Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Ilyon Dynamics, one of the leading casual mobile game developers on the market. You probably know them as the owners of the original Bubble Shooter game, which is one of the most popular casual games currently on the market. On Google Play Store, Bubble Shooter currently sits on 100+ million downloads and 4.2 user review score with over 560k reviews. We asked Ilyon some questions many of you will hopefully find interesting and here’s what they had to say.
How did it all begin?
It all began in 2013 when four friends decided to create a mobile game version to the highly popular Bubble Shooter game. A game that has been played more than billions of times on the web.
How many people were included in the making of your first game?
How many people are working at Ilyon now?
More than 150 workers.
Your global hit Bubble Shooter got over 100 million downloads on Google Play only. It’s one of the most downloaded games on mobile devices in general. Can you share the ingredients required for such a successful game?
Of course. A combination of love to the game, attention to details, and being very attentive to the users. We keep adding new content, measuring our game vitals (crashes and ANRs), and monitoring user satisfaction (reviews, ratings, retention, and engagement).
Also, before adding new features, we consult with our teams to make sure it’s a real added value to the users.
After adding the feature, we release it in a phased release and keep monitoring the user satisfaction and vital metrics mentioned before.
Can you share the number of players at the moment on all platforms?
Our company has more than 700 million installs and millions playing daily.
The game is still being updated regularly, how long do you plan on releasing new content?
We try updating the game at least once a month.
We heard you have a pet-friendly office, does it include the exotic animals? Unicorns, manticores, dragons?
No unicorns or dragons, but a bunch of pop dolls and furry, four-legged friends🙂
What are you working on at the moment?
We focus on several exciting casual titles- Match 3s, Tap 2s, and Bubble Spinner games. For example this new title – Island Blast
Can you tell us about the direction you plan on going in the future? Any particular genre?
We’re still focusing on casual games, but try to diversify our portfolio with more gameplays and adding new exciting features. For example, social, competitions, quests, and some more surprises that will be unveiled during this and next year!
Any advice for the small indie teams who just started working on their first games?
- Love your game (if you don’t enjoy playing it, don’t make it, it’s going to take a big chunk of your life)
- Start small and iterate (don’t invest too much in a new game- Create the minimal viable product (MVP), see if it achieves relevant retention and engagement metrics and only then add more content
- Plan your monetization (at the initial phase of the game, you need to know what is your monetization strategy- IAP, Static ads, rewarded video, etc..), because much of the game flow and economy will be affected by it.
Nonetheless, don’t invest too much time in your monetization at this phase, as it will take a very big part of your time and might not really indicate if your game will be lucrative or not.
There you go, if you plan on making your own games you should listen to the big boys’ advice. They didn’t get there by pure luck, but by strategy, dedication, hard work and, by their own words – loving what you made is the key ingredient.
We thank Ilyon Dynamics for taking the time to answer our questions, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they have in store for the future.