Solving the secret to Criminal Case’s Open Graph success. From 0 to 7M DAUs in 6 months.

(reprinted from Facebook Showcase)

Compelling game-play is just the start

Criminal Case, by French social game developers Pretty Simple, is the ultimate CSI-whodunnit. Coming upon a crime scene, players search for and analyze a series of clues, interrogating suspects and ultimately identifying the perpetrator. Within six months of launch the game already had over 7 million daily active users.

One of the key factors that makes Criminal Case stand apart from other hidden object games is content. Not shying away from presenting a level of grittiness in the game art and storytelling which has proven engrossing for more adult players, and in particular women, with about 60% of regular player base being female.

Making huge leaps by taking a step back

Criminal Case’s engaging game-play is just part of its success story. The game’s Open Graph integration has driven huge gains in user acquisition, not only in comparison to other hidden object games, but to games across the board.

This success is largely due to creators having taken a step back to consider how an Open Graph story would look to a new – or rather, non – player, then creating published content that tells an inviting, meaningful story likely to prompt click-throughs.

More than mapped actions

Criminal Case makes stories meaningful by creating narratives, rather than simply mapping stories to actions within the game. Reading more like chapters in a crime novel than stand-alone accomplishments, Criminal Case’s Open Graph stories weave together friends’ investigations, showing them exploring different lines of enquiry and piecing together each new piece of evidence as they close in on the killer.

What’s more, all types of action in the game generate a fairly even number of publishable stories, keeping Open Graph content fresh and generating high quality stories on Facebook resulting in ,Criminal Case players publishing an average of 40 stories a month, more than four times higher than the typical publishing rate of hidden object games.

Criminal Case also makes the most of its beautiful game art, cleverly selecting which pieces to publish in Open Graph to create great-looking stories that stand out.

Measuring their way to success

The Criminal Case team also backs up their innate understanding of organic distribution by measuring engagement levels and monitoring insights to serve up the most compelling content.

They constantly iterate and improve, for instance testing their language and cycling story art to see what generates the best user response, building on their already established foundation to drive even more traffic and heighten their success.


  • +25 Million MAU in 6 months
  • 7 Million DAU in 6 months.
  • Over 10M€ in revenue for 2013 from Criminal Case
  • Over 500 million Open Graph actions generated since launch
  • 1 player out of 2 comes in the game through an OG story