PvP hit Match Masters has now earned Israeli studio Candivore over $200m in IAP revenue, with over 50m downloads to date.
It is now regularly pulling in $7-8m per month in IAP, according to Appmagic data.
And after the success of localised influencer marketing starring the likes of pop star Robbie Williams, Candivore has its sights on the US market, says cofounder and chief creative officer Zur Tamam.
Originally launched in 2018, Match Masters was first created by the core Candivore team as part of Israeli studio Funtomic. “The company got sold to this guy who called us and said ‘I don’t really like the project, I think we’re gonna close it’” Tamam tells us. “and he fired us all.”
Undeterred, the team sought funding from family and friends and bought the game from Funtomic to set up Candivore and continue work on the game.
It initially launched to “zero success”, says Tamam, and the company’s founders worked with no salary until the game got up and running. Match Masters started really taking off after UA bursts in late 2020 and early 2021, with a huge download spike in May of that year.
The game is inspired by several other competitive games on the market already – Tamam namechecks 8 Ball Pool, Golf Clash and Clash Royale in particular.
“It was not about one game – everybody came with his own experience and we all kind of matched up all those experiences,” Tamam says of the game’s origins. “We were all sitting in a room together yelling at each other – it was a great time…”
On top of some more typical UA, Candivore’s been investing in localised bursts of marketing in Israel, Poland, Germany and the UK, the latter starring Take That alum Robbie Williams.
“It’s the US – the biggest market – that we want to go to,” says Tamam of Candivore’s next move. “We want to get ready – we’ll build up to that moment, I think.”
The Candivore team has also just launched an in-game crossover with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand, something Tamam describes as “a dream come true” – he’s been drawing TMNT characters since he was a little boy.
“I don’t like to work with big brands, they tell you what to do,” said Tamam. “But I was convinced to meet with them, so we started talking and then rudely I asked: ‘Can I create my own Ninja Turtles?’ And they said yes – so I thought right, now it’s interesting…”
Candivore is also investing in and advising four other Israeli studios currently. “We chose them because of the talent and because we see that they are special and unique,” adds Tamam. The studios are running in stealth currently but will be announced soon.