ironSource https://www.ironsrc.com Sun, 09 Dec 2018 16:48:12 +0000 en-EU hourly 1 Gamefest 2018 Panel on UA, Publishing, and In-Game Brand Advertising https://www.ironsrc.com/news/gamefest-2019-panel-ua-publishing-game-brand-advertising/ https://www.ironsrc.com/news/gamefest-2019-panel-ua-publishing-game-brand-advertising/#respond Sun, 09 Dec 2018 12:43:50 +0000 https://www.ironsrc.com/?p=32870 At Gamefest 2018, Craig Chapple from PocketGamer.biz moderated a panel with guest speakers Sally Lu from JamCity, Alexandre Tan from Gameloft, Jeff Gurian from Kongregate, and Brian Truman from GSN Games. Together, they discussed various topics such as user acquisition, mobile game publishing, mergers and acquisitions in the game industry, and in-game brand advertising. Here’s... Read more »

The post Gamefest 2018 Panel on UA, Publishing, and In-Game Brand Advertising appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
At Gamefest 2018, Craig Chapple from PocketGamer.biz moderated a panel with guest speakers Sally Lu from JamCity, Alexandre Tan from Gameloft, Jeff Gurian from Kongregate, and Brian Truman from GSN Games. Together, they discussed various topics such as user acquisition, mobile game publishing, mergers and acquisitions in the game industry, and in-game brand advertising.

Here’s what they discussed.

1. How are you working with brand advertisers?

Alexandre Tan: A few years ago, we understood that while running gaming ads on games is great, the reality is that the big ad revenue is with brands – brands that advertise on TV, in print, on the web. This is the holy grail. How could we capture part of that money? We needed to restructure ourselves.

Now we internalize a lot of the brand advertising business we do. We created our own ad server, our own programmatic SSP, opened an internal creative agency with 100+ people that develop interactive formats just for brands, and hired an in-house sales team.

At Gameloft, brand ads take precedence over gaming advertising, which are lower in our waterfall. In Italy, our branded rewarded videos deliver eCPMs of $150. In Germany, it’s $90-100.

Jeff Gurian: We view brand dollars as backfill, as our brand CPMs haven’t caught up to performance CPMs yet. We’ll slide in brands at the end of the waterfall.

Brian Truman: We do a lot of brand advertising at GSN Games. But we have one distinct advantage, which is that we also have a cable network in the US, with a sales team selling 30 second spots to media agencies. This creates opportunities for us that don’t exist for medium-sized publishers.

I would argue Jeff’s point about CPMs. We’re seeing for CPMs upwards of $150 for brands. I think the brand money is going to come, we just need to be positioned to take it when it does.

2. What’s preventing brands from buying in-game inventory?

Sally Lu: Brands don’t understand the inventory of the gaming industry yet. They need to understand that they’re buying audiences, not just gamers. JamCity relies on platforms and partners like ironSource to get into that space. We need to work together as an industry educate brands that gaming inventory is actually good quality.

Alexander Tan: Anyone who’s been working with media agencies understands how difficult it is to get brand demand. You talk to media agencies about mobile and they say, “we know mobile.” Then you talk about mobile apps, and they say “we know mobile web but how different can apps be?” Then you say talk about mobile in-app games, and that’s it – you’ve lost them.

Games in some brand circles is still a swear word. They still think games are played by pimply teenagers in their rooms – not by consumers who buy clothes, eat, and travel. It’s up to us to change their mindset.

It’s a marathon. But it’s one that’s really worth running, because the stakes are huge.

3. How can games convince brands to work together?

Alexander Tan: If you really want to get into the brand advertising space, you need to prove that your game is more transparent than anyone else’s. Transparency is a key component for media agencies and brands. That means providing viewability measurements, removing fraud from your traffic, and sharing as many KPIs as you can. Ultimately, we as games are going to be judged on how much engagement we can create for brands.

Show them that they can get them an engagement rate of 50-70% with branded playable ad units. Show them that rewarded videos have completion rates of more than 95%. You’re basically securing a 30-40 second engagement with their brand.

The beauty of mobile games is that we can pass metrics that show engagement. Brands spend billions of dollars on TV ads, but what guarantee do they have that human eyeballs are watching? Zero.

In the past, hesitant brands came to us convinced that completion rates were high in their rewarded videos because users only wanted the reward, and weren’t actually watching the video.

