So far in 2017, we have witnessed great improvements for user acquisition in gaming. Join Saikala Sultanova (currently Director of User Acquisition, Mobile at Ubisoft, and Head of User Acquisition at Space Ape Games at the time of speaking) during her session at Casual Connect Asia. She shared Space Ape Games’ best practices and latest findings, when it comes to supporting new game launches. One of the key takeaways that Saikala highlighted was: “To make sure that you always have a backup plan. So if you have a plan one to build a simulation, make a plan B because when things change and you go with your game to global launch and you have this ultimate goal so you will have plans A, B and C… If you have three different options, it helps you move towards the same goal.” Listen in to get your “UA takeaway” of the day!
By Ignasi Prat – CMO of Tappx
No matter how big or small your studio is, one fact remains true: paying for users is expensive. Paying for good users is even more expensive. And being able to retain them is the philosopher’s stone that every publisher desires in order to succeed in the mobile ecosystem.
This article is not a diatribe against companies offering user acquisition services or against publishers who decide to use a paid strategy to increase their user base. With good performance and proper management of costs and life cycle, paid acquisition can be very beneficial and a great way to accelerate traction for your games.
This article aims to show there’s life beyond paid advertising. We are going to demonstrate how we succeed in increasing our user base by using alternative strategies and tactics that required no investment.
By devtodev analysts, Vera Karpova and Vasiliy Sabirov
Currently, product analytics reached a sufficiently high level of development. Many analytical systems are equipped with a variety of tools that will tell in detail how users behave in the application: when they buy, where they live, how much they cost for the company and how they leave.
These tools have become a part of daily life, regular monitoring; assistants in the decision-making process – now it is a must-have for any project.
Funnels and segments don’t surprise anybody anymore, and as in any other business, having reached the top of one reveals a will to go further and improve.
In this regard, the sphere of analytics is no exception, and in the past few years a new kind of data analysis – predictive analytics – began to develop.
You’ll also have an idea of predictive analytics, if you monitor the metrics on a daily or even hourly basis.
For example, you know that usually at 12 a.m. there are about 20,000 users in your game, and today this indicator is much lower. It equals 15,000 users. You understand that there is a trend for decline, which means that it is necessary to find the cause as soon as possible and improve the situation before the indicator falls even more.
It can be really tough to break into the Asian market, maybe even mysterious. Although there is a large difference in user behavior between Western and Asian players, Youzu Interactive has been very successful in localizing games. They have even been able to make it into the Top 10 in more than 60 countries overseas. In a lecture at Casual Connect Europe entitled Going Global – Local Operation Experience for Over 100 Countries, Yuli Zhao focused on what developers should do rather than what they shouldn’t do. Here is a key finding that Yuli described: “Because there are a small group of deep pocket players, whale players, in Asian games, when we bring the game to Western markets we don’t want to make the non-paying users feel bad about it so there are some items which is to price extremely high in our previous version in Asian market. Actually, we divided these items into smaller packages so that when the players pay for the virtual items, they will view the pricing as not that high but in reality, they need to buy the whole group of virtual items to get the final ones.”
Three of the top world markets comes from Asia are China, North America and Japan. Here are three findings which Yuli highlighted:
- Style is not fine Art: Glowing effect and outstanding outfit affected why they got features by Apple.
- Compatibility: Fast frame speed on lower end mobile phone at 20+ a must.
- Localization: extend the life cycle of the game by changing rewards, difficulty by country and the number of incoming game events.
For more useful tips on how to break through the cross-cultural barrier, see the full lecture below.
2016 proved to be a fruitful year for Vungle, with the company reaching new milestones this last year. They are now the trusted ad platform for more than 25,000 mobile apps and serve two billion video views monthly on over 560 million devices across the globe. The company was consistently ranked No. 1 for cross-platform user retention – surpassing even Facebook and Google with gaming apps on iOS and Android in an AppsFlyer Performance Index Report.
How did these accomplishments come about? Here is a quick look at some of the key takeaways from Vungle’s successes.
At Casual Connect Tel Aviv, Guy Hasson offered tried and tested strategies on how to improve your monetization through economy. “Suppose you have the greatest content, great games, great graphics, great themes, great math. You can waste it all by having a bad economy,” Guy explained. Learn more specific tips on how to have a good economy and ways to dodge monumental mistakes in the video below.
Marko Jevtic is the product marketing manager for Nordeus’ Top Eleven franchise. He leads the marketing team, and has worked in digital marketing for over ten years.
“Community management is important to us, and we have a presence across various social media platforms,” Marko detailed. “Market research is also part of my responsibilities.”
Before joining Nordeus, Marko worked on creative, digital strategies and as a media guide for clients like Visa and Samsung in Europe. Nordeus made the offer to Marko, which he saw as a great opportunity, noted that one year in the gaming sector is like 20 in other industries.
Ilyon has only been on the scene since 2013, but they already have over 40 titles and are continuing to see strong user acquisition and retention growth every month among their various titles. The company, which was started by four former Israeli military officers who worked on their game projects at home, has since grown to 40 employees with an office in Israel.
The company started around a simple bubble-shooter game with only one game mode which Ilyon COO Ilya Molo says had a “total respectable” 2M downloads. They then took the feedback and data they received from that game and worked on it full-time to improve it. The resulting changes led to 1000% growth in downloads and revenue. Today, the same app has more than 14M downloads.
Ilyon has continuously used this model to grow: Reinvesting in its games as it reaches new thresholds – creating new levels, hiring new designers, adding game modes and improving in-app purchases. Additionally, they create special bubble-shooter apps to take advantage of current events such as the Olympics or holidays.
Kevin Chou is co-founder and CEO of Kabam, a leading mobile games developer focused on massively multiplayer free-to-play games. Kevin has led the company as the founding CEO from business plan to $400 million USD in annual profitable revenues.
Kevin has secured partnerships with leading game platforms, as well as with Hollywood studio giants such as Disney, Lionsgate, MGM, NBC Universal, Paramount and Warner Brothers for games based on some of the world’s most beloved entertainment franchises. Under Kevin’s leadership, Kabam has made more than $240 million from venture and strategic investors, including some of the world’s largest entertainment and internet companies such as Alibaba, Google, Intel and Warner Brothers.
Kabam’s Marvel Contest of Champions has been downloaded over 83 million times and has grossed more than $350 million in revenue.
Prior to Kabam, Kevin was a venture capitalist at Canaan Partners, investing in consumer internet and digital media companies.
Are you a developer struggling to get LTV greater than CPI? If so, you are certainly not alone; it’s a very common problem. At Casual Connect USA, Aurora Klaeboe Berg discussed this situation and how you can change it. Aurora pointed out that, “80% of users will only open your app once.” How do you overcome that?
Aurora is a co-founder and COO of Megacool and was previously VP of Business and Marketing at Dirtybit, the company that created the Fun Run game series. With an MSc in CommTech Engineering and Entrepreneurship, Aurora is passionate about helping game studios use their creativity to grow their user base.
In Aurora’s session at Casual Connect, they described different techniques that can boost growth from within your game. Think of the value of word of mouth effects! Aurora highlights key strategies to use in play testing and beyond. One example given: using the grandma test. “If a grandma gets it, anyone gets it!”, shared Aurora. To learn more, watch this video of the complete session.
For a more detailed article about Aurora, click here.