The first game to come from Australian developer 3 Blokes after being acquired by RockYou will be a real time strategy game set in space called Galactic Allies.
Speaking to Inside Social Games, 3 Blokes VP and Creative Director John Passfield explains that though the theme is similar to the developer’s previous title, Galactic Trader, Allies is a combat-oriented game with more narrative-driven gameplay and non-playable characters. Players construct fleets of starships, each containing up to six vessels that the player can control individually during combat. The combat phase is real time with actions occurring as the player or the computer instructs the units. At launch, Galactic Allies will allow for player versus player combat between friends, but the activity will be asynchronous with the computer stepping in to control a friend’s fleet when we attack them.
Galactic Allies differs from the current portfolio of RockYou-owned games in several key ways. First, it’s a strategy game aimed at a more niche and largely male audience compared to, say, the Zoo World franchise. Second, the game is launching without as much as hype or extensive marketing compared to Zoo World 2 and other RockYou games published through its partners program. Third, Galactic Allies is launching with RockYou’s new ad platform already in place.
RockYou SVP of Games Jonathan Knight lays out the strategy behind Galactic Allies as one of gradual, steady growth. He says that the opening will be “smaller and slower,” with RockYou 3 Blokes reaching out to the community for feedback in order to fine-tune the game. Knight explains that because there is a larger pool of RTS games on Facebook than ever before, the audience is already there for Galactic Allies. The trick is attracting it to the RockYou brand, where traditionally, it’s been all about women-oriented animal and farming sims.
“We think about it in terms of audiences,” he says. “RockYou has a strong audience around the Zoo franchise. Gourmet Ranch [appeals] to a similar audience. [Loot Drop’s] Cloudforest Expedition will leverage that audience, but we’ll have a much larger male audience, given the nature of the game being about adventure and exploration an traditional role-playing game elements. That’s an audience that we’re building and with Galactic Allies, it’s the start of a new audience for us that we’re trying to attract.”