Think it’s madness to make a game without keeping the intellectual rights? You might be onto something, but hear us out. Here’s the scoop on why and how we’re doing just that, with a game called Pocket Trucks, set to drop in October 2023, published under the NimbleBit brand.
The backstory: How and why
After partnering with NimbleBit for several years with our Legacy Game Management service, we saw an opportunity to up the ante. Across their portfolio of games, they have a highly dedicated community – so dedicated that many fans have been with them for over a decade, with new players joining all the time.
NimbleBit is particularly famous for its titles Tiny Tower, Pocket Planes and Pocket Frogs. At SuperScale, we spotted an opportunity to create a new game with little-to-no risk for their Founder, Ian Marsh.
Brainstorming the game theme
Ever played Pocket Planes or Pocket Trains? They’re simple but addictive – hence the cult following. We wanted to bottle that magic and sprinkle some fresh ideas into the mix. After some serious brainstorming and market research, we leaned into the tycoon and idle game trend.
By examining trends and player preferences, we set out to identify the best target market for our game idea. Our findings pointed us toward the United States and English-speaking countries. That, and the fact that these regions have made up a substantial section of the Pocket games’ playerbase in the past.
With the genre and theme in place, we now needed a title. Our comprehensive analysis looked at words and phrases with the highest keyword effectiveness index (KEI) i.e. visibility potential. We also looked at virality potential and competition, finally landing on the title Pocket Trucks: Route Evolution.
How the business model works
Now you know how we developed the game’s theme, it’s important to talk about financing. When the game’s right, we work on a share-of-uplift basis. In other words, we invest our time, expertise and capital if necessary in the game upfront. In return, the owner – NimbleBit in this case – agrees to give us a share of the profit long term. People often say this sounds too good to be true. But given our breadth of expertise, and the capabilities we have under our roof, it’s not only possible – it actually works really well, creating great results for both parties.
Here’s how we work out a game’s financing structure, in three easy steps.
Step 1 – We analyze the game in a number of ways, not least running the numbers through SuperInsights, our analytics engine that underpins everything we do.
Step 2 – We set a guaranteed revenue baseline. Using NimbleBit as an example, we based it on pessimistic, realistic and optimistic scenarios as well as the performance of other Pocket games.
Step 3 – Finally, we set out a full projection of the game’s growth over a number of years, based on technical and business due diligence across each of the scenarios we mentioned. This helps us assess the full uplift over time and what kind of share will work for us and the game owner.
And voilà. NimbleBit’s creative genius, Ian Marsh, still calls the shots. We do the work, investing in a game we believe in, and our own ability to make sure that game succeeds commercially – for a share of the result. Everyone wins.
While we’ve been using this business model for many years, our recent $5.4 Series A funding has supercharged the resource we can put into games. That means we can take on many more new, active and legacy titles using the same uplift model.
Game sneak peek – Pocket Trucks: Route Evolution
Ready for the fun part? Pocket Trucks will take the player on a pixel-art-styled joyride through American cities. They’ll manage a fleet, earn rewards, and unlock some cool trucks and locations. With over 40 trucks and 110 cities, it’s a coast-to-coast adventure.
The game gives you various types of challenges to tackle, along with daily, weekly, and special campaign tasks to keep you engaged.
In a nutshell: Pocket Trucks brings together old-school charm and modern fun. Trust us, it’s going to be a ride you won’t want to miss. Happy Truckin!