When breaking up the mobile gaming market according lớn Game Refinery’s taxonomy, the “Casino” (aka Social Casino) category is the third largest by revenue - and it has steadily been growing over 2018. Category revenue grew by +24% YoY, and the “Slots” sub-genre contributed khổng lồ ~70% of this growth. “Slots” generate anything between an average of 70-80% of real world casino revenues, and the same engagement behaviour is mirrored in the Social Casino space. “Slots” are the largest revenue generating sub-genre of the Casino category, occupying a 78% tóm tắt.

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Read more about our thoughts around this category and its future in our 2019 Casino category prediction post.


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At the same time, the Social Casino space (and Slots games specifically) has not seen too much of product innovation over the past few years. Product offerings are quite constant amongst the top performers - enter the lobby → choose from a multitude of slot machines → bet → win → repeat. Product differentiation is driven by UX, art styles, production quality and minor meta systems such as quests và saga maps. Further, slots game economies are still stuông chồng largely in the digital dark ages of the single currency economy. Many games feature secondary và even tertiary currencies, but slots players still largely only care about coins. Given this sản phẩm design stagnancy, one could say that the sub-genre is primed for innovation.


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The dormant downloads growth trover of Slots games over the past 2 years further fuels the idea of innovation unlocking more growth in the sub-genre.


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Almost all Social Casino titles have sầu fought for market nội dung by staying safe and delivering authentic casino experiences on mobile.


Coin Master - A Massive Disruptor?

It could be argued whether “Coin Master” (CM) falls into the Casino category or not, but either way it is turning out khổng lồ be the spark that will drive future innovation in the Casino category. With progressively deep nội dung wrapped inlớn a single slot machine, casual art style, a more substantial meta, strong social features, hyperactive sầu live sầu operations and great UX/production value, Israeli developer Moon Active has pretty much flipped the traditional Slots games design model on its head. The resulting numbers don’t lie, as this bold move sầu by CM is proving lớn be very successful.


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Coin Master’s store screenshots | Source: Apple App Store


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Coin Master has made over January revenues have sầu skyrocketed +2một nửa YoY!


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CM hovers in the top 50 grossing games.


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CM has unlocked downloads growth in countries like India & Israel - both non-traditional slots markets.


While it is true that CM does not position itself as a Slots game, it has a slots core that is obviously hard to lớn miss. With classic blue ocean finding finesse, CM is not only burning global grossing charts, but is also unlocking growth in non-traditional social casino markets like India and Israel - a nut that traditional social casino games have not been able to lớn crack in the past. Clearly, CM has và will continue lớn expvà the definition of “social casino”, while also growing the pie!

So, what is it about CM that makes it resonate so well? We will answer this question in two parts - first by looking at what CM is all about, and second by comparing to lớn the competition to lớn see how CM does it better.

Coin Master’s Game Systems
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CM successfully takes the traditional slot machine experience (the heart of all gambling games), marries it with very light mid-core mechanics of base building, attacking và stealing from other players, and supports all this with a strong social loop over brilliant live-ops, a well balanced economy, great gameplay UX and a casual art style - all resulting in delivering a highly chất lượng slots experience with significant market traction. Bizarre as all this may sound, this recipe works và the game can be very engaging and fun lớn play, even if you are not a social casino fan!

The Chip Core Loop

Quickly running through what the core loop of CM entails -

One would spin reels on a giant slot machine with spins generating different reel symbol combinations and betting more spins multiplying the reward, similar to traditional slots games

Each spin outcome can result in either gaining “Coins”, “Raiding”/“Attacking” khổng lồ steal coins from other players’ bases or winning “Shields” khổng lồ protect one’s own loot

By sinking all coins won in base upgrades, one progresses up the saga bản đồ and thereby unlocks more features and higher jackpots


The core loop of CM is notably more complex than standard slot games, which are mainly about simply spinning a reel with different bet amounts and receiving variable rewards. At the same time, CM has been able lớn translate this elaborated core loop inkhổng lồ simple, digestible & engaging core gameplay. All of which results in a near slots experience that makes the most of addictive sầu slots player psychology, while using casual versions of proven F2P. mid-core mechanics to lớn capitalise on feelings of Loss Aversion & Skinner Box driven habit forming.

Most definitely, “Spins” drive sầu all core loop engagement. With 5 free spins being granted every 50 minutes, their availability is limited and hence they are an energy mechanic of sorts. As with all energy mechanics, game session length is tempered khổng lồ protect players from burnout, while also driving monetisation và retention. But CM is also quite generous with giving out spin rewards through reel matches và events for example, and thereby strays away from the typical gameplay throttling impression energy mechanics usually have in other games.

