Mobile App Success Story: How Reigns Did It

Swipe left or right? This is the question asked by the players of Reigns, a popular game based on geometric visuals which appear like a deck of cards. We want to make it clear from the start that you won’t find the answer to this dilemma inside this article. Instead, we will try to decipher the strategy behind the success of Reigns.

Image Source: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reigns/id1114127463?mt=8

Brilliant Idea

Reigns was built by Nerial, an independent game studio created by François Alliot, an indie developer in collaboration with Devolver Digital, a digital entertainment company. The game was launched in August last year for all the platforms in the same time. The rules are simple. You are the King. Cards appear in front of you containing different challenges sent by peasants, advisors or enemies. You will need to swipe right in case your answer is “Yes” or left if you deny that request. These decisions will reveal different consequences for your people, church, army or treasury. You will need to manage these four elements in order to avoid the situations when they are empty or full. That point is equally with your death as a king. If you thing about it, this technique is inspired from the strategies used by some of the leaders in real world.

Image Source: http://nerial.co.uk/reigns-original/

How Reigns Did It?

As we said before, we won’t tell you what to answer for each card. We will try to find the path followed by the creator of Reigns to acquire loyal players.

Brave Premium Model

Premium model is a powerful weapon for those who know how to sell their product. When you recognize the potential of your app, this decision comes naturally in the moment you need to put the game on the market. Reigns cost $2.99 which is considered a fair price for players to pay if they want to enjoy the entire adventure. More than 700 cards are displayed randomly in order to create an engaging experience for all types of users. This is not all. In case they reach that point when they die, the game is not over; players will start again as successors. This is their opportunity to learn more from their past lives and to improve their results. Just look at the image below which describes the results after just one month.

Image Source: https://www.polygon.com/2016/9/15/12927968/reigns-mobile-pc-ios-royalty-tinder

Royal Reviews From Experts

When you are trying to promote a paid app, it is very important to have press on your side, to see how reporters mention your app and especially what they say about it. Game review sites, like TouchArcade or AndroidCentral have a big influence over a huge number of players and don’t forget how impressive it is to see your app in an article published by TechCrunch. Every effort made in this direction is vital for spreading the word about your app. Word of mouth proves answers results when you need to convince users to pay a fixed fee before discovering the game.

Image Source: https://www.androidcentral.com/reigns-beginners-guide

Rewarding Laurels

We always say that the moment when Apple and Google agree on recognizing a great app, it means that we are talking about a real winner. This is also the case of Reigns which was featured in special lists of both app stores. It is not an easy job to impress Android users and iOS adepts at the same time. It would be amazing if more and more creations would reach that point, especially in a short period after their launch. The fact that the game is built on a binary system with short sentences randomly displayed for a bigger impact definitely convinced users to invest many resources in the gameplay. The detailed article where the creator of Reigns explains his strategy is very impressive especially because he encourages indie developers to follow their dreams but at the same time he recognizes that there isn’t such thing as a general formula for the success of a mobile app.

Image Source: http://nerial.co.uk/reigns-original/

Whole Dynasty

When you discover a successful plan nothing stops you to recreate it in form of other games and features. Usually, if users enjoy your app, they ask for more. And what is the point to design infinite levels of the same game when you have the opportunity to bring innovative and more interesting tools to entertain your audience. The condition is to create a trustful brand and to build a long-term relationship with your loyal customers. We can give you here a valuable example because of the follow up of Reigns, called Reigns: Her Majesty is about to be launched this fall. This seems to be the feminine version of the magnificent game and it was mandatory to talk about it before observing the differences between those two approaches.

Image Source: http://nerial.co.uk/reigns-original/

Bonus Tip: Combine Different Ideas

Let’s say it again: swipe left or right. Does this concept sound familiar? Of course, especially if you used the same moves for one of the most famous dating apps, Tinder. Who would believe that this scheme would function for a game? Actually, François Alliot observed the advantages provided by this idea. He also got inspired from the political landscape after he moved to UK. The result is an easy to play game which allows users to control the action with one hand while they can focus on the events that happen around them, especially when they are in a bus or in a supermarket. You can observe here the contrasts between the simplicity of these activities and the complexity pictured by the struggle to satisfy everybody’s requests in a kingdom.

Image Source: https://www.polygon.com/2016/9/15/12927968/reigns-mobile-pc-ios-royalty-tinder

Final Thoughts

Now you understand how to build a story kingdom around your game. You need to decide your strategy and to find the right solutions for your creation. The conclusion is that in mobile marketing just like in Reigns, there are many factors which will influence the evolution of your app, but you need to find the right balance between essential elements. Think about that for your next campaign!

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