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The Next $1 Billion-level Match-3 RPG Mobile Game? Small Giant Games Releases New Zombie Theme

The Next $1 Billion-level Match-3 RPG Mobile Game? Small Giant Games Releases New Zombie Theme

BY Chapman 21 Apr,2021 Small Giant Games Puzzle Combat Zynga


In recent years, the field of match 3 has attracted more and more attention from developers. In addition to the continuous expansion of the traditional leisure market, it’s also reflected in the ice-breaking of the medium-to-heavy track.

On April 8, as a representative manufacturer of medium-to-heavy match 3+ games, Small Giant Games officially released Puzzle Combat, which is another match 3 RPG mobile game after Empires & Puzzles.


Data shows that Empires & Puzzles, a game launched in 2016, has created a cumulative revenue of $1 billion for Small Giant Games, which may reach $400 million or $500 million in 2020 alone.

According to officials, Puzzle Combat is not a sequel to Empires & Puzzles, but a sibling product. There are many similarities between these two. Their cores are both around building, collecting & upgrading heroes, and fast-paced match-3 battle gameplay. 


But there are many differences between them. For example, one of the major differences is the style of theme. Empires & Puzzles is fantasy theme, while Puzzle Combat is modern zombie theme. In addition, Puzzle Combat also includes some new match-3 mechanisms, new heroes with new skills, and new weapon systems, PVP passes, etc. In plain language, Puzzle Combat is a “skin-changing” product that attracts users with different preferences through different styles.


Small Giant Games CEO Jose Saarniniemi said in an interview with foreign media Pocket Gamer that there is market space for such products. Although the core gameplay is related to the match-3 mechanism, many additional elements have been added to make it stand out from the numerous puzzle products.


According to Jose, Puzzle Combat was only built by a team of 12 people or so. The first technical test was conducted in early 2019, and it was later published in several test markets.

Bernard Kim, President of Zynga distribution, revealed to GamesBeat that the game has performed very well in several test markets. “We are very excited about the performance of this product and believe that now is a good time for global promotion.”


Although Puzzle Combat is a “skin-changing” product, in the history of mobile game development, there are many successful cases of creating another product with a different theme based on previous games. Therefore, the zombie theme Puzzle Combat, which combines the experience of developers and the resources of its parent company Zynga, is worth looking forward to. Perhaps, this game will become Small Giant Games’ next product with a cumulative revenue of more than $1 billion.