Early Look: Real Time Battles in Battle Pirates

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.

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Leave a Reply

7 Responses to “Early Look: Real Time Battles in Battle Pirates”

  1. superkurt11 says:

    wow I wish the servers are up in the philippines

  2. DarkMatter says:

    So developers who still haven’t worked all of the bugs out of one game to the point that people are leaving (Backyard Monsters) decide to launch another game? If your poisoning your customer base, you should consider fixing it before you add to the menu.

  3. Zakk says:

    Well Battle Pirates is full of bugs. The most annoying of which is that you have to continually refresh every few minutes as your ships freeze.
    This makes the game virtually unplayable unless you have less than 1 braincell.

  4. Mahjong Saga, Gourmet Ranch, Global Warfare Top This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Games by MAU says:

    [...] number 19 is Kixeye’s Battle Pirates, which finally seems to be getting some attention almost four months after launch. The game [...]

  5. Zoo World 2, The Pokerist Club, Battle Pirates Lead This Week’s List of Fastest-Growing Facebook Games by DAU says:

    [...] Battle Pirates as a real time strategy game from Backyard Monsters developer Kixeye (formerly Casual Collective). Players build up a naval base on a small island, eventually constructing fleets of warships to send out to sea in combat against other players and a non-playable enemy faction. In combat, players can allow the computer to control their units or manage individual units’ attack trajectories by clicking single ships and then clicking a place on the combat map to send it. In player versus player combat, two people can fight against one another or the computer will step in to play for offline players. [...]

  6. Kixeye Raises $18M Third Round, Brings in Zynga Co-Founder Trader says:

    [...] and focused all development on the Facebook platform. Since that time, the developer has launched Battle Pirates and is set to bring out a third Facebook-only game, War Commander, later this summer. The total [...]

  7. Inside Social Games · Inside Social Games’ 2011 Facebook Game Reviews Roundup says:

    [...] Early Look: Real Time Battles in Battle Pirates [...]

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