Crabada's Battle Bounty

Building a Bountiful Future: Crafting Sustainable Engagement & Revenue in Crabada


Executive Summary

Crabada, a hyper-casual blockchain game faced a crisis: player engagement had dropped by 31%. The decline was fueled by a challenging market environment and a gameplay loop that had become unrewarding.

As Marketing Lead, I took the initiative to spearhead the development of the Battle Bounty system. This solution successfully re-engaged our player base in its MVP stage, resulting in a significant 36% DAU recovery and restoring positive community sentiment.

This case study details the strategic process, the outstanding initial response, and Battle Bounty’s significant potential for sustainable growth and engagement.

The Challenge

Crabada faced a critical challenge:

  • Declining Engagement: Existing gameplay loop was tedious, and lacked progression or meaningful rewards, leading to a 31% drop in DAU.
  • Unsustainable Content Expectations: High expectations for ongoing content created a disconnect, as players desired new experiences faster than our core roadmap development could deliver.
  • Economic Headwinds: The bear market negatively affected player morale and funding potential.
  • Lore Disconnect: While our lore was evolving, the existing gameplay wasn't reflecting these exciting developments, diminishing immersion.

We needed a solution that could deliver immediate impact while laying the groundwork for long-term success. This led us to the key question:

Problem Statement

How might we rapidly increase player excitement and engagement, while unlocking new revenue streams in a sustainable way?

The Strategy

Understanding the urgency of the situation, I recognised that a traditional development cycle for a major new feature would be too slow. Instead, I focused on these guiding principles:

  • Repurpose & Build: Leverage existing technology and assets to accelerate development.
  • Rapid Impact: Deliver a solution that would immediately revitalise engagement, demonstrating momentum to our players.
  • Foundation for Growth: Design a system with inherent potential for expansion, aligning with our long-term vision for Crabada.

MVP Design & Goals

Battle Bounty took inspiration from Super Smash Bros' Spirit Board feature

Inspiration struck from an unlikely source: the addictive, fast-paced gameplay loop of Super Smash Bros.' Spirit Board. 

I realised that our existing QR code-based PvP system, while simple, provided a technical base for an on-demand challenge system.

The initial MVP of the Bounty Board prioritised speed and focused on core engagement mechanics:

  • On-Demand: Quick, repeatable challenges available whenever players desired.
  • Time-Exclusive Bounties: Bounties were available for a limited duration, creating urgency and a reason to engage frequently.
  • Player Journey: A streamlined process maximised accessibility and reinforced the fast-paced nature of bounties.
  • Lore Integration: Early bounties featured world lore figures and simple story-driven objectives, laying the groundwork for deeper narrative connection.
  • Rewards: Rewards primarily focused on in-game items and resources, providing a sense of progression and immediate value.

Design & Collaboration

I worked closely with UI/UX designers to create user-friendly wireframes that prioritised a clear player journey, integrated potential sponsor placements, and provided visually enticing rewards. Developers were brought on board, and through swift iteration, the core Battle Bounty system was developed within two weeks. This rapid MVP was deliberately designed for further evolution.

MVP Results

The Battle Bounty MVP, with its pilot "Battle to the Dev(s)" event, was received enthusiastically:

  • Increased Engagement: Over 17,000 battles in one week with a DAU recovery of ~36%.
  • High Retention: ~68% daily return rate during the event period.
  • Proven Potential: The Battle Bounty system demonstrated clear capacity to attract, retain, and re-engage players while showcasing the potential for integrated partnerships.

The Battle Bounty Vision: A Foundation for Growth

Despite Crabada’s sunset due to external funding constraints, Battle Bounty held significant potential for sustainable growth and engagement, which was proven by the MVP results.

The Battle Bounty system's MVP, despite its quick development, was designed to lay the foundation for significant expansion, aiming to become a cornerstone of Crabada's growth, with a clear vision for its evolution:

  • Strategic Partnerships to Drive Excitement & Revenue

Time-limited bounties featuring prominent crypto figures and projects would establish a compelling proof of concept, paving the way for partnerships with diverse brands across crypto and beyond. 

These partnerships open the door to:

    • Cross-Promotion: Attracting new players from partners' communities.
    • Unique Experiences: Bounties designed in collaboration with partners, creating exclusive in-game moments.
    • Sustainable Revenue: Establishing the Bounty Board as a premium, integrated advertising platform.
  • Lore Integration, Evolving World, & Rewards

The goal was to go beyond rewarding gameplay; I aimed to deepen immersion in Crabada's world. The Bounty Board would become a tool for dynamic storytelling:

    • Narrative Battles: Bounties centred on lore figures, pivotal events, and player-driven conflicts.
    • World Building at Scale: Large-scale community challenges and world boss raids would allow players to trigger in-game events that directly shape Crabada's evolution.
    • Exclusive Items: Unique items, cosmetics, and titles obtainable only through bounties.
  • In-App Integration
    The Bounty Board's initial web-based form was functional but limited. Transforming it into an immersive in-app feature would elevate the experience, solidifying its position within Crabada. This integration would:

    • Streamline Gameplay: Enhance player flow and convenience.
    • Brand Advertising Space: Create a dedicated space with brand-aligned visuals, further attracting sponsors.

What I Learnt

The Importance of Agility: The urgent need to revitalise Crabada highlighted the importance of being able to pivot our approach rapidly. Repurposing existing assets and finding inspiration in unexpected places allowed us to deliver a successful MVP under tight time constraints.

The Power of Play: The Bounty Board validated the importance of designing for replayability. Its fast-paced, "one more time" appeal demonstrated the power of a compelling gameplay loop in fueling player excitement and retention.

Partnership-Oriented Design: From the outset, the Bounty Board was envisioned as a platform for collaboration and revenue generation. By prioritising features that create intrinsic value for players, sponsorship opportunities organically emerge, allowing for sustainable growth that benefits both players and the game's long-term health.

Market Realities & Resource Management: The Battle Bounty project underlined the importance of aligning ambitious development visions with market realities and financial sustainability. This experience taught me how to plan for potential roadblocks and creatively adapt iterative design strategies when resources are limited.

Let's Connect

Thank you for taking the time to explore this case study. I hope you enjoyed seeing my thought process and ideas! If you're seeking someone passionate about driving engagement through innovative product and marketing solutions, let's explore how we can build exciting experiences together!