Habby is one of the hottest labels in mobile games right now.
And after scoring huge success with Archero and Survivor.io, its latest game looks like it could be just as impactful.
Sssnaker has that same top-down viewpoint and all-action gameplay. Having already remixed the shooter and crowd survival genres in its own Habby house style, it’s Snake’s turn for a mobile makeover.
According to data.ai, Sssnaker has hit 1.3m downloads and $489k in IAP revenue since it launched on March 18. It’s a promising start if you consider ad revenue on top, which judging by past Habby titles is likely to represent about the same as IAP purchase income.
We can see Habby’s established house style in Sssnaker and across other games in its portfolio, not just Archero and Survivor.io but also Punball and Kinja Run.
And that’s very deliberate, says mobile game consultant Jakub Remiar. “After the initial install, these games all look like hypercasual games,” he tells us. “They all strictly follow the rule of one-button control and you are immediately thrown into the gameplay, which is very intuitive and immediate.”
“After your initial run you are taken to the main menu and you upgrade your character through the passive system, which is the only system that is actually unlocked at that time,” says Remiar.
As the player progresses additional features like an equipment inventory are unlocked, but this is done slowly – only when the player can fully understand it. “We are talking multiple days of sessions, not your usual 20 minute tutorial which unlocks the whole UI,” says Remiar.
“This process makes sure that the player’s attention slowly shifts from mastering the core gameplay into RPG progression of their character. In the end you are upgrading multiple systems and playing different game modes to get more power into your character and move onto the next stage.”
In Survivor.io in particular, prolonged play unlocks a huge amount of features and progression systems over time. If you explode out all of the UI elements from the home screen you can see the wealth of player options very clearly.
“This is not the hypercasual game we started with any more,” says Remiar. “It has morphed into a very heavy IAP-driven roguelite ARPG.”
Using hypercasual hooks allows Habby to widen its UA funnel and get hypercasual-like reach and CPIs. Remiar continues:
“This principle is an upgrade to the usual hypercasual pipeline, where small studios send prototypes to the publisher which then test the KPIs and pick the ones with best metrics. Habby not only does this, but it actively changes the feature pacing of these prototypes to fit its unfolding gameplay formula. It slots the core gameplay into its metagame framework which is the tried and tested progression of a roguelite action RPG.”
You can see this most clearly when you compare how Sssnaker used to operate under its former name Snake Master. Developed by Yiduo Games, Sssnaker displays some notable differences after Habby’s secret sauce is applied.
“The first big difference is the equipment progression,” says Remiar. “In the original game there is just a simple upgrade sink compared to the six-slot equipment gacha which is one of the main pillars of the Habby metagame framework. It is presented in every one of these games – Survivor.io even doubled the inventory right after global launch, probably to immediately get more spend depth into the game.”
In Sssnaker’s original form as Snake Master, players could select a different snake and see potential upgrades during the first session. In Sssnaker, this feature is unlocked somewhere around day four. “This was changed to fit Habby’s ‘unfolding’ formula,” says Remiar. “RPG elements are pushed later so players can focus on mastering core gameplay.”
“Another staple of the framework is the idle generation mechanic,” Remiar continues. “Not only does it incentivise sessions, but it further reinforces the roguelite nature of the gameplay. This assures the player that eventually you progress even in chapters you are stuck in or where you can’t deal with the mechanics. This makes for a very approachable and casual progression.”
The monetisation and live ops systems are the last to unlock, rounding out a comprehensive suite of battle passes, achievements, subscriptions, daily quests, daily rewards, piggy banks, offer systems and event systems.
“These are universal for the whole Habby framework,” says Remiar. “All of these progression layers such as talents, equipment and additional hero characters create very deep IAP and ad economy spend depth that is similar to a midcore RPG.”
There are plenty more games incoming that follow this structure, adds Remiar. “Habby continues to test different core gameplay prototypes from different studios to get the best KPIs to slot into its framework.”
“This will maintain Habby’s very fast release frequency, fuelling the hit machine and getting multiple shots on goal. You could say that Habby is the true master of hybridcasual.”