How Japanese Dev Colopl Adapted Rune Story for the West

Developer Stories

November 23, 2015


min read

A great free-to-play mobile game is cooked to perfection when it combines clever monetization and intuitive gameplay mechanics. But make sure your monetization strategy remains tasteful or risk alienating your players. If monetization is turned up to eleven, you?ll go home empty-handed. Recently, we sat down with Colopl NI to discuss how they elegantly monetized hit action RPG Rune Story.

Here are 3 ways Colopl achieved success with Rune Story (iOS, Google Play, Amazon):

1. IAP Items With Loyalty Incentives

In Rune Story, players have the option to purchase a currency pack that adds something a little extra. The IAP item includes currency in the initial purchase as well as additional currency for every day of a given month where a player returns daily. The initial value of the currency pack is a great deal by itself, but then players can gain further value by returning to the game daily. Since most in-game items require this currency, it?s in the player?s best interest to return frequently. The subtle tweak to this IAP item?s perceived value results in boosts to monetization and retention.[caption id="attachment_12893" align="aligncenter" width="845"]

Image via Youtube

Image via Youtube[/caption]

2. Deceptive D1 Retention

A random character assigned to a player is a key component to Rune Story?s onboarding tutorial. Players who were unhappy with their first item would delete and reinstall the game, diminishing D1 retention metrics. This behavior, however, pointed to a high level of engagement even if the numbers were deceptive. By realizing this peculiar situation, the Colopl NI team avoided any foolish decisions.

3. Localize, Localize, Localize

Rune story is based on Tokyo-based Colopl?s massive hit The White Cat Project (????????). In order to appeal to western audiences, the Colopl NI team altered character design and added western holiday events (like Halloween). This move broadened the appeal of an otherwise niche game.[caption id="attachment_12892" align="aligncenter" width="900"]

Image via Youtube

Image via Youtube[/caption]