Feasibility Analysis of uCool Adopting Benjamin Gifford's Evony × IPs' Collaboration Strategy

This article first selects the recent collaboration events between Evony and Napoleon movie as a case study to study how they implemented this strategy.


Sherry Sun

7/5/20243 min read

Top Games Inc Evony IP Collaboration & uCool Heroes Charge
Top Games Inc Evony IP Collaboration & uCool Heroes Charge

Driven by CEO Yaoqi Guo and VP Benjamin Gifford, the Evony team has held three IP collaboration events. Their collaboration IPs include Kong: Skull Island 1, Godzilla, and Napoleon movie. This article first selects the recent collaboration events between Evony and Napoleon movie as a case study to study how they implemented this strategy. Then, combined with the characteristics of uCool's games, analyzes whether they can adopt this strategy and how to adopt it.

IP Collaboration Strategy in Evony the King's Return

  1. Lead-up events:

Including login gifts and Napoleon's Trial (answer questions to share diamonds).

Through lead-up events, they can attract users to focus on the next joint activities.

  1. Character design:

The game released characters related to the protagonist as Generals, including Napoleon Prime, André Masséna, and Suchet. And designed corresponding skins, Emperor - Napoleon Prime and Marshal of the Empire - Suchet. Besides, based on the plot of the Napoleon movie, the Evony team also designed Josephine's avatar as the Champion in the game. It can also benefit the core gameplay.

  1. Visual cooperation:

From a visual perspective, they first designed a castle skin that matches the theme of the collaboration, Bonaparte Castle. It has three forms: Palace, Royal City, and Imperial Capital. Players can unlock more advanced buffs by upgrading. Then, they did not ignore the game's secondary gameplay. They designed three ideal land ornaments: Notre-Dame de Paris, House of Invalids, and Napoleon Cannon. Among them, Notre-Dame de Paris is the only large Ideal Land Ornament so far.

  1. Storyline linkage activities:

As for the plot events, we have to mention Napoleon's Journey Event. This is the most different from other IP collaboration events. This event requires the gathering of the power of all players to push the plot. In this event, players can understand the battles that Napoleon experienced in history.

  1. Practical events combined with IP's background:

Also, Evony has designed cooperative activities that involve real-time combat core gameplay. For example, they destroyed the pyramids in the Expedition to Egypt, defeated the Anti-French Coalitions, and battled to get the Historic City Paris.

"Our IP collaborations, such as Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla, and Napoleon are integral to our marketing strategy, aiming to boost brand visibility and broaden our audience. These partnerships have proven very successful, prompting us to seek further collaborations with recognizable brands that can enrich our gaming experiences and appeal to our wide base of players. We’re always eager to explore new partnership opportunities that can create a win-win-win scenario for our players, our IP collaborators, and TGI." Top Games Inc.'s VP, Benjamin Gifford shared.

Thoughts on the feasibility of uCool's IP Collaboration

Benjamin Gifford mentioned that Top Games Inc.'s development strategy is to focus on user-centered design and cultivate a strong and engaged player base. Their commitment to prioritizing the user experience has kept the game’s popularity high. According to his experience, if you want to achieve the success of the IP collaboration strategy in uCool, you also need to start from the perspective of user experience.

We take uCool's Heroes Charge (HC) as an example for analysis. As an RPG game, the implementation of this strategy will be different from SLG games.

Recommendations for uCool to install this strategy:

  • HC seems to be a completely imaginary background without a real historical basis, so it does not need to choose IP with historical themes.

  • Moreover, the visual characteristics of uCool's games are also very different from Evony's. HC's style is lovely, and both the buildings and characters are full of fairy tale colors. This may mean that they need to select IPs of similar styles. Or, they can make the IP's characters into Q versions. Of course, this requires a certain negotiation process.

  • As for cooperative activities combined with gameplay, it depends on the core mechanism of the game. The gameplay of HC itself includes confrontation with NPC camps and other players. Thus, it is possible to consider incorporating elements related to the battle gameplay. And it is best to have deep elements that can dance with the gameplay.

  • Different from the experience of Top Games Inc., we also found that some game companies adopt a combination of online and offline methods when conducting IP collaborations. This is also a direction that uCool can try.

In summary, as cross-border brand cooperation deepens, adding elements of the IP party on the surface can no longer meet the needs of players. According to the experience shared by Benjamin Gifford, Top Games Inc.'s Evony will consider deeper integration between collaboration brand and game features. Even if their game styles are different, it is also worth learning from uCool. They can change the direction of partner selection and keep deep cooperation to make this strategy workable.