So we put an HTML5 layer on the rewarded video, and gamified moments of action throughout it. Then we went back to the brand and showed them hard data proving that users were engaging with their brand message.

4. What are your key marketing strategies?

Jeff Gurian: The past few years, we’ve had a working mantra that a title needed to be either marketable or featurable. We had a lot of success with featured titles that couldn’t be marketable, and just leveraged the power of working with the app stores – getting Game of the Day or Best New Update.

But as featuring has gone down in volume recently, user acquisition has gone up in importance. Now we’re focused on UA as a major growth strategy. It’s the most sustainable growth channel for us.

Alexandre Tan: I would slightly disagree with UA being the most sustainable channel. UA is only one part of the equation. I think as game developers, we have to build on all dimensions. UA is paid – but you also have shared media, earned, and owned. I don’t think we’ve done our job as game developers collectively harvesting these other channels.

Brian Truman: We develop social casino games that are self-sustaining and have a long product lifecycle. Our games are on the market for 5+ years. So when we’re buying users, we’re looking for channels that provide users with long retention, high ARPDAU and high LTV. These are people who play everyday, people who go in and actually deposit revenue.

It’s a very different strategy than a hyper-casual game that’s ad-supported. It’s a matter of knowing your users, having a core demographic, and being able to find them at those key touchpoints.

Jeff Gurian: There are a ton of channels outside paid UA. It’s a question of incrementality and resources. If you have a small team and need to scale fast, UA is an easy way to do that. If you have a large team, you can go out and forge relationships with third-party sites, and focus more heavily on media.

There’s a lot small developers can do in-house on a small budget – like take their profit and reinvest into marketing, whether it’s UA, social, influencer marketing. If small developers want scalable marketing, they generally have to go to a third-party like a publisher.

5. How is the rise of hyper-casual impacting the industry?

Alexandre Tan: There’s still the risk that OTT platform owners will suddenly put a stop to hyper-casual games. Will Apple and Google let these games continue growing? They’re not taking any revenue, since hyper-casual games are mostly ad funded.

6. How data-driving are your games? How do you identify the hits?

Sally Lu: We are extremely data-driven. Everything is about numbers. We spend a lot of time on data mining – understanding how users perform and behave in the games, and giving them the best content based on that data.

Brian Truman: As far as identifying hits, we do a lot of testing – unlike hyper-casual, where after a week you decide to trash it or move on. We launch a game with a 1 year plan, and only publish 1 or 2 games a year.

Learn more from Gamefest 2018 and level-up from leaders in the industry!

The post Gamefest 2018 Panel on UA, Publishing, and In-Game Brand Advertising appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
https://www.ironsrc.com/news/gamefest-2019-panel-ua-publishing-game-brand-advertising/feed/ 0
How to localize your creative ads for the Chinese market https://www.ironsrc.com/news/how-to-localize-your-creatives-chinese-market/ https://www.ironsrc.com/news/how-to-localize-your-creatives-chinese-market/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 10:39:45 +0000 https://www.ironsrc.com/?p=32818 Daniel Herman is the product manager of ironSource’s Playworks Studio. Playworks is ironSource’s in-house creative studio made up of designers, animators, video producers, and programmers that tailor-make high-impact interactive advertisements. Recently, we have been receiving many questions about how to localize creatives for the Chinese market. The Chinese mobile gaming landscape is its own ecosystem.... Read more »

The post How to localize your creative ads for the Chinese market appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
Daniel Herman is the product manager of ironSource’s Playworks Studio.

Playworks is ironSource’s in-house creative studio made up of designers, animators, video producers, and programmers that tailor-make high-impact interactive advertisements. Recently, we have been receiving many questions about how to localize creatives for the Chinese market.

The Chinese mobile gaming landscape is its own ecosystem. Everything that you do – from the monetization strategy you employ to your design choices – must be localized for the Chinese market. If not, chances are you’ll fail.

While most advertisers translate their ads into Chinese, there is more you can do to increase your conversion rates. Here are some things to consider when designing your creatives for the Chinese market.

Be culturally relevant

Everything you produce needs to be relevant to your audience.

Feature Chinese motifs as well as images and ideas that are culturally relevant (and appropriate) to the population. For example, when designing your creatives keep in mind events like the Chinese New Year and other holidays, and incorporate their motifs into your designs.

If you don’t have the resources to produce an entire campaign solely for the Chinese market, we recommend that you localize an intro to your ad rather than making an entirely new creative from scratch. Small adjustments and tweaks can go a long way when you’re looking to acquire new users.

