Casual games publisher PlayFirst claims over 200 million downloads of restaurant-rush casual game Diner Dash
, and the company says it's generated more than $35 million in consumer spending across all platforms.
Recently, the company expanded on its business model by adding microtransactions, social networking and personalization elements into its latest title in the franchise, Diner Dash: Hometown Hero
Following a growing trend in online gaming and virtual worlds, Diner Dash: Hometown Hero
enables players to purchase game items and standalone restaurants, customize their own characters and diners, and share their designs with others -- and the company says the endeavor has been a huge success.
According to PlayFirst, in its first month, the full version of Diner Dash: Hometown Hero
has out-sold any other PlayFirst game’s first month of web sales, indicating consumers’ continued demand for Diner Dash
games. Moreover, 45 percent of all Hometown Hero
customers are first-time PlayFirst purchasers, the company adds.
24 percent of these new purchases were for new expansion restaurant level packs, which add 10 new gameplay levels, and 12 percent of purchases were for avatar clothing, accessories and decor items, says PlayFirst. Finally, Diner Dash: Hometown Hero
customers have, on average, bought 50 percent more game offerings than those who bought games that do not offer micro-transactions or level packs.
PlayFirst CEO John Welch said, “The goal of Diner Dash: Hometown Hero
is to offer a deeper, shared experience around a lasting, original brand such as Diner Dash
, which would transform the casual game industry. We’re happy to give the Diner Dash
community more of what they want: a fresh combination of story-driven gameplay, the ability to customize and accessorize, access to multiplayer, and the personalization and sharing features that PlayFirst introduced for the first time to casual games.”