How Ankama Increased Their New Player Retention Rate by 25% with Antidote

What's on this page


A video interview with Sacha Vetu, Product Manager at Ankama, who discusses his experience working with Antidote

Quick Summary


  • Ankama, creators of the DOFUS game, aimed to enhance the gameplay experience for new players and to expand into new market
  • They faced challenges with early retention and identifying the points at which players churned
  • Ankama collaborated with Antidote’s UX team, utilizing our GUR platform to recruit the right player profiles, conduct two research studies and create a stakeholder-ready UX report
  • As a result, they improved new player retention by 25% and experienced a successful relaunch with over 200,000 downloads
  • The collaboration saved Ankama substantial development time, providing valuable insights from their target audience and helping them to meet tight deadlines

The Company

An image banner introducing the game: Dofus Touch


Ankama, founded in 2001, is a world-renowned game studio based in Roubaix, France.

Ankama blends video games with various forms of media including animation, comics and board games to create immersive storytelling experiences.

Their flagship titles, DOFUS and WAKFU, are tactical MMORPGs that submerge players in the whimsical Krosmoz universe, embarking them on quests to retrieve magical dragon eggs known as Dofus.

The studio is recognized for its innovative approach to combining game development with other forms of entertainment, creating a unique, cross-media narrative experience for its audience.

The Challenge


Ankama wanted to improve the overall user experience for DOFUS Touch, a mobile version of the game.

The goal was to make the game more accessible and appealing to new players, enhancing its friendliness and facilitating expansion into new markets. 

To achieve this, the team at Ankama aimed to conduct a First Time User Experience (FTUE) playtest to gather insights from their target audience. In addition, they wanted to carry out a series of concept validation sessions to gather player perspectives on the specific game elements.

When asked about what encouraged them to seek external assistance with their project, Sacha, Product Manager at Ankama, responded by saying:


First, we needed available players outside of our current markets. So, we were seeking mainly American players to test the game. And we also needed qualitative feedback from the UX team. So, Antidote was the perfect solution for this.”


Based on that, Ankama decided to partner with Antidote to gather player-driven feedback and improve the game’s early retention.

The Solution


To enhance the game’s user experience and reduce player churn, Ankama wanted to conduct two separate studies:

  1. A concept validation research with US-based participants to gauge DOFUS Touch’s brand appeal among American players.
  2. A FTUE playtest to examine new players’ initial experiences with the game.

For the first research study, the project was divided into two parts: qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative part involved one-on-one interviews with the players from Antidote’s community, which was moderated by our in-house UX team.

The quantitative segment included surveys where participants answered a series of questions, providing their insights on the assigned creatives and helping to validate hypotheses derived from the interview responses.

Furthermore, we coordinated a FTUE playtest involving 10 players that lasted approximately 2 hours. The primary goals were to evaluate the effectiveness of the game’s onboarding process and understand the reasons behind player churn. This involved participants playing through the tutorial stage, early gameplay and navigating the general menu.

We asked Ankama about Antidote’s delivery process:

With your recording solution, we watched how players experienced the game, what they had to say in real-time as they experienced it. That was very useful for us to understand why they disliked or liked some parts of the game, some elements.

And that was really amazing for us to be able to see how players experience a specific combat, a specific quest.

By using the features of Antidote’s platform, the Ankama team could directly receive gameplay recordings from the playtest sessions. This enabled them to observe how new players experienced the game in real-time.

The Result

An image showing the quote of Ankama's outcomes of working with Antidote


We asked Anakama about the results they achieved from collaborating with Antidote: 


We saw that we improved the retention from new players by about 25% after we reworked the early game based on your feedback.


Following the implementation of feedback from Antidote’s UX team, DOFUS Touch underwent a successful relaunch, with Ankama commenting:


So, there was a surge of new players recently. And so, the adaptations we implemented in the game allowed us to really have success with this relaunch. So, there were more than 200,000 installs recently and the retention is very satisfying based on our history.”


Additionally, we asked Ankama about the most valuable insights gained from working with Antidote:


The valuable insights were mainly to, as I said previously, to really understand how people experience the game.

So, that was something we had never done before, to really see in real time how a new player experiences the game. And as you included the audio to the recording, it added value to it because the playtesters were commenting on what they were doing and that was really helpful. 

It was like watching a live stream, but of new players discovering the game!


Partnering with Antidote allowed the Ankama team to understand how new players experienced DOFUS Touch, while identifying when and why players churned. 

The insights gained enabled them to fine-tune the game and enhance the initial gameplay experience, which resulted in a successful relaunch with improved player retention.

Furthermore, given that Ankama was on a tight schedule with looming project deadlines, we asked about the time savings from working with Antidote:

Yeah, it saved a lot of time on playtesting ourselves.”

“Also, on the UX report that you provided, this was very useful for us to, well, to not have to do it ourselves. So, it saved quite a lot of hours of work. 


On top of receiving valuable player feedback, Ankama saved significant time on their game user research process, with Antidote handling the logistics such as player recruitment and playtest coordination. 

Moreover, using Antidote’s dedicated platform saved the team valuable time by streamlining data capture and result analysis in a single, centralized location.

Consequently, Ankama could focus on the most important task at hand:  improving the overall UX experience for new DOFUS Touch players.

Why Ankama Recommends Antidote


We asked Sacha whether he would recommend Antidote’s services to other game studios and why:

Yeah, I would definitely recommend it because it was a very fast solution and everything was done within weeks.

So, that was very valuable for us as we were on a tight schedule. We reached out quite late in our process, but you were able to provide us with the solution we needed in a short timeframe

And the results were very effective.

There was a concise report that was very relevant and the communication with the team was very smooth. We worked on Discord and we had very fast replies when we needed them. 

When playtesters encountered issues, we were able to work together on fixing them very fast.

So, yeah, the team was very cool and very hard at work!


In summary, Sacha highlighted the following key reasons for recommending our services:

  • Fast turnaround
  • Assistance with coordinating the studies
  • Antidote platform’s deliverables: gameplay recording, players’ think-aloud comments and surveys. 
  • A valuable UX report
  • Effective communication


Want to experience the same benefits and results?

If you’re a game studio or publisher seeking support for your upcoming game user research project, partner with Antidote to obtain user-driven feedback from your target audience.

Let us handle the heavy lifting, allowing you to focus on delivering extraordinary gaming experiences to your players!

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