Kongregate Developers

Case Study: Tyrant

Key Notes
ARPU on Kongregate is double that of Facebook for Tyrant
2 million plays/month since launch, with a user purchase rate of over 2%
Major in-store GameStop promotion August 2011

Background & Gameplay

War Metal: Tyrant, developed by Synapse Games, is a collectible card game that launched in February of 2011 on Kongregate. The gameplay is a series of short, focused card duels played with 11 card decks. Players are able to embark on a long campaign as well as challenge other players’ decks asynchronously in individual or team battles.

Kreds & Monetization

Monetization is primarily focused on sale of cards and booster packs, with only a small amount of revenue (less than 10%) generated from stamina/energy refills. A special “Elite’ membership is generally the first purchase for a player — it costs $10 and gives the player $20 worth of in-game currency, as well as access to the card store. This serves as an effective way to introduce players to in-game purchases and has helped contribute to a high purchase rate (2.23%) among users.

Kongregate & GameStop Promotion

Kongregate works closely with each developer to manage a marketing plan for their game. The site has provided multiple front page features, created by our graphic designers, to help raise awareness of the major releases for the game. These spots in the “Featured Games” section can increase the concurrent users in the game by 2000–4000 throughout the entire promotional period and lead to significant spikes in revenue.

Tyrant was also featured as a major in-store promotion across nearly 6000 GameStop stores in August. This promotion involved handing out physical cards to store customers, an employee incentive competition to tell people about the game, and a $10,000 contest prize to encourage gamers to try Tyrant.

Community & Social Features

Communities on Kongregate tend to be game-centric, so in-game communications and relationships are very effective at building strong and competitive communities. Tyrant uses factions (a type of guild) to build these kinds of bonds among players to create both cooperative and competitive pressure in the game. This social interaction leads players who are in factions to have an ARPU twenty times higher than non-faction members, and the 6% of users who are in factions make up more than 55% of Tyrant’s revenue.

Synapse logo

Tyrant is developed by Synapse Games. Thanks to Alex Reeve, CEO and lead developer for Synapse, for providing us with data and insight for this case study.