Mobile App Success Story: Hole.io

Hole.io is an app that has already cemented its place as one of the top free apps on both Google Play Store and iOS App Store. The simple yet addictive game is said to be in high demand because of the competitive twist it generates from its ‘Battle Royale’ style game mode.

Hole.io app is basically an online arcade game that allows players to control a black hole, which travels around the city, grabbing everything in its path. Released in May 2018 on iOS, the game has been updated at least five times in the last 2months. The last update occurred on the 4th of July, 2018. The game is currently available in version 1.2.0 and has been able to attract players in UK, Australia, Canada and the United States; over a very short period.

Brilliant Idea

Developed by French publisher Voodoo, the quick play concept adopted by Hole.io is something most games in the industry do not have. Since the time invested is ‘just 2minutes’, players get to see how thrilling the game is and keep coming for more. They do not even realize when they begin to invest a lot of time playing the game. They just want to have quick fun and Hole.io offers them that.
Hole.io takes players to a city that is open, allowing them to roam freely within the city.  The game, which is very simple only requires that the player’s finger is placed on the screen in other to control the black hole. As the black hole passes through something smaller than it, the item falls into the hole and earns the player points.

The first stage allows the player to suck up items like traffic lights, trees, pedestrians, and trash. Each item earns the player a different point. Small posts equal 1point, a bus equals 4points. Due to the game’s time-limit mode; players keep returning over and over, as the 2minutes is barely ever enough.
Hole.io also has a very realistic and detailed design. The game, which is beginning to surpass other Voodoo Games is designed with colorful 3D graphics and other details which makes it feel very realistic. The game’s graphics have been rated perfect enough to excite players and the publisher of Hole.io is being appreciated for this great aspect of the game.

How Hole.io Did It

The Hole.io app leverages the concept of Katamari Damacy. Players are reminded of this whenever they come across the online arcade game.

The game starts off with a black hole competing against several others. The player is tasked with ‘eating’ up anything that fits in the 3D city. The hole grows as you take in more items until you are big enough to swallow puny holes that are on lower levels than yourself. Whoever takes in the most items, within the game’s 2-minute run, automatically becomes the winner. Hole.io supports local multiplayer over Bluetooth; so friends can easily compete with each other for fun. Although the game generally contains some advertising when you are connected to the internet; its ease of use, enjoyable gameplay and regular developer update makes up for the inconvenience.

Hole.io Features 4 Playing Models:

  • Solo Run: This basically requires the player to gulp as much of the board as possible with a 2-minute time frame. The game ends once the timer runs out.
  • Local Multiplayer: This option allows players to compete against other players within the area, through a Bluetooth connection. The time limit is still 2minutes and the player with the most active hole wins.
  • Classic: Here the player is required to just ‘eat’ as many objects as possible, with the intent to become the largest hole on the board immediately the 2-minute timer runs out.
  • Battle: There is no timer for this particular model. The deal is just to be the last hole available on the board. This requires a head to head battle to achieve.

All these models only spur players to play more. The vibration alert each player gets whenever they gulp something keeps them coming for more. They get challenged to beat their own high score and become the ‘King hole on the board’.

Business Model

Hole.io; available on both Google Play Store and iOS App Store platform with a total of over 5million downloads and a steady growth rate in its 1.3million number of daily active users within the last 2weeks; adopts some really intense strategies.

Developer Updates And Feedback:

Voodoo is doing so well in this department. With apt attention to user complains, the company is always looking for ways to make the app feel better and be better. Recently the company gave a direct response to feedback by users requesting a mode without time limit. Thus the addition of the battle mode.

The company has been able to make users feel like they are in charge of the steering wheel, by listening to all their complains, giving them regular updates as regards the actions they intend to take and taking actual steps to make for a good user experience. These regular updates keep users guessing as to what the newest addition to the app will be.

Income From Ads and In-App Purchase

The free version of the Hole.io app is ad-supported. This is one of the ways the company generates revenue; through paid ads. Voodoo also understands how frustrating it can be to play a game with ads popping up every second. This is why they introduced the ad-free version, that requires the player to pay a one time fee of $2.99.  Players actually pay this fee to remove the ads and play uninterrupted because of how entertaining the game is. Either way, the company still earns. The app has been able to generate $8,200 and $618,500 from ads and IAP respectively.

Simple Yet Entertaining Concept

The company recognized the fact that most game players only want something that is not too tasking to keep them entertained. A lot of people play games for a few moments of downtime here and there to help them relax or keep them busy while in transit. All of which the Hole.io does so well. With an easy playing strategy that users figure out in seconds; the game has proven that less is more. The game which is basically easy to use and play; is also considered a bit challenging. This is the perfect mix to keep users entertained and interested.

Final Thoughts

In barely three months, Hole.io has generated a lot of thunder. This goes to show that the app has a lot of potentials especially due to its fun and entertaining set-up. The only off part about the game is the lack of good sound effects. This part is quickly made up for, as the app allows users to play music from another application while still playing the game. Apart from this slight hitch, the game is definitely a good one!

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