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Playtika’s game studio Wooga is launching Switchcraft, a narrative-based match-3 game that has been in the functions for a couple of years.
The title is the initial new game launched given that Playtika went public at an $11 billion valuation in January. As such, it is an crucial game for Playtika and it speaks to the company’s technique of letting game developers devote a lot of time on development to get their games ideal.
The developers began their conceptual work on the game in 2017, which is a lot longer than it ordinarily requires to make a lot of mobile games. But Nai Chang, managing director at Wooga in Berlin, stated in an interview with GamesBeat that most of the work was carried out throughout the last 18 months in the pandemic. That was tough to do, but the group has invested a lot into the game.
For instance, the title has more than 1,000 levels at its outset, and the narrative is woven in nevertheless cutscenes all through the levels, Chang stated. The game is out there today on iOS and Android, and it is out there in 12 languages. Match-3 games are a crowded category, and so the stakes are higher. But Wooga is going immediately after an underserved segment with the story emphasis, Chang stated. He said the audience is more female focused, but may perhaps also be younger than the usual audience targeted by Wooga’s games.
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Switchcraft has totally-realized characters from diverse backgrounds. That’s an try to get men and women involved in the narrative and make the story appeal to wider audiences. The world of Switch craft is also immersive, marrying the narrative with match-3 mechanics.
I asked if the corporation utilised machine mastering to test all of the levels, but Chang stated that the group mainly utilised humans for that testing. Shlomi Aizenberg, who heads up Playtika’s casual games division, stated in an interview that Playtika is investing heavily in technologies such as machine mastering to aid with user retention, user acquisition, and improvements in gameplay.
The work was greenlit and began ahead of the departure of Jens Begemann, founder of Wooga. But it also took on a substantially diverse development path immediately after Begemann left, Chang stated.
Investing in story
The casual game requires players on an interactive journey by way of the eyes of a female protagonist exploring her magical powers.
The game’s protagonist is a young lady — Bailey Ward — who lives in a tiny town in Massachusetts. Bailey requires players on a winding journey filled with witchcraft-themed puzzles and interactions, featuring a diverse set of storylines constructed to enage players.
While match-3 is new to Wooga, the emphasis on story is not. Wooga’s best game is June’s Journey, a hidden object game that follows the adventures of a primary character. That game debuted 4 years ago and it is nevertheless going robust. That proved to Wooga that players will come along for the ride if the studio invests heavily in a mystery narrative that goes on for a extended time.
“In the last four years, we’ve changed our company vision to really focus on story-driven casual games,” Chang stated. “In my mind this is what sets us apart from all other games in the genre. Our focus on the story is clear when you first start playing. The amount of narrative world building and immersion is what Switchcraft brings for mobile games.”
The modern magical theme all through Switchcraft adds dynamic and unpredictable components to the story, taking players on a journey of exploration and discovery as they opt for their personal path by way of the evolving mysteries. It has also adopted a exceptional, graphic-novel art style and a diverse cast of characters.
The game features a majority BIPOC primary cast of characters headed by a robust female lead, creating it distinctive in the casual puzzle games sector. Wider diversity, like nationality, sexuality, and disability, is embedded all through the story.
The game has been in soft launch for a even though. At the outset, the retention wasn’t as superior as it is now. And the corporation added more components to make sure players got hooked on the narrative, Chang stated.
Playtika can aid Wooga obtain more customers, as it has a month-to-month active user base of 36 million players across all its games globally, stated Aizenberg. Playtika has 19 offices about the world. Wooga has about 300 men and women now, with teams working on several games.