Attacks và Raids - PvP. Gameplay


One of the two possible PvPhường oriented spin results is “Attacking”. On hitting 3 attaông xã reel symbols (hammers), one enters Attack mode and there is an immediate transition to lớn a defending player’s base. Similar lớn viewing a base & choosing where lớn attack in mid-core Build và Battle games, one can choose which opponent structure to lớn attaông chồng. A successful attack would yield a variable coin amount. It should be mentioned that unlượt thích mid-core Build và Battle games, the attack experience in CM is a simple và quiông xã one action affair.

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And given CM’s more casual target audience, keeping this experience light is definitely a prudent thiết kế choice.


Related lớn the Attaông xã system - “Shields” are consumables granted randomly through slot machine spins and automatically applied khổng lồ a players base, so as to bloông chồng incoming player attacks, protect loot and result in a lower payout for the attacker. Most definitely, Shields are also lost as a result of incoming attacks. Since a player can only hold 3 Shields at a time, this system also doubles up as a minor retention mechanic to get players baông xã into the game và refill shields through more slot spins. Further, the existence of the Shields system allows CM to be more generous with chances for Attack slot reel results, thereby driving two-way (attacker and defender) engagement through social.


The second PvPhường oriented spin result is “Raiding”. Similar to lớn Attacking, a player would need khổng lồ hit 3 raid reel symbols (pigs) lớn activate the Raid mode. In this mode, a player can bypass protection Shields & steal coins from other players bases. Since the defender has no way lớn protect his coins during a raid, the odds are balanced for the attacker by limiting the total loot that can be stolen and also fragmenting the total loot across the defender’s base. The attacker has three chances lớn guess where the coins lie và maximise the loot stolen, with some steal attempts also resulting in no loot gained. Similar khổng lồ Attacks, Rsida also drive sầu two-way engagement through social.

There are two additional systems related lớn the Raid system. The first is the special “Coin Master” raid. At the top of the slot machine, a Coin Master target is always displayed lớn the player và on some raid reel matches, it becomes possible lớn raid this featured target. Since this is usually a player with a lot of hoarded loot, it is equivalent khổng lồ hitting a jackpot in traditional slot games - a major win motivator. But more interestingly, the existence of the Coin Master position inversely motivates players lớn sink their won coins quickly into building upgrades, so that they are not made more susceptible for raiding by being featured as Coin Master.

The second system auxiliary lớn Raids is the Pets collection mechanic, which lightly drives medium-long term monetisation và retention. Collected pets assist in stealing more loot during raids. Pets are acquired through completing thẻ collections, and cards are acquired through chests that can either be randomly found during a raid or purchased directly from the store.

Base Building and Saga Progression

The base & saga map ảo diệu the progression backbone of the entire game. On a certain village base, one uses coin winnings to lớn build and upgrade various buildings. Once all the buildings of the village base have been upgraded lớn their maximum levels, the player moves up the saga map khổng lồ a different village level, inherits a new base, và continues to build và tăng cấp new buildings. Most definitely, higher village levels unlock newer features & allow higher coin payouts from various slot reel matches. Each village base also has different themes for both the slot machine và base buildings, which become more exquisite and animated as one moves up saga maps.


One could argue that the changing of themes along the saga maps is Moon Active’s sliông chồng solution lớn retain the same feeling that one gets from playing across different slot machines in the lobbies of traditional slots games - without all the lobby-style cognitive load và DLC woes. At the same time, since nothing but the theme and potential payout amounts change, it cannot be considered as an absolutely new slot machine và therefore maybe a lost opportunity lớn slightly vary gameplay và keep things even more fresh as a player progresses deeper.

Base building follows the same rules as mid-core games, but continues khổng lồ be a light implementation to lớn fit the playing audience nature. It feels more effortless cognitive sầu load wise due to limiting the number of buildings khổng lồ just 5 in each village và via prominent “Fix” prompts appearing on each building after it’s attacked by other players. Following the “Fix” prompt UX thiết kế, we could also see a world where the “Village Shop” could’ve sầu been incorporated onto lớn the base view screen itself, so as lớn further reduce cognitive sầu load, clicks and screens, as the repeated actions taken khổng lồ upgrade base buildings does become tiring over time for an experienced player.

Strong Social Hooks to lớn Drive Meta Engagement

Adding light combat và base building might have felt superficial và ineffective, had it not been for the svào social và revenge loops created with friends and other players that CM keeps rubbing in. The feeling of being attacked & having hard earned coins stolen, urges one lớn come baông xã lớn the game ever more often and vì the same to other players, và more interestingly khổng lồ friends playing the game. Most definitely, these loops also help drive sầu organic user growth and retention. Some key features that drive sầu the social and revenge loops are shown in the diagram below.


All in all, the array of above mentioned features are not really “cutting edge social”, but they are simply well-implemented within the core & meta gameplay. Not only bởi vì they bởi a great job of allowing players to lớn invite their friends khổng lồ a quality slots experience, but also fuel the building of a solid sense of relatedness, competition & cooperation inside and outside of the game. By making for a wholesome social experience, CM is able to lớn drive sầu both short term session-to-session engagement, medium-to-long term retention and organic user growth simultaneously.

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