The creators of Crossy Road just wanted to make a simple, yet fresh remake of the all-time arcade classic – Frogger; it ended up becoming one of the most downloaded, highest income generating mobile games of all times grossing more than $10 million from Reward Video ads alone.

So, what’s the thing that made Crossy Road stand out, and earn so much?

First of all, there was a lot of luck involved in the process, because the timing was perfect for that type of casual game to hit the market.

Second, the way the game designers designed video insertion points was very smart. So what can a game developer take from Crossy Road’s effective design?

  1. REMAIN SIMPLE

The game was done in a simple “box” or “3D pixel art” style, with Unity Game Engine. Tt does feel like an updated version of Frogger, with a ton of wacky characters. The general goal of the game is to cross the road with your character, avoiding various obstacles like predators or cars in an endless run.

With extremely intuitive and easy tap-and-swipe controls, this game is easy to learn, but hard to master! It helped engage players to keep coming back.

Crossy Road: Fun and intuitive gameplay, and a seemingly endless choice of different characters and levels

Another great thing with Crossy Roads is the in-game rewarding system. Players get to buy characters for in-game currency or real money, but as they progress through the gameplay, they get quite a number of gifts in forms of different characters, in-game currency and others.

The way Crossy Road deals with rewarding their players, in order to help them unlock new characters makes their players engage in the game more

2. FOCUS ON CREATING ENGAGEMENT

Crossy road has lots of meme-looking characters that made gameplay visually appealing, simple and at the same time hard to master.

So, let’s sum up how did they manage to engage so many players:

  • Simple and intuitive gameplay that’s easy to learn, yet hard to master; making it challenging for players, but not too hard either.
  • Several Fun characters and level design: This made players feel the game has countless opportunities to grow and master the game.
  • Luck factor – few minutes to the game, game players will find out while it is a skill-based game, there is also some luck involved.
  • Reward video ads insertion points: Insertion points for reward video ads are subtle and well planned. It creates the feeling that watching videos can help game players progress faster. The wait time to refuel are quite short and within reach (not like Candy Crush 24 hours cycle)

Reward video ads offered in some situations, but not every time player reaches a certain point, affect players to think of them as rare, and choose to play them practically every time there’s a chance for it

3.  VOLUNTARY VIDEO ADS – VIDEO AD INSERTION POINTS

Another amazing thing Hipster Whale thought of was video ads insertion points throughout the game.

After players learn the basic mechanics and start to earn in-game currency and go through the game, the reward video ads subtly appear as an alternate to in-app-purchase. One shift from the standard monetization strategy is, they did offer reward video ads for game players who do pay for the game.

Another change from standard monetization strategy is the user of restraint. That is, once players have spent some time in the game, they are offered a way to speed game progress but same time didn’t feel like a game cheat.

A combination of simple design, focus on user engagement and smart reward video Ad placement are few of the things game developers can take from Crossy Roads interesting journey to riches.