For those of you who don’t know, the developers of Durango Wild Lands have decided to end their interest in it. This means as of December 18th, no new players will be able to download the game.
If the end of a mobile game saddens you, then you can sign the online petition to try to save Durango.
Why Would They Close Durango?
There are many reasons a game would end its services. However, almost all of these reasons have something to do with money. Estimates we got from the Sensor Tower Store Intelligence shows that the profits for Durango crashed in as little as three months.
Durango Wild Lands did not follow the traditional route of development. It first went into Beta in 2016 and did not release in South Korea until February 2018. It was then an entire year before the rest of the world got their hands on Durango in June 2019.
Already you can tell that the costs of Durango must have been high. Especially since the game was in a beta stage for two years before it started to make any money. Which coincidentally brings me to my next point, how much money has Durango made?
How Much Money Has Durango Made in its Lifetime?
Since its launch in 2018, Durango Wild Lands has made just over 10.4 million dollars. The answer to this question is actually a little misleading because we don’t know the costs or how much they made a month over two years.
I think it’s safe to assume the development of Durango did not cost $10 million, and I am sure it wasn’t close to half. But, how much Durango made a month should put the $10 million into perspective.
When Durango launched in just South Korea, it made $3.2 million in its very first month. This means it made nearly an entire third of the games lifetime revenue in February 2018. Compare this figure with the global launch in June 2019, which only made $1 million.
It gets worse when you compare the June 2019 revenue figure with the September 2019 revenue. September saw less than $300,000 made, which is a drop of nearly 800k in three months.
Who Made the Most Money for Durango?
What makes this case interesting is how unsuccessful the global launch of Durango was. We compared the two figures above, but we didn’t analyse what this means.
Let’s think about it from the developer’s point of view. If we made $3 million in our first month in just one country, then surely we will make at least double when we make it available globally.
This point is further emphasised by Figure 2. It shows how 75% of the games total revenue came from one country and no other country contributed even a tenth of that figure. Essentially, what this means is the game failed worldwide, except in South Korea.
I think this killed Durango and why the developers only allowed it to survive for three months globally before pulling the plug. To put it bluntly, it failed across the globe.
Are People Downloading Durango
When you look at the download figures, you can’t help but scratch your head. Last September alone had nearly 400,000 downloads, yet September was one of the least profitable months. If you look at the total downloads for Durango Wild Lands, it is just under the 10 million mark which is a significant milestone in my books.
This is a fairly unique problem for a mobile game to have. They are drawing in hundreds of thousands of players a month, yet most of the players won’t spend a penny. Maybe they have no reason too or maybe they aren’t playing enough to buy anything, who knows?
Figure 3 is a direct comparison between how much money has been made since launch versus how many people have downloaded. The reason why I am making this comparison is that any other mobile/video game with microtransactions should have way more dollars than users. The fact the two numbers are indistinguishable shows that the game is not making enough money.
These numbers won’t give us those answers, instead, they only prove there is a problem. Whatever this problem is, it means the developers are not making enough money to keep the service running.
Although I don’t agree with their decision to end the service, you can see from the numbers why they have done so. To make over $3 million in your first month and to make not even half of that ever again speaks volumes for the future of the game.
Maybe they were too generous with gameplay, maybe their monetisation model was not good enough. All I know is a well-made game is ending its service because it’s not making enough money.