The use of red

In China, red symbolizes good fortune and joy, and its found everywhere during the Chinese New Year and other holidays.

Consider making your CTAs red – chances are you’ll increase conversion.

Language

The greater Chinese population has a low English proficiency score, therefore it is imperative that you translate all of your campaigns into Chinese.

Design

Chinese audiences are culturally accustomed to text-heavy screens crowded with many call to actions. When Western games make their way to the Chinese market, publishers ask them to make everything much faster: battles, animations, and spins.

Always check which of your game’s characters and themes perform best in China, and then incorporate them into your creatives for China.

Wrapping up

Localizing for the Chinese market is crucial if you want to create successful creative UA campaigns. Be sure to keep these tips in mind when thinking about your creative strategy, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Download the one-pager here!

The post How to localize your creative ads for the Chinese market appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
https://www.ironsrc.com/news/how-to-localize-your-creatives-chinese-market/feed/ 0
The Case for In-Game Advertising https://www.ironsrc.com/news/the-case-for-in-game-advertising/ https://www.ironsrc.com/news/the-case-for-in-game-advertising/#respond Fri, 30 Nov 2018 14:34:02 +0000 https://www.ironsrc.com/?p=32690 Jarkko Rajamaki, VP Advertising at Rovio, discussed the impact of in-game advertising at Gamefest 2018. Here’s what he had to say. Jarkko noted that developers might limit ads because they’re afraid of hurting retention and cannibalizing in-app purchase revenue. However, these myths, as Jarkko pointed out, are solely based on intuition. That’s why Rovio decided... Read more »

The post The Case for In-Game Advertising appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
Jarkko Rajamaki, VP Advertising at Rovio, discussed the impact of in-game advertising at Gamefest 2018. Here’s what he had to say.

Jarkko noted that developers might limit ads because they’re afraid of hurting retention and cannibalizing in-app purchase revenue. However, these myths, as Jarkko pointed out, are solely based on intuition. That’s why Rovio decided to run a data-driven research study and find out once and for all how in-game ads impact user behavior.

Researching the impact of in-game ads

Rovio ran a test studying iOS and Android users playing Angry Birds Blast, a casual puzzle game in the match-3 genre, over the course of two weeks. Rovio asked their ad network partners for all the relevant install events, and compared their test sample against a random sample of Rovio users.

Here’s what they learned:

1. Rewarded ads actually increase retention and session length
In their study, Rovio found that in-game ads didn’t negatively impact retention and session length. In fact, players who watched ads and installed other games had higher retention rates in comparison to the random sample.

The same was true for session length – while time spent did drop after installing other games, these players still ended up playing longer than the random sample.

Even more interesting, players who installed competing games had the highest retention rates of all.

Rovio was intrigued, and ran another test. What if they didn’t show ads at all? Would retention be higher? They ran an A/B test, completely blocking ads for new users and comparing their behavior to users being served ads. The end result? No difference, and actually the group watching ads had marginally higher retention and monetization rates.

In addition, when looking specifically at whales, Rovio found that every single whale who also watched ads and installed other games was still playing Rovio games 6 months later.

In short, there is no correlation between players who watch ads & install other games and churn rate. If players are churning, it’s for other reasons.

2. Ads don’t cannibalize in-app purchase revenue
Rovio also discovered that users who watched ads and installed other games spent more money on in-app purchases in comparison to the random sample. And that’s not even accounting for the additional ad revenue they brought in.

The most interesting part of the study, according to Jarkko, was analyzing the monetization behavior of players before they even went on to install other games. Rovio learned that players who go on to install competing games, already had lower retention rates 2-3 weeks before they ever installed the competing game – meaning these users were different to begin with. The reason why their monetization is lower was not because they’re installing competing games, it was just in their nature.

3. The genre of installed game affects monetization behavior in the current game
Players who installed games of different genres had lower retention rates than the average Rovio player. That’s likely because these players were not casual gamers to begin with, and prefered midcore or hardcore games.

Wrapping up

Jarkko emphasized that players are always two seconds away from the app stores. So if they don’t like your game, they’ll find something else – regardless whether they saw an ad for another game or not. In other words, there’s no way to completely isolate your users and prevent them from playing other games. If that’s the case, why lose out on potential ad revenue?

That’s why Rovio shows ads of all kinds of games to their users.

Of course, other developers may find their players behave differently. If that’s the case, Jarkko encourages you to do your own research study and learn how in-game ads affect your users’ behavior.

