Early Look: Real Time Battles in Battle Pirates

By Carolyn Koh Comment

Battle Pirates is Casual Collective’s third foray into Facebook games. From the simple tower defense game of Desktop Defender, they moved to casual real time strategy with their quirky but appealing Backyard Monsters. Battle Pirates has been in Casual Collective’s back pocket, fomenting quietly until its monetization system got it noticed by Facebook, which displayed the game on dashboards. This created a large spike in player numbers, from 2,000 daily active users to 31,825 in just two days, according to our data service for tracking applications, AppData.

Battle Pirates aims to become an actual virtual MMO-RTS on Facebook. As the name suggests, the game is naval themed. Players build up bases, harvest resources, research and build ships, explore the ocean to uncover more of the map, then attack AI enemies (the Draconians) or other players to capture resources. Monetization is similar to Backyard Monsters, where resources, speed boosts for building, and items that allow players to level faster can be purchased. Artificial level constraints built into the game prevent unbalancing, however, preventing higher level players from devastating lower level ones.

“Apart from base building and exploration,” said Will Harbin, CEO of Casual Collective, “we will have fleet to fleet battles, with players able to control each ship in their fleet separately, attacking each other’s bases, and players will also be able to team up to take down the Draconian super ships.”

The game doesn’t have many social features implemented yet aside from in-game live chat. For example, players can’t visit friends to assist them, but they can gift or invite them to play or make them officers within their own games. If a friend accepts an officer ranking in another player’s game, depending on the role, that friend provides bonuses like 10% boosts to armor.

“This is a very early version of the game,” cautions Harbin, “Our style is to gather data to see what our players like and don’t like about our games and make adjustments.”

Harbin also believes that Battle Pirates will be the first real time synchronous experience in Facebook. Players will be able to see other players attack them and will be able to defend their bases as the attack happens. Additionally, a Backyard Monsters feature that sends Tweets to users when their backyard is under attack is also in the works for Battle Pirates.

Though the growth spike in Battle Pirates dropped off after Facebook’s dashboard recognition, we expect the game to experience a steady climb in player numbers as new features roll out. Given the success of Backyard Monsters, fans of the RTS genre will likely migrate to the game even in its early stages simply to have a head start on the competition.

Follow this game’s trends on AppData, our data service tracking application traffic and growth on social platforms.