About Well Played Games
Founded in March 2017, Well Played Games is a small and experienced game development company based in Leamington Spa UK. Their fast and flexible game development team has bags of experience releasing successful games across numerous platforms, with some of the world’s biggest publishers.
The founders of Well Played Games boast decades of experience in creating outstanding games with 3rd party IPs, having worked with brands such as The Simpsons, Angry Birds and the NFL, across multiple platforms.
Well Played Games is best known for Warhammer: Combat Cards (made in conjunction with Games Workshop), Skysaga, Financial Football and UglyDolls: An Imperfect Adventure.
The first acquisition of Phoenix Games
Having finalised the creation of its first uplift product in Q1 2019, a machine learning user acquisition algorithm that fully automates campaign and bid-management to maximise profit, Phoenix Games was on the lookout for its first studio acquisition.
After testing its uplift product internally, Phoenix Games wanted to prove that it could acquire studios at market value, creating a substantial impact on the studio P&L and financial product performance with its unique offering.
Well Played Games, and its upcoming Warhammer Combat Cards title, stood out with a small, but clearly identifiable core audience. Despite the title still being in development at the time, Phoenix Games acquired Well Played Games in March 2019.
Applying the Phoenix Games user acquisition algorithm
Phoenix Games supported Well Played Games on the development of Warhammer Combat Cards, and took the lead in re-negotiating the existing license deal with Games Workshop. Phoenix Games focused on removing obstacles and helping the team double down on what they do best; building amazing games with a player-first experience in mind. This ultimately led to a successful launch of the game in August 2019.
Based on dynamic forecasts, Phoenix Games’ machine learning user acquisition algorithm optimised bids and budgets across all UA channels, maximising profits. The automated system delivered more than a 300% return on ad spend, based on a 7-digit spend since launch, making it the most profitable Warhammer 40K mobile game on the market to date.
Creating success for a beloved franchise
In addition to improving their live ops capabilities for the game, Well Played Games is using the proceeds from the success of Warhammer Combat Cards to build up a new development track, self-funding a brand new title based on an IP from a major streaming network.
Fueled by Phoenix Games’ user acquisition uplift and additional live ops capabilities, Well Played Games has enjoyed a more than 300% increase in revenue, and a substantial increase in contribution since the acquisition, alongside doubling their headcount from 12 to 25. Phoenix Games expects revenue for Well Played Games to grow by another 50% in the fiscal year 2021, while increasing the EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) margin.
Joining Phoenix Games has helped the founders of Well Played Games realise their entrepreneurial ambition and grow not only in scale, but also in control over their business.
Richard McClaughry, Co-Founder of Well Played Games, said: “The support of Phoenix Games has been instrumental in our success. Being able to develop a game like Warhammer: Combat Cards and make it an ongoing success has been a dream come true, and we’re excited to be able to bring even bigger and better games to mobile players in the future.”