The post The Case for In-Game Advertising appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
https://www.ironsrc.com/news/the-case-for-in-game-advertising/feed/ 0
Idle and Incremental Games https://www.ironsrc.com/news/idle-incremental-games/ https://www.ironsrc.com/news/idle-incremental-games/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:24:12 +0000 https://www.ironsrc.com/?p=32700 Idle games are an exciting genre that is quickly rising to fame. What makes idle games so great – from both a player and developer perspective – is that their mechanics create optimal mobile sessions while simultaneously driving long-term retention. ironSource spoke with Nate Barker, Director of Business Development at Kolibri Games, and discussed all... Read more »

The post Idle and Incremental Games appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
Idle games are an exciting genre that is quickly rising to fame. What makes idle games so great – from both a player and developer perspective – is that their mechanics create optimal mobile sessions while simultaneously driving long-term retention.

ironSource spoke with Nate Barker, Director of Business Development at Kolibri Games, and discussed all things related to the idle game genre. Ironically enough, our conversation was anything but idle.

What are idle games?

Simply put, idle games allow players to progress even while they’re not actively playing the game.

Also known as incremental games, self-playing games, and idle clicker games, their internal workings are very basic: developers put a system in place that runs on a loop, slowly growing over time while requiring players to return to the game for “upgrades.” These upgrades make it so that the “business” – or whatever the user is tasked with doing in the game – works faster and more efficiently. The mechanics of these games drive long-term retention.

For example, imagine you’re playing an idle game that required you to run a lemonade stand. You could stick with your basic stand and get minimal money from your lemonade business, or you could continue “upgrading” your stand – to say, a factory – and your payouts would increase tenfold. The growth in these games happens so fast that they become almost instantly addictive.

Who plays incremental games?

Nate and his team discovered that the audience for idle games tends to be male, between the ages of 18-44, and lives in the US and Western Europe.

Perhaps most surprisingly, idle gamers are usually hardcore and strategy players. Kolibri’s theory is that idle games are manageable and can be played simultaneously in rapid succession, while playing other games. In other words, a user who is playing a shooter game will play an idle game while they’re waiting for another match to start on their shooter game.

Why are idle games so popular?

Nate says, “idle games scratch an itch that players have.” They’re addictive because of their exponential return of investment – users love when games provide them with both collectability and completionism.

For example, in Kolibri’s hit “Idle Miner Tycoon,” users can collect and access a number of different mines, and then proceed to max them out in terms of value by activating their potential revenue.

Players want games that allow them to make small improvements over time, such as upgrades to their property in the game or new equipment. Idle games let players see these returns – as they normally bring about higher rewards, such as in-game currency – when they make their way back to the game.

Additionally, what makes them so great is that idle games are impossible to lose. They offer players a contrast from other genres that are more competitive by nature.

How can you monetize incremental games?

While it may sound obvious, focusing on retention is key. Nate suggests ensuring that your players have the best possible user experience, even at the expense of manipulative monetization tactics. “Always try to maintain a high star rating and D1 retention. Once you’re able to keep players around for longer, you’ll be able to try different and more creative monetization strategies.”

When all is said and done, developers should never force ads on their players. To keep users happy, you need to ensure that consuming ads is both easy and desirable. One way of doing this, as suggested by Nate, is to set up a rewarded video experience, which is thoroughly integrated into the gameplay. In fact, Kolibri’s players watch anywhere between 8 and 9 ads a day – an impressive number.

Additionally, Nate explained that the best way to provide users with value, is by utilizing monetization levers like time manipulation and payout multipliers. Initially, Kolibri tested giving players an additional in-game currency in exchange for watching a rewarded video ad, but they quickly realized that in-game currency was nowhere as effective as a reward that speeds up time. Turning a user pain point into a reward is a much more effective way to monetize your users.

Best practices for user acquisition

Developing a sound user acquisition strategy is key in order to ensure the success of your mobile idle game. Granularity is the most important aspect in marketing idle games. When optimizing your user acquisition strategy, Kolibri suggests using targeting capabilities, which will let you pay a different price for each individual ad publisher. Your CPI bid will be different according to each advertised app’s ROI, and the ironSource user acquisition platform will help you do this.

Keep in mind that the price of your bid shouldn’t come from thin air. For example, Kolibri calculates their bids by looking at ad monetization at the player level. Much like ironSource’s user level ad revenue solution, this enables Kolibri to compute a more complete player level LTV, which combines IAPs and ads.

