Gamefest 2019: Session Summaries

Need a refresher on everything discussed at Gamefest 2019? Look no further.

ironSource Product Overview

Since last year’s Gamefest, ironSource launched LevelPlay in-app bidding as well as tools for ad monetization A/B testing, cross promotion, and ad revenue measurement

Nimrod Zuta walked us through new features on the ironSource platform and announced the launch of our new mobile app (download it now on iOS and Android). Erez Fruchtman from the network side of things discussed the ROAS optimizer and our new insights dashboard. Finally, Yevgeny Peres focused on our product vision for 2020. What’s in store for next year? Automation tools to improve optimization processes for you. 

How to Win With the ironSource Growth Loop

Nadav Ashkenazy showed us that ironSource products working together have a greater impact than the sum of their parts. 

Nadav was joined on stage by Kelly Kang from Big Fish, Rahul Ravindranath from Amanotes, and Kosei Saegusa from each of whom shared how they use our products to grow their games: Kelly’s team increased ARPDEU 22% after our A/B testing tool helped them discover their ideal waterfall settings. Rahul and his team saw 20% to 50% of total installs increase when using our cross promotion solution. And Kosei from showed how the ROAS optimizer helped bring their app to #1 on iOS and Android in several geos. 

Your account manager is here to take you through the products. Shoot them an email/text/carrier pigeon now and get started.

Protecting the Base in the Experience Economy

Nir Korczak, CMO at Playtika, explained how Playtika treats monetization as part of the product experience. In order to ensure that they monetize the maximum number of users, they’re constantly adding new features with new monetization opportunities. For example, they offer a wheel experience with different prizes on each new title. What does this lead to? 90% more revenue, 30% more users, and a 56% engagement rate. 

The End of Hyper-Casual?

The title of Omer Kaplan’s’s session sure caught your attention, didn’t it? 

Key facts to take home: hyper-casual games represent 12.5% of all game installs today - making it a genre that has matured and is here to stay. That being said, hyper-casual represents a massive opportunity for non-hyper-casual advertisers to connect with new users.

Dichotomy in Mobile Games

Mishka Katkoff opened Day 2 with the secret recipe for a studio to become a winner: resources to scale up UA, strong live ops, a diversified portfolio, and genre mastery. 

He then continued explaning the dichotomy that exists between what it takes for hyper-casual games to make it to the top vs  mid-core games - specifically, when it comes to launching. For example, hyper-casual will launch, test, then either scale or trash, whereas mid-core titles will launch on a massive scale - going all-in. When it comes to game design, hyper-casual only goes with proven design whereas mid-core games have more creative freedom. 

Making the Game | “Zero to One”: New Game Development

Joe Kim - product management extraordinaire - discussed the development of new games. Here are 3 claims he made that everyone should consider (and share with their teams):

  1. New game development requires a fundamentally different skill set than live ops. 
  2. Pre-production has a critical impact on development, yet most game companies lack a sound pre-production process. 
  3. When it comes to mobile F2P games, while gameplay design requires iteration, systems and social design can be largely planned in advance. 

Gaming Industry Trends from the ironSource Perspective

Analyzing ironSource network data, Amir pointed out 4 main trends: the mobile game market is evolving; IAP-based games are looking for new ways to monetize; developers are increasingly incorporating ads in the initial game design; and idle game are on the rise, and guess what? They’re relying more and more on ads. 

Pro tip: Do you remember when Amir said that 70% of IAP advertisers are still ignoring ad revenue in their UA activity? Don’t make that mistake. UA is far more effective when you’re aware of a user’s actual value and not the revenue they drive through IAPs only. Also, don’t only run in tier-1 geos, make sure you’re running across 2,3, and 4, too. 

From the psychology of rewarded video to its impact on wider game metrics

Or discussed the impact of rewarded video from a psychological lens. Traditionally, game developers designed gameplay according to psychological factors, grouping players according to to behavioral or emotional commonalities. Today, devs can use this same logic when testing and implementing rewarded video. A/B testing is key here and it's crucial to connect the ads implementation test to the gameplay monetization strategy.

Fireside Chat: M&As in Gaming

Whiskey in hand, Melissa Zeloof and Scott Koenigsberg from Zynga took the stage to discuss M&As in the industry. Scott stressed the importance of considering qualitative factors (i.e. team members and company DNA) when looking to acquire a studio - not everything is based on quantitative data. Additionally, providing acquired studios what they need rather than forcing tests and products upon them is what drives innovation. In fact, Scott highlighted that one of Zynga’s biggest advantages is their culture of experimentation. 

The year of the disaster: How creatives transform the industry

When it comes to pulling off kick-ass UA campaigns, it’s crucial to leverage emotion, motivation and addressable market size, as doing so improves your chances of acquiring the right users for your game. 


  1. Explore beyond your game when it comes to creatives, but don’t go too far.
  2. Don’t launch until you’re ready.
  3. Build an in-house team.
  4. If all else fails? Use fear. 
Let's put these tips to good use

Grow your game with ironSource