PeopleFun

Wordscapes Search Turns 2, Hits Major Facebook and User Milestones

by Gretchen Hyman on Aug 26, 2021

The chart-topping success of apps in the highly competitive casual puzzle game category continues to set industry records, and leading the charge is Wordscapes Search, celebrating its two-year anniversary this month.

A modern twist on word search puzzles combining the best features of word find, word line, anagrams, and crossword puzzles, Wordscapes Search’s greatest appeal is to word lovers who enjoy the experience of traveling to beautiful destinations as they play through the title’s more than 6,000 puzzles.

After just a two-year ramp-up, Wordscapes Search can already lay claim to up to 9,902,195 installs with equally robust popularity among Android and iOs users alike. And while the team at Wordscapes Search attributes their success and longevity to AppLovin’s growth suite of AppDiscovery and MAX, they also applaud the continued loyalty and support for their 3,373,944 active monthly users.

Added to that, Wordscapes Search Facebook engagement has been on a steady trajectory, with 150% growth year-over-year. July Facebook posts had an average engagement rate of 3.6%, with the top post getting 12.4%, and July event-focused Facebook posts had an engagement rate of 7.2%.

Wordscapes Search’s milestone comes on the heels of Dallas-based parent, PeopleFun, celebrating 10 strong years in the puzzle game space. According to Wordscapes Search’s Product Owner, Jason Leary, the game has come a long way from when it first launched two years ago. From weekend tournaments, trophies, and daily puzzles to their limited-time events and vanity collectibles, Jason and his nine-person team couldn’t be more proud of the hard work they’ve put into making Wordscapes Search one of the best word search games available today.

We sat down with Jason to hear what this milestone means, and how he and the team are able to maintain their success and the eclectic puzzle experiences they create.

For a new game within a family of established titles, how do you differentiate so you can scale UA for that individual title? 

Jason: Just like a real family, it’s important for each title in the family to have their own identity that sets it apart. Wordscapes is the established older sibling. It has accomplished great things and has proven to be a tremendous success, paving the way as we try to follow in its footsteps. Wordscapes Search is the rebellious younger sibling and not quite as conservative as traditional Wordscapes. We’re willing to be a bit more experimental with search, try some new features and experiences that might be a bit out of the box, but when they hit, they hit big and have the potential to be ported to some of our other titles.

Why do you think people love puzzle games so much?

Jason: People are problem solvers! It’s written in our DNA. It’s intrinsic to who we are as species, so puzzles speak to us on a very primal level. When we are confronted with challenges, we often view them as problems or puzzles to be solved. We want to work things out. Solve the mystery. Find the solution to the puzzle box. And we love how everyone has a different strategy for solving our puzzles.

What’s the secret to maintaining staying power in the free-to-play casual games category?

Jason: We think one of the most important keys is to always deliver a high level of quality. Games are entertainment, and an important part of that is presentation and showmanship. Players can tell when developers pour their passion into something. That showmanship, that passion, that polish is vital for separating yourself from the crowd in a competitive marketplace.

How can a game keep millions of users coming back time and again?

Jason: You need to provide them with a hook that gives them an investment in your game. This can be a deep narrative or meta that drives them to make progress, investing them emotionally in your game. It can be an investment of time or money as they chase down vanities and other collectibles. Investment can be achieved in any number of ways, discovering the right one for your game is part of the fun of development. But to be successful, players must have an investment in your game.

To what do you attribute to the longevity of the Wordscapes series? 

Jason: We never underestimate or take our player base for granted. Too many developers view their audience as being completely different from themselves. In the end, we have more in common than we have differences. We are all gamers, whether our game of choice is Wordscapes Search or Call of Duty. I play all types of games from casual to hardcore. Everyone likes cool stuff. Just because a game has simplified mechanics, doesn’t mean it can’t have cool ideas behind those mechanics. All too often we underestimate our audience by having a very limited view of what we think our audience wants, when in reality they are not all that different from us. Everyone wants to have fun, so always make something fun!

What’s one piece of advice for a developer entering the apps gaming space?

Jason: Research, research, research. The apps gaming space is more crowded than it has ever been. Before jumping into the space, you’ll want to play the top games. Really analyze them and dig deep, try to determine what makes one game successful and another easily forgotten. It’s also important to have a well-thought out plan in place for how you intend to monetize your game and then design it from the ground up with your monetization strategy in mind. And finally, make something fun.

Congrats to Wordscapes Search on two successful years and many more ahead. To learn more about Wordscapes Search, visit them on Facebook.

Gretchen is Director of Content & Campaigns at AppLovin.