💸 From $0 to Top-earning App

💸 From $0 to Top-earning App

Do you know what the top-earning app is on the app store right now?

The answer might surprise you…

It’s not TikTok or Netflix or even YouTube.

It’s a game called Monopoly Go!

What’s even crazier?

The app just launched a year ago in April 2023.

In just 7 months after launching, Monopoly Go! generated its first billion in revenue. By the end of the following 3 months, it had reached $2B.

So how did Monopoly Go! become the highest-earning app in under a year? And reach $1B faster than any other casual game?

Here’s what we got for ya:

  • 💰 Pass Go, Collect $2B

  • 🎲 Mastering Game Design

  • 📢 Marketing Strategies

Read time: 5 min 7 sec

💰 Pass Go, Collect $2B

Monopoly Go! boasts over 10M daily players, with the average user logging in more than 3x a day.

This high engagement drives significant revenue from ads, in-app purchases, and subscriptions. 

Revenue: first few months after launching

Monopoly Go! became the fastest casual game in history to reach $1B in revenue.

But while the app is seen as an ‘instant’ success, it was not built overnight.

Monopoly Go! took over 7 years to develop.

Why did it take so long? 

The app was created by a dedicated team from Scopely, full of game designers, developers, marketing experts, game testers, etc…

And the team wanted to create an app that they loved. They wouldn’t settle for second best. 

So they kept pushing themselves even after creating several good versions of the app.

Originally they were working on an app called Boardwalk, still based on Monopoly, but it required a lot more skill to build wealth.

In fear of losing millions of potential players, they left the project and started on Monopoly Go!.

And with Monopoly Go!, they spent months on every minute detail in the game design. They wanted each part of the game to be t perfect experience.

This drive to make the perfect game made Monopoly Go! successfully addicting. 

In the year since launching, Monopoly Go! players have:

  • Completed nearly 2B games

  • Sent more than 150M friend requests

  • Passed Go more than 40B times

But what exactly did the creative team do to build such an addictive game?

More on this:

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🎲 Mastering Game Design

More than 50K players pass Go every minute.

People all over the world are entranced by the game.

This isn’t just luck. The game creators did these two things to get users addicted:

#1- Build a flow state:

The creators spent years perfecting the “flow state.” This is that magical feeling you have while playing a game and you forget the outside world exists. 

They spent a lot of time perfecting the dice roll to keep users in a flow.

If the dice roll is too boring or takes too long, users will break out of their trance and leave the app.

The creators' perfectionism paid off.

Now, the dice have become a good source of revenue for Monopoly Go!.

Players only get a certain amount of free dice each day. And when they run out? If they want to keep playing, they have to pay for more. (Not with monopoly money...) 

A lot of the revenue for Monopoly Go! comes from users buying more dice and other in-app purchases.

#2- Add new features to the game:

The creators had to turn a 4-hour social board game into a solo and social experience on an app. 

So they added another ingredient to the game.

With the money you earn from playing classic Monopoly, you can build your own cities.

And then destroy your friends’ cities, bankrupt them, and flaunt your success.

This addition blends the classic Monopoly experience with another rich universe for gameplay.

So while you might not be sitting down with your family to watch their reactions as they hand over the little money they have left, you still experience the emotional rollercoaster of the classic game.

@monopolygo

betrayal deep! #monopolygo #monopoly

Users have sent over 450M friend requests and stolen billions of (monopoly) dollars.

Making the app a social experience gets users to recruit their friends so they can play together. 

Word of mouth is one way Monopoly Go! acquires new players. But this alone is not what got them over 100M users…

📢 Marketing Strategies

Scopely spends around $1M on ads for Monopoly Go! per day. 

That’s a lot of money… but it drives success. 

Monopoly Go! was downloaded over 100M times in its first year. 

More on Monopoly Go!’s success

And as they spend millions, we can learn what worked for free.

Here are 3 of their best marketing strategies:

#1- Variety of ads: Monopoly Go! targets specific players by using ads that focus on different parts of the game. There are 3 categories:

  • Ads that show Monopoly Go! as the classic board game

  • Ads that show players earning money and building their cities

  • Ads that focus on competitiveness and within-app interactions between users 

@bomanizer

This isn’t a game. (@eden! @monopolygo @Scopely) Download Monopoly Go now! 💰#ad

#2- Localization: The Monopoly Go! marketing team wants to cater to local markets to optimize user acquisition. So they run localized versions of ads for people in different countries. Basically, they change the languages and adopt the ad to individual cultures. 

#3- Social Media Content: Search up Monopoly Go! on YouTube, and you will see infinite videos on how to get free dice rolls and how to hack the game. This creates excitement over the game for free.

Monopoly Go! also gets attention on TikTok from paid influencer promotions and free user-generated content. TikTok is an effective way to acquire users. Someone who sees the game on TikTok is 1.5x more likely to convince their friends to use it too. #monopolygo 

Monopoly Go! built a game with an addictive design and great marketing. That’s how they scaled fast and made bank.

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