Afterverse, the virtual world platform for all-ages social games, has released its fourth annual holiday season update. This isn't a big deal as many games have live operations updates during the holidays.
However, the Brazilian city of So Paulo During the holiday event, Afterverse, a division of Movile, sees a doubling in the number of daily active users and a 180 percent increase in revenue, according to Karina Dauch, head of growth at Afterverse, in an interview with Games Beat.
And it's because of results like these that the company has grown dramatically in the last year, from 25 million monthly active users in December 2020 to over 50 million now.
The PK XD Intergalactic Christmas event begins today, and over 350 social media creators will promote it in 14 countries.
“The expectation is that for the [holiday] event is when we achieve our highest numbers,” Dauch said. “We like to change the world and work on specific mini games for the event.”
This time, the event will feature a new mini-game available through January 20 that will be a multiplayer group game with five to 10 players per team where players have a snowball fight. The idea for the game came from After verse’s network of creators.
PK XD gets updates every couple of weeks, but major updates happen about once a quarter. And to get those up, the team has grown from 40 last year to over 200 now, said Dauch. The seasonal events run for weeks.
The team is a multidisciplinary group with employees dedicated to growth, game design, game development, technology, branding, social, and creators.
Roblox is one of the company's major competitors, but Dauch said her company respects the competition. While they initially aimed the game for children, it has since grown in popularity. While Roblox thrives on user-generated content, the content in PK XD is created by Afterverse's developers. While the game emphasizes multiplayer fun, it also emphasizes child safety by omitting custom chat.
Dauch stated, "Roblox is more of an inspiration." "Most of our players are also Roblox players. We have a metaverse, but it's not the same as Roblox's in that it's an open world where players can interact, make friends, and build their own homes."
If players want to communicate with one another, they must use the company's pre-written comments. According to Dauch, this protects children from predators. It has also made it possible for children, teenagers, and adults to share the same space.
Online games have thrived in the pandemic, as people long for human contact. Lockdowns have lasted longer than anyone expected, and that has helped PK XD post strong growth numbers. Players also have a lot of fun spectating gameplay for creators.
For Afterverse, the ongoing special features it rolls out keep players engaged and drives more growth through social channels and word of mouth. Players who engage more have access to more in-game currency and they also have the option to purchase gems and coins to buy in-game features (like the Halloween special features’ flying brooms –pictured above).
Brands prominently featured in the game drive another form of monetization, such as the Hello Kitty line of products in the PK XD holiday season, which allows players to purchase items in-game directly using social-commerce links.
In the digital world, Afterverse aims to connect users and break down physical, cultural, and social barriers. Afterverse games, like PK XD, use AI to translate phrases into multiple languages (currently six for PK XD) to broaden the appeal and viability of the games for a variety of countries in just one version of the latest games.
Afterverse was founded in late 2020, and it was a spinoff from Play Kids, founded by Breno Masi in 2013. The Play Kid's game is targeted at younger ages. While it is mature, it is still going strong.
Afterverse sees its mission as breaking physical, social and cultural barriers. Games under the After verse brand embrace diversity, entertainment, and fair play in all the places where they are present.
Afterverse’s primary investors are Movile, the largest tech investment group in Latin America, and Prosus, the Naspers spinoff that is now Europe’s largest consumer technology group. Aftervers launch PK XD for all ages a couple of years ago. And before Facebook became meta, Afterverse pivoted into the metaverse.
PK XD’s creators now get over 55 million weekly views on YouTube. During Halloween, Afterverse stoked its creators and social media channels. Players posted over 2,700 videos on social media channels from 38 different countries that resulted in over 122 million views in total. For in-game video billboards generated 6.7 million views of 252 different in-game videos over the course of 20 days.
The original Play Kid's game was a popular toddler-oriented app. It debuted in 2013 as a television subscription that allowed kids to watch their favorite shows on the go. It did well in Brazil and was ready to launch in the United States within six months. Afterverse is now focusing on the elderly.
It's the same strategy that Roblox employs, and the larger company may soon look back at Afterverse.
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