Casual games developer Playrix has partnered with publisher iDreamSky to release hit match-3 game Gardenscapes in China for Android devices.
It’s consistently been one of the top revenue generating mobile games in the West and has continued to rise up the grossing charts. In the last two months it’s become a stalwart of the top 20 grossing rankings on the US App Store.
“Gardenscapes is a successful example of how match-3 and great storytelling can be integrated,” said iDreamSky VP Montgomery Singman.
Gardenscapes isn’t Playrix’s only hit. Its other titles Fishdom and Township have also proven to be successful. The Russian developers has found success in Asia with self-publishing: the number of successful self-publishing cases in Asia is very small, which makes Playrix quite special. In February 2017, only two non-Asian mobile game publishers had their titles included in the top 100 grossing charts for the three prominent countries in Asia — China, Japan and South Korea: Supercell and Playrix.
Gardenscapes Has Consistently Been One of the Top Revenue Generating Mobile Games in the West (Image Credit: Playrix)
The original Gardenscapes for PC was not a matching game, but a hidden object game. The mobile version was under development for about four years, and during the course of this soft launch, Playrix decided to shift their strategy from making a Hidden Object game to making a Match 3 game. This decision can not have been an easy decision to make. Most developers would sooner throw away a game than make such a drastic change so late in development. Regardless, PlayRix ported over the matching gameplay from Fishdom (their only mobile match 3 game at the time) and soft launched again in 2016.
Playrix must have seen promise with shifting away from Hidden Object, because after this change to matching gameplay, Gardenscapes grew to become the success we know today.
Publisher iDreamSky has partnered with a number of studios in the West to bring their games to China, including German developer Sviper for its title Wild City Rush.
Earlier this year the Chinese company established a $30 million indie games fund to help developers publish their games globally.
Craig Chapple for PocketGamer.biz
Adam Telfer for Mobilefreetoplay