How Legend of Grimrock hooked its hardcore fans all over again with mod tools

4 Posted by - January 29, 2013 - Case Studies, News, Player Insight, Trends & Data, User-Generated Content

Almost Human’s Legend of Grimrock quickly became an indie success story when it launched in March 2012. RPGs fans flocked to the dungeon crawler and quickly devoured its classic fantasy combat, but as is the case with most single-player RPGs, the most dedicated users quickly blew through the game and soon ran out of content to play.

These hardcore fans were playing the game less and less as time wore on, but on October 4th, 2012, Almost Human added a free level editor to the game and managed to capture those dedicated fans all over again.

According to new data from Raptr’s 16 million users, Legend of Grimrock’s level editor helped re-engage the game’s most experienced players, and kept them interested in the game well after its initial launch.

In particular, the game’s “Elite” users on Raptr, who make up the top 10% of players when it comes to overall playtime, began playing Legend of Grimrock even more once they could create or play user-generated dungeons.

After the level editor went out of beta and launched in October, overall playtime for Elite users jumped up 7.8% to 4.7 hours per day, marking the first increase of this type in quite some time. These players now had new content to create and consume, and this renewed their interest in Almost Human’s hit game.

Things began to look even better in December, when Legend of Grimrock was featured as one of the titles in the popular Humble Indie Bundle. This promotion drew many new players to the game, and this extra buzz made the Elite players far more active. Playtime for Elite users increased a full 72% in December to 7.5 hours per day, which is the highest this figure has been since the game’s original debut.

LegendsofGrimlockDailyPlaytimePerPlayer

Of course, the addition of Legend of Grimrock’s level editor didn’t just affect the Elite users’ average playtime; it also affected their average session length. One month after the level editor’s launch, session length for Elite players increased 46% from 1.3 hours to 1.9 hours, and session length has remained elevated ever since.

LegendsofGrimlockSessionLengthPerPlayer

This data shows us that when a game’s hardcore community can create and play new content, they’ll keep playing far longer than they would have otherwise. Up until the level editor’s debut, Legend of Grimrock players had little reason to stick around once they had consumed the game’s finite single-player content, but these new tools have given these players new content to play, and new incentives to stick around.

By keeping those hardcore fans happy, Almost Human is fostering a strong online community that will likley tell others about their experiences in Legend of Grimrock. This indie title has sold more than 600,000 copies thanks in large part to positive word-of-mouth, and as long as these users remain excited about the game, that positive buzz is likely to continue.

For more on Legend of Grimrock, check out the game’s official website.

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