What Cookie Run: Kingdom Should Learn From its Sonic the Hedgehog Event – GameRant

Collaboration events in mobile games exist to bring new fans in, but Cookie Run: Kingdom’s recent Sonic collaboration had the opposite effect.
In a mobile gaming world with titans the likes of Pokemon GO and Genshin Impact, Cookie Run: Kingdom has released early this year as the newest sensation from the popular Cookie Run franchise by Devsisters. After the success of Cookie Run: OvenBreak, it's only natural that Kingdom has followed in its footsteps and has become a hit, growing in popularity over the last few months. One of the things that bolstered its popularity was a collaboration event featuring Sonic the Hedgehog.
The Sonic event was fairly simple; it featured an event stage and daily gifts that handed out rings, used to roll in a special "item box" gacha that would either give Soul Stones or the Chaos Emeralds, used to eventually obtain the event-exclusive Sonic and Tails Cookies for players to put on their teams. While this seems great in theory, the way the event was scaled hurt the idea in practice.
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Collaboration events by nature are meant to promote both halves of the crossover. Cookie Run: Kingdom aimed to get Sonic fans to play the game, and for Cookie Run fans it was a huge advertisement for Sonic's 30th Anniversary. Unfortunately, the collab ended up turning some Sonic fans away from the title. The event was designed specifically so early adopters could easily clear it, whereas newer Cookie Run: Kingdom players were unable to finish the first stage without playing for large amounts of time – much less the event as a whole.
Cookie Run: Kingdom uses a Power Tip level on stages to act as a hint of how strong players need to be to beat the level. For reference, the final boss of the game's second world has a Power Tip of 13,014, and can be beaten by starting players easily. The first stage of Sonic's Green Hill Zone was over a hundred thousand from the get-go. The event also had its own energy in order to play, with Sonic's Speed Shoes restoring one automatically every half-hour. With the default cap of sixty Speed Shoes, that meant players needed to wait 30 hours to be at full energy – at least ten hours for the twenty Speed Shoes required to play the beginning levels of the event stage.
With how many fans disliked the event hurting the new players it was meant to invite, Cookie Run: Kingdom issued an update lowering the Power Tip and overall difficulty, but this update was issued with only 15 days left in an event requiring players to wait more than a day to play. Devsisters gave out several compensation items, such as rings and Speed Shoes, and even increased the sixty event energy cap to ninety, but the wait was still roughly ten hours to let fans have enough energy.
The damage had already been done, and many fans who joined to get the Sonic and Tails Cookies already deleted the app off their devices and moved on. Since this issue was known when the event began, if the fix had come faster there's no telling how much player numbers would have changed. While the event may not have slowed Cookie Run: Kingdom's popularity, being more friendly to new players could have kept some around who were eager to play.
For a game that only recently came out, the poor handling of the Sonic event was a bad first impression. As much as Cookie Run: Kingdom has a loyal playerbase, newcomers may only associate the game with tricky events made to bolster download counts, rather than keeping frequent players. Not to mention, alongside the Sonic event were plenty of microtransaction packages made to make the event easier for real currency, which appeared "pay to win" rather than eager to invite new players.
Even though the Sonic event was frustrating for new players, the game is filled with fun content. It has two dedicated Cookie arena modes, several challenging side-story modes, and player-friendly gacha rates. Devsisters also rewards frequent players with constant in-game presents that encourage them coming back for more throughout the day. The Sonic the Hedgehog event shouldn't be looked upon as a failure, but as a learning experience to make Cookie Run: Kingdom more welcoming for the next event. After all, it has plenty to offer for those that are willing to give the game a second chance.
Cookie Run: Kingdom is available now for Android and iOS devices.
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Zackari has loved video games since he first played Sonic the Hedgehog on the SEGA Genesis as a toddler. He enjoys writing about the games he’s loved his entire life, and when he isn’t writing for Game Rant, he’s found either playing those same games or dabbling in more creative endeavors.

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