The good times continue to roll at Maliyo Games. Following a successful redesign of their flagship title Whot King, the Lagos based developer followed it up by hosting the French ambassador to Nigeria.

Strengthening diplomatic ties between France and Nigeria, French Ambassador to the country, H.E. Emmanuelle Blatmann, made an official visit to the Maliyo Games studio last week. 

The meeting was broadcast virtually to the Maliyo Games community, working across Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya and Bangladesh. Part of Her Excellency’s mandate includes building relationships with Nigerian businesses of note and the wider economic community of the country. 

Opening proceedings, Maliyo Games CEO, Hugo Obi, noted that the studio’s growing pan-African footprint was a boon from the Covid-19 pandemic, which led the Nigerian games developer to think creatively about sourcing top talent from across the continent.

“We discovered that the best talent in African gaming is not concentrated in a singular location. This is why we developed our remote game developer training programme, known as GameUp Africa in partnership with Google. Our team is located across various African countries and we work cohesively and remotely.”

During her visit, the Ambassador elaborated on various avenues of growth and cooperation between the technology industry in the European Union (EU) and Maliyo Games through industrial partnerships with major French companies especially in the games industry. 

Discussion also led to the suggestion of sending a Nigerian delegation, from Maliyo Games, to industry gatherings such as Paris Games Week to help bolster talent development and establish new networks for the African games studio. Additionally, Maliyo Games’ investment needs were discussed and a number of pipeline options were put forward by Her Excellency and her team for the game developer’s leadership to consider. 

At the close of her visit, the Maliyo Games team introduced the French Ambassador to their latest title, a digital-take on the classic card game, Whot King. Her Excellency commented on her insights after brief game-play:

“I’m very impressed with the work that Hugo and the Maliyo team are doing. To see such technical creativity is refreshing. I’ve never played the Whot card game before, it feels like a fun game. I love the design of the game. It was very enjoyable to play and I even won some matches!”

Peeling away from playing host, Hugo Obi also took some time to touch on the performance of Whot King.

100k installs is a phenomenal number. Does that meet your initial target upon release of the game?
Yes, this is an amazing milestone in terms of the numbers of users who’ve installed the game. This is a step in the ultimate direction for the game. We’ve continued to invest in improving the game cous we think it’s an important game to have in the app store and we want to make it the best possible experience for users. We hope to continue to push forward an grow the active users for the game.

Do you have a breakdown of the installs you could share (geographical, player patterns etc) did your findings bring up any surprises?
Majority of our players are in Africa (60% Nigeria because of the popularity of the physical card game), we also have a strong user base in the middle east and Asia. Our D1 retention is 32% and average session length is over 10 minutes

What strategies were employed to reach this milestone and what aspects do you plan to double down on?
We’ve targeted our user acquisition in Africa mostly, and we expect to continue doing this. We designed the game with first time players in mind, so we paid a lot of attention to the first time user experience (FTUE). Our next goal is to improve on the game’s metagame and monetisation.

Whot King is a casual card matching game that is available for players on Android & iOS.