From startup to viral phenomenon - A decade has passed since MAG’s successful word game Ruzzle was released. Today, the game is one of MAG's strongest evergreens, with a continued active and engaged player base.
Stockholm, Sweden - 23 March, 2022 - March 2022 marks ten years since MAG Interactive's first major hit game Ruzzle's release, “MAG was in its infancy in 2012, we only had seven employees”, says Daniel Hasselberg, CEO of MAG Interactive. “When we started the development of Ruzzle, the team consisted of three people, two developers and an artist”.
The game became popular in Sweden relatively quickly, but it was when Ruzzle went viral in the US that the number of downloads really picked up speed. For a time it became one of the world's most played games, “We went from a few thousand downloads in one day to close to a million a day not long after. The volumes grew enormously in a short time”, says Kaj Nygren, CTO at MAG.
With over 70 million downloads and top rankings on the App Store in the word game category in 148 countries, Ruzzle became a household name in the US as well as in Sweden, France and Italy. That Ruzzle would reach such heights was not something that MAG's founders believed when the game was launched on Apple's App Store.
“We saw word games increase in popularity on the App Store, which was then a much smaller digital marketplace than today. In addition, we also saw great potential in localizing word games to languages other than English”, Daniel Hasselberg continues.
From small word game to multimillion-dollar success
A few kids in a school in the US are to thank for starting a wave of downloads that led to Ruzzle becoming a viral hit. The game really picked up steam when a rush of players began challenging each other on Twitter.
“We did not have a server team, it was just me and Google's cloud service - which had a much lower capacity then. I had to work on call at night with Google's technicians in the US to stop the game from crashing”, says Kaj Nygren.
With a large growing group of active players, Ruzzle expanded into a cultural phenomenon. A wave of influential people in completely different fields in both the US and Europe began to challenge each other on Twitter, from politicians and football players to musicians and TV presenters, all playing Ruzzle.
A vibrant community and committed player base
Ruzzle’s game design with matches divided into several fast rounds proved to be a perfect recipe for building a dedicated player base. The chat feature has also been a cornerstone for users to develop rewarding player relationships.
Marco from Italy has challenged the same Ruzzle players for 10 years. These game rivals have all become good friends even though they have never met, “I have changed phones countless times, Ruzzle is the only app that remains”, he says.
Ruzzle a role model for MAG's evergreens
With its committed player community, Ruzzle has demonstrated the long-term potential of mobile gaming and become a benchmark for MAG's evergreens.
“Today, MAG has a great game portfolio with a number of evergreens. However, Ruzzle will always have a special place in MAG's heart, both as an active product in the game portfolio and for us who can tell the story of how this fantastic game came about”, says Daniel Hasselberg.
Fun facts about Ruzzle