Chronology and The Successful Multiplatform Strategy

Chronlogy

About a week ago, Chronology was released on the iOS platform with great success – but it seems we have only just seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Chronology. Initially released for the PC in early 2014, the team behind the game hopes to be able to release on Android, Windows Phone, Amazon FireTV, and eventually also consoles in the future.

 

Additionally, the PC version is not only available on Steam, but also GOG.com and Desure.com. A true multiplatform experiences thus seems to be what the Danish developers at Osao Games is aiming for with Chronology, and it is something that has been at the very center of their publishing strategy right from the start.

“Going multiplatform has been a core strategy of ours from day one. We have built our own technology that allows us to deploy to a broad variety of platforms, and we wanted to make sure as many people as possible got to experience what we have been working on.”, CEO Thomas Nielsen explains to Nordic Game Bits.

To prove the power of the self-developed technology, Thomas Nielsen mentions that the mobile version of the game is nearly 100% identical with the PC version. In fact, the only major difference is the business model. For whereas the PC version is a paid game, the mobile version deploys a freemium-alike model where the first chapters is free, but additional chapters will have to be bought in-game.

 

While it would undisputedly have been easier to make the mobile game a paid app, the very fact that Chronology uses a different business model on the mobile platform has been a key factor in the success of the game, according to Thomas Nielsen. He emphasizes that, “It’s important to choose models that the audience are comfortable with.”,  and continues by explaining that “The reason we didn’t just make the iOS version a paid app is that it is extremely difficult to be successful with that model. The vast majority of apps that are downloaded are free, so you only really reach a small part of the AppStore with the paid model.

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An existing brand might have been able to successfully pull off a paid app version of Chronology, but for Osao, the primary goal has been to first of all build brand awareness. Something that is much easier to do with a freemium game.

“We come from nowhere, with a new, unknown brand. Building awareness of something like that is almost impossible, unless you find a way to get people to see and experience your product. Free is an amazing way of doing that – In a couple of days we had over half a million downloads, which means that a huge amount of people got to experience the game in a very short period of time.  Only a fraction of these people will buy the game, but now we’re at the back of people’s minds, and have started building a brand”, Thomas Nielsen explains.

 

rjsA2RjSucceeding with a multiplatform strategy is no easy task, and while the funding received from DFI (the Danish Film Institute) and CapNova definitely helped Chronology, it takes more than cash to maintain such a strategy, according to Thomas Nielsen. “If you’re going cross platform, know what you are doing. It’s hard, and requires a lot of knowledge about how the different ecosystems work. We were lucky to have experience from a number of platforms already, that helped us a lot.”

One of the most talked about concerns regarding mobile game publishing has recently been the rising costs involved with user acquisition. But while you may not have a bank account filled with acquisition money, Thomas Nielsen mentions that there’s still hope, as long as you make amazing games!

“Unless you have the power (money) to buy users, your only chance is to make something that literally blows people away when they see/try it. Don’t hit middle ground!”

 

 

Do you have any experiences with multiplatform publishing? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Authors
Sune Thorsen

Sune is not only a gamer and writer who wishes his keyboard-typing-speed would translate directly into Nintendo 64 controller agility, but also the co-founder and CEO of NordicGameBits.

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