can improve the game’s word-of-mouth marketing, where players urge their friends to play the game and try to crush their kingdoms.
According to AppMagic, so far, Royal Kingdom has achieved almost 2 million lifetime downloads, whereas Royal Match has roughly more than 200 million. Royal Match also generates a significant part of its revenue from the US, which makes sense, considering that its first-ever TV commercial was intended to target the US market.
Royal Kingdom generates the bulk of its revenue from the UK so far, and the downloads are sourced from a very limited number of countries compared to Royal Match. It’s obvious that the little brother, King Richard, has a long way to go to match his older brother, King Robert. Nevertheless, considering that it’s still on the soft-launch and Royal Match had a headstart, it’s early to say that Royal Kingdom will be overshadowed by its older brother.
Dream Games is a hugely successful mobile game developer with only two games under its belt so far. Considering the features and evolution of their games, it seems that they focus on quality rather than quantity at this point. If Royal Kingdom can organically expand its player base and Dream Games launches an aggressive marketing campaign as they did with Royal Match, the two brothers will undoubtedly extend their reign and grasp the genre with an iron grip.