How did Bridge Race become the most downloaded hyper-casual game of 2021?

Bridge Race was one of the most talked about hyper-casual games of 2021.
bridge race garawell games
How did Garawell Games achieve success with Supersonic?

Istanbul-based mobile game studio Garawell Games released its first game in partnership with Supersonic. Bridge Race, the game which came to the fore especially in 2021, and is loved in the hyper-casual world reached more than 100 million downloads in the first 3 months from its launch. In addition, it held the titles of the most downloaded game in the second quarter of 2021, and the most downloaded hyper-casual game in all of 2021.

Nebih Başaran, Founder and CEO of Garawell, participated in the world-famous hyper-casual competition Superstars and won a magnificent degree and awards. In this article, we will tell you the story of Nebih Başaran’s development of Bridge Race, the process of partnering with Supersonic, and the key points that brought this great success.

How was Bridge Race born?

The idea for Bridge Race was inspired by a project that Garawell Games had worked on with another publisher in the past. The main theme of the game was the last man standing concept using the collecting and filling mechanic. The Garawell team designed a characterless mini-golf environment in the first draft of the game and began developing a game that aims to have players collect golf balls and place them in holes to create bridges.

They started to add NPCs (non-player characters) to the game, but no matter what they did, they could not exceed the 40%-42% retention rate of the publisher. After months of long work and countless changes added and removed from the game, they stopped working on the game and felt like they couldn’t make it. 

Until they met Supersonic! The Garawell team showed their portfolio of 50-60 games that they had developed but were not released until then, and their potential was immediately recognized by Supersonic. Nebih Başaran shared the following sentences about her meeting with Supersonic:

“I’ve always believed it’s best to work with a single publisher so that we can focus all of our energy and resources on that partnership to achieve success. With Supersonic, I recognized we had the same goal – to build a hit game – so it was an easy choice to pick them as our only publishing partner. Now that we had a trustworthy and transparent partner on our side, we could put all of our combined resources and time behind launching a successful game.”

Achieving success in the global game market with Supersonic

After the Supersonic team and Garawell Games started to join forces, the Garawell team started retesting all their old games to determine what kind of potential their prototypes had in the first place. That’s when a game started to catch Supersonic’s attention: Bridge Race with its old mini-golf concept. One of the most important reasons Bridge Race entered the Supersonic radar was that the CPI of the game was very low.

Then they brought their original ideas to the surface once again, using a stacking mechanic that was trending in other popular games like Roof Rails and Shortcut Run. These games unlocked crucial metrics like retention and playtime, but the CPI was high. So, keeping the other two metrics on hand, they started tweaking the game and revamping their creative with Supersonic to reduce CPI.

At the beginning of 2021, the hard work began to bear fruit. Garawell and Supersonic had started to see positive results and noticed a drop in CPI values. For example, the second version of Bridge Race had a CPI of $0.38, while the third version had a CPI of $0.36. The CPI continued to drop until they identified the most accurate creatives for the game, as low as $0.22. They had observed a 47% CPI drop since the first version of the game with a CPI measurement of $0.41. In addition to all these, the D1 retention (first-day retention) rate of the game increased to 45% and the D0 playing time reached the threshold of 730 seconds.

Right after getting such amazing results, Bridge Race finished its soft-launch process in one day and was published worldwide. The game ranked first on the App Store and Google Play Store in the United States. Nebih Başaran added the following about her experience working with Supersonic:

“As a small studio, having the entire Supersonic team on our side improved our efficiency to launch Bridge Race and helped us resolve issues faster. We had support from all of Supersonic’s teams – monetization, design, publishing managers – whenever we needed them, which made us feel like a part of the company. Supersonic is the most vibrant and exciting publisher in the market at the moment – they proved that in their full commitment and transparency, which helped us build a hit game and get to the top of the charts quickly.”

Join Superstars to place your game at the top of the charts with Supersonic

As I mentioned above, Garawell Games participated in Superstars, the biggest hyper-casual development competition organized by Supersonic, and had the opportunity to cooperate with Supersonic in addition to the abundant cash prizes it won in the competition.

If you want to take your game to the next level and join the competition and discover the million-dollar prize pool, you can apply now. Who knows? Maybe the next Bridge Race will be your game!

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