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Voodoo’s new KPIs are a ‘flexible, pragmatic approach’ for projecting a mobile game’s value 

Mobile developer Voodoo has detailed how it’s changing its KPIs in an effort to diversify its portfolio and improve the chances of its partnered developers bringing a game to app stores.

Interestingly, this change has already seen games that did not previously hit the company’s KPIs “turn into chart toppers”.

“Measurability of value has become a key factor in game publishing, a set of metrics that define what games get made, and which concepts are invested in,” said Youssef Gasmi, Voodoo’s communication manager. “Successfully understanding the core strengths and the impact a game will have before it is released is a vital part of the development process in mobile games. 

“But, after careful review and consideration, we saw that the measurements used to preview a build’s estimated success were often too stringent and restrictive. So we [noticed] that these key indicators needed to be measured in a different way.”

Gasmi adds that the company has now introduced a “flexible, pragmatic approach that accounts for multiple variables in projecting a game’s value”.

“On the product side, these include retention, playtime, win rates, game length, and future gameplay depth potential, to name a few. On the marketability side it includes CPI, CTR and estimated “niche” constraints,” he said.

The change “directly resulted” in the success of some Voodoo’s biggest games, including Cassette’s and OHM Games’ Push ’Em All.

“Misha Vrykhrystenko’s Woodturning 3D would not have been launched in 2018 based on past KPIs. It turned out to be a highly successful launch, with 62m downloads so far in just 3 months,” Gasmi said. “By acknowledging that retention and CPI are only part of the picture, we have reached many more players worldwide. The threat of restrictive KPIs is clear, and relying on them without flexibility can result in missed opportunities. This new system allows Voodoo and our partnered developers to support innovative titles, and enhance the approach to deliver phenomenal results with great games.”

Voodoo recently opened a new studio in Montreal, Canada in a bid to move “beyond hyper-casual” games. The announcement was made via a LinkedIn page in which game lead Mehdi El Moussali confirmed they will be leading the new studio, and a number of new positions on Montreal have been advertised on Voodoo’s career pages.

“It makes me happy when I hear that a new game studio is opening or expanding, those are great news for our industry,” El Moussali said in the announcement. “So today, I am thrilled as I am opening Voodoo’s new studio in Montreal that will be focused on creating games beyond hyper-casual!”

Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.