Lessons To Learn From Stumble Guys - A Game With 225 Million Downloads

What can we learn form Stumble Guys

Lucy Wong

October 17, 2022

Many factors go into creating a successful product. But at the heart of the matter, a great product must do four things. First, it must deliver value. That can mean many things, value can be convenience, efficiency, productivity, or even fun. Second, a great product must be easy to understand and convey its usefulness in a simple, direct way. Third, it must provide a great user experience. The product should be intuitive to use, provide its value proposition effectively, and leave users with a positive experience. Finally, a great product must be scalable and deliver value in a way that is useful for a large number of people. How about the smartphone you use every day? Does it fit the criteria? Does it cleverly solve a problem for you and others? Yes, it solves and it scales. This is how products spread like wildfire and become an essential part of people’s lives. 

The game Stumble Guys is a perfect example of a project that checks all the boxes of a great product and the results are incredible – as of September 2022, it has been downloaded over 225 million times and has become a worldwide sensation. Whether you are building a game or another type of product, there are important lessons to learn from the Stumble Guys project that can help guide your product development success. 

Developed by Finland’s Kitka Games, Stumble Guys is a mobile battle royale knockout game that involves players competing in fast-paced action mini-games and obstacle courses with the intention of being the last player standing. Inspired by titles such as Fall Guys, Stumble Guys took that concept to new levels with irresistible features and excellent game mechanics that made it stand out in a sea of imitators to become one of the most successful games of all time. After a modest start, several key actions taken by the team at Kitka helped boost the visibility of the game and perfectly satisfy the requirements of a great product.

Mobile is King

With popular battle royale games like Fall Guys developed for PC and consoles, Stumble Guys took the lead in the mobile market. Recognizing that mobile is the perfect platform for casual gaming, they first released the game on Android and iOS, making it instantly compatible with hundreds of millions of phones in the world. By leveraging the massive amount of traffic on the App Store and Google Play, Kitka was able to present their product to millions. The gameplay also has a universal appeal, it satisfies the human nature to complete a challenging and rewarding task, whether it is to finish a race first, overcome an interesting obstacle, or gain a level.

By being ultimately compatible and universally appealing, Stumble Guys has great potential to scale

Great Gameplay Mechanics

The game is easy to understand, with simple intuitive controls and fantastic graphics. Anyone can pick it up and immediately have fun. Rather than the simplistic lookalike avatars of many battle royale games, Stumble Guys has customizable cartoon avatars that give each user an individual appearance to stand out. Recognizing that mobile games need to be easy and fun even for short gaming sessions, Stumble Guys created the quintessential casual game that provides a great user experience, appealing enough to keep you coming back, but not so time-consuming that it requires one’s full attention. A round of the game can be played in about a minute. It delivers value with a quick bit of fun, perfect for stress relief and short games. There is also a satisfying reward system built in that lets players earn in-game currency, unlock skins and animations and win a place on global and local leaderboards. 

Make it Social

If there is one thing the social media revolution has shown is that people love be recognized and connected with a wide range of personal and business networks. The same turns out to be true in gaming. People want to play games with the world and with people they know. Stumble Guys gives users the opportunity to play with friends using a unique Party Mode. This feature helps users connect with the people they care about in the digital world. The game also features competitions and tournaments and lets users earn recognition and pride by achieving rank on leaderboards. These social aspects of the game add value and scale.  

Building a Community

Building a Community is one of the best ways to keep users engaged and make them feel like they are part of the movement that surrounds the game. Game developers are great at coding and creating interesting games but they often forget to put an emphasis on creating a community. This is something that Stumble Guys did early on. They employed a community manager to create platforms such as Discord for user discussions, suggestions, tips, and hints. They also worked with Twitch steamers, gaming influencers, and reviewers to leverage existing relevant audiences for scale.

Easy Access

It is another key to scale. Stumble Guys is a Free to Play game, available for instant download on the app stores. Literally, within seconds, users can enjoy the game on their phones. There is no barrier to entry and this helps the game rank well for downloads. By deciding to design the profit model for in-game purchases that are not necessary to play on a casual level, Stumble Guys helped boost their visibility and popularity. 

Stumble Guys is the current king of mobile gaming and its meteoric rise may seem surprising in a world overwhelmed with clone games. However, at its core the game does more than provide a few minutes of casual fun. The game is successful because it was built on the same foundation that all great products stand upon and all developers can learn from – it delivers value, is easy to understand, is scalable, and most importantly, it delivers a great user experience. 

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