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Ketchapp and the changing face of the mobile game market

 




If you were playing mobile games in the last few years, chances are that one the games on your smartphone or tablet was one published by Ketchapp. One of the most prominent and prolific mobile game publishers, hits like Stack, The Pit and The Line Zen cemented its reputation as one of the most important players in the market.

Things, though, have changed. 

If you look at the top game lists on Google Play or the Apple App Store, when was the last time you saw a Ketchapp game? This isn't a criticism of Ketchapp but a reflection of the changing times in the market.

Tie Dye, Fruit Clinic and Curvy Punch 3D are the top three free games on Google Play at the time of writing. The first two are made by Crazy Labs and Lion Studios, the third by Voodoo.io. 

The rising popularity of Voodoo.io's games and their ability to work out with surgical precision what the market wants, has made their games a regular feature on the top lists. Other publishers like Lion Studios, Crazy Labs and Kwalee, for instance, have also managed to tap into emerging trends with great success.

Was being acquired part of the problem?

I wonder if part of the problem was being acquired by Ubisoft? 

Ubisoft was excited about acquiring a company with exposure to a fast growing area of the gaming market, one it could leverage its portfolio of well known IPs for growth.

Mobile games move quickly and you can't force a traditional large game company mentality to them. With hyper-casual games, Ketchapp's specialty, you have to react quickly to the market and see what is getting the best results, modifying your product accordingly. There is no time to sit and debate. You have to follow the data.

Voodoo.io understands this perfectly and I think their attitude has helped them capture gamers that might have gone to Ketchapp. 

Will Ketchapp bounce back?

I think Ketchapp could bounce back if it looks to the data driven approach by Voodoo and others. It needs to adopt a reactive mindset and put out games people will keep coming back to. 

Puzzle Blast was their most recent game (released in June) and reached around 100K downloads on Google Play, its focus on painting and sculpture was certainly different from a lot of other games the company has published and is a step in the right direction. 

It will be interesting to see what other games it puts out and where it chooses to go. 

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