Rival Kingdoms had all the ingredients of a hit game in beta. Killer ARPU, great retention, a rabid community of evangelists, a great looking product and a multi-million dollar warchest from the recent financing had many industry pundits predicting that Space Ape's second game was guaranteed to be a Top 20 Grossing hit. When the dust settled on launch the critically acclaimed game emerged around Top 100 grossing - Top 50 on a good event day - which is a great success by any measure for an independent developer and something to be proud of, but did not exhibit the level of commercial success many in the industry were expecting. In this session, Space Ape founder and COO, Simon Hade, will share the research that led to some critical decisions he believes ultimately held the game back from fulfilling it's potential but also the lessons learned, especially around theme testing and positioning, as well as the key product and community tactics which have allowed the company to grow the game month on month with almost no marketing spend. In the process, he will provide an overview of the current landscape of the broader mid-core genre, game and marketing metrics and tactics that are important to launch a game in today's market.