Sparrow Interactive

Sparrow InterActive is creating a mobile game to disrupt a pay to win genre

Last Funded April 2021


raised from 36 investors
Pitch Video
Investor Panel


Revenue model that allows players to compete on a level playing field
Unique gameplay with a focus on creating an enjoyable player experience
Strong community of over 2,000 interested players that is growing by an average of 5% per week
Already generating revenue, which is extremely rare for Alpha software

Our Founder

As a gamer myself, I saw an opportunity in the RTS genre to create something different. To break the pay to win model and cater to the players. They LOVE this genre and the communities it fosters, but they have been trampled on by companies that are just trying to make fast money.

Mobile RTS games have a problem

For the last decade, the payment models for mobile real time strategy games have evolved from "pay to play" to "free to play" and now "pay to win". Recently, the genre has taken the "pay to win" model to an extreme, and that has created a problem for players and an opportunity for us.

The evolution of Pay to Win

Early payment models for mobile games followed traditional boxed games. . . you paid for the software and then downloaded it. However, a new model quickly evolved in which players could download a crippled version of the game and "unlock" features if they enjoyed playing it. 

This lasted for a while, but players began to demand more and more features be available for free. Developers, caught between pleasing their players and trying to generate revenue, created the current model which is Free to Play, but Pay to Win. This satisfied the Free to Play players at first because they could access more content. It also satisfied the developers as they were able to generate strong revenue.  It only worked for a little while though. . .

The current state of Pay to Win

In the massively multiplayer real time strategy genre (MMORTS) there is a predictable cycle that Pay to Win has created. Every pay to win MMORTS game experiences this cycle. 

01: A new server opens up.

02: Players surge onto the new server and invite friends. Thousands join.

03: Quickly, however, a handful of players start to spend large amounts of money on in-game rewards (chests, gems, gold, etc. . .) that allow them to level up much more rapidly than others. Alliances comprised of free to play players disappear as they cannot compete.

04: These "Superplayers" begin to prey on weaker players, continuously beating them, causing many players to quit playing.  These players fall into two camps, but their reasons for quitting are markedly similar.

  • Small non-spending players are beaten so often they grow discouraged and quit
  • Larger modestly spending players are beaten by "Superplayers" and quickly learn that modest spending does nothing to stop the big spenders. They also quit in frustration at the game imbalances caused by unlimited spending.

05: Servers that started with 1,000 to 5,000 players shrink to 100-300 players that are comprised of a few large spenders and those players that love the social part of the game. Spenders eventually leave as well, realizing their investment of hundreds or thousands of dollars was pointless as now the server they poured money into is dead.

    This entire cycle happens within 3-4 months of the launch of a server, which is why developers in this genre launch new servers almost daily.

    How does Darklin Wars fix this?

    The crux of the problem is the structure of the spending that takes place. 

    Pay to Win games offer in-app purchases that directly impact a player's ability to grow or fight. . .  in other words win. The bigger problem is that they allow players to purchase as many of them as they can afford, which creates the "Superplayers".

    In Darklin Wars we have no in-game chests, gold, gems or any other advantage available for sale to players, outside of our subscription. This breaks the pay to win cycle and keeps players in the game, thus dramatically increasing long term revenue opportunities!

    What about free to play players?

    There are players that can genuinely not afford to pay for playing. Sometimes because of economic situations personally, and sometimes because the economies of the countries where they live make it unfeasible.  We empathize with these players and want them to be able to enjoy a competitive game.

    It is for that reason that we structured the game to allow free to play players to obtain the same boosts and buffs as paying players by watching in-app rewarded video ads. The structure of these ads ensures that the game is generating enough revenue from these players to be profitable while providing them with the same experience as subscribers in terms of game play.

    How did this project start?

    In January of 2019, we began to design Darklin Wars with a mission in mind. . .

    That mission is to disrupt the real time strategy genre by moving away from the "pay to win" model, and creating a game that is focused on great gameplay while being supported through a combination of subscriptions, in-app reward videos and cosmetics.  

    Creating this revenue structure enables us to retain a much higher percentage of players, thus opening up more avenues for long term revenue generation.  Rather than simply viewing a player as a "one-off" purchase, the team at Darklin Wars wants to develop a long term relationship with its players and community.

    Concept Artwork
    January 2019 - The game was just a bunch of concept artwork!

    What a difference a year makes!

    Over the course of the last year, we completed a demo of the project as a proof of concept and are now in the Alpha phase of the final game, only a couple of months away from a Beta release and 3-4 months from putting this software in the app stores.  

    Alpha Screens
    Alpha Screens - key functionality is being actively developed.

    Others have joined the journey. . .

    A key to success is having others share the journey you are on. At the start we had only our five team members and a couple of excited fans.  Since then we created a Patrons program and have had 44 individuals financially back our development and volunteer to test the software as we continue to develop it, identifying bugs and helping to accelerate our iterations. 

    In addition to our Patrons, we have over 200 players that volunteer their time to play test our Alpha application. There are an additional 1,800 players that have expressed an interest in playing the game when it is available for Beta testing (Alpha testing is not for everyone!).  Our list of players is growing at an average of 6% per week as word of what we are doing is getting out.

    Where are we at now?

    The project has been developed from concept through to early Alpha and we are pushing forward a little more each day. What we need in order to meet our desired launch timeline is to add additional programmers and quality assurance team members. That is where this raise comes in.

    The initial $50,000 of this raise will get us to the finish line with a refined game ready to launch in the app stores. Raising additional funding, up to our $105,000 goal, will provide us with the funds needed to add in more bells and whistles, along with a nice operating cushion and a bump up for our marketing budget.

    Releasing in early 2021

    By getting our funding finalized, we will be able to add the additional QA and development staff to push hard and release this game in early 2021. The market is ready, the fans are eager and we are ready to be a disrupter in the space.

    Thanks for considering joining us in making the RTS genre competitive and fair for players everywhere.