Nate says that playable ads are the best way to showcase the “awesomeness of their games”. Kolibri works with our in-house creative Playworks studio to design and test their creatives. Playable ads highlight the most enjoyable features of a game – basically a “try before you buy” type ad unit – letting users interact with the main features of an app before they choose to install it.

Users who install an app after interacting with a playable are more likely to open the app later and continue to engage with it over time – creating more high LTV players. Nate and the team at Kolibri recommend running playables that are reasonably close to your gameplay, highlighting features that players tend to enjoy most, while skipping the wait times that are standard within mobile idle games.

Where are idle games headed in 2019?

Already, we’re seeing genres in the mobile game industry consolidating, such as the convergence of hyper-casual and casual games. Nate predicts that the industry is going to similarly see more consolidation between idle games and other genres. Especially since idle does best when paired with other genres, such as RPG, racing, or puzzle games.

Want to get your idle fix? We recommend trying out Idle Miner Tycoon (App Store & Google Play). I guarantee you’ll be addicted in no time.

The post Idle and Incremental Games appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
https://www.ironsrc.com/news/idle-incremental-games/feed/ 0
2018 명절 트렌드 리포트 https://www.ironsrc.com/news/2018-%eb%aa%85%ec%a0%88-%ed%8a%b8%eb%a0%8c%eb%93%9c-%eb%a6%ac%ed%8f%ac%ed%8a%b8/ https://www.ironsrc.com/news/2018-%eb%aa%85%ec%a0%88-%ed%8a%b8%eb%a0%8c%eb%93%9c-%eb%a6%ac%ed%8f%ac%ed%8a%b8/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 13:14:06 +0000 https://www.ironsrc.com/?p=32722 명절 기분 느끼기 연말 그리고 겨울- 추수감사절, 블랙 프라이데이, 크리스마스, 그리고 새해 등등 – 수백만 명의 사람들이 새로운 핸드폰을 사기 때문에 모바일 기기를 사용하는 행동에 대한 뚜렷한 변화가 생깁니다. 뿐만 아니라, 일반적으로 게임을 즐길수 있을만한 여유가 생기기 마련이지요. 그렇기 때문에 명절은 수익화 및 UA 매니저들에게 제일 좋은 기회의 시기입니다. 수익화의 경우, DAU의 증가로 인해 수익이... Read more »

The post 2018 명절 트렌드 리포트 appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
명절 기분 느끼기

연말 그리고 겨울- 추수감사절, 블랙 프라이데이, 크리스마스, 그리고 새해 등등 – 수백만 명의 사람들이 새로운 핸드폰을 사기 때문에 모바일 기기를 사용하는 행동에 대한 뚜렷한 변화가 생깁니다. 뿐만 아니라, 일반적으로 게임을 즐길수 있을만한 여유가 생기기 마련이지요.

그렇기 때문에 명절은 수익화 및 UA 매니저들에게 제일 좋은 기회의 시기입니다. 수익화의 경우, DAU의 증가로 인해 수익이 급격히 증가하고, UA측면에서는 DAU와 IPM이 이 시기 쯤에 제일 높은 설치 수를 기록 합니다.

ironSource(아이언소스)의 팀은 여러분의 게임 성공에 대한 계획과 평가에 대한 뚜렷한 세가지의 패턴을 알아 냈습니다:

1. DAU는 새해쯤에 최고조를 달한다는 것.
2. 참여범위와 사용률이 명절 시기에 안정적이라는 것.
3. IPM이 가장 높은 시기는 크리스마스로부터 일주일 전 쯤이라는 것.

1. DAU는 새해에 최고조를 달합니다

11월과 12월중, 여러분의 앱에 대한 DAU와 임프레션이 높아지는 경험을 할것입니다. 이 현상은 여름 때 있었던 현상과 비슷할 것이고, 주일이나 주말에 생기는 변화는 급격하지 않을 것입니다.

아래의 도표를 보시면, 미국에서는 추수감사절과 블랙 프라이데이에 DAU가 급격히 증가하는 것을 볼 수 있습니다. 또한, 매일 이용하는 유저와 매주마다 이용하는 유저 두 부분 모두 점진적인 증가를 기대해도 된다는 것이죠.


추수감사절은 미국 명절이기 때문이기 때문에 티어 1에 속해 있는 다른 나라에서는 추수감사절 DAU가 증가하지 않는것이 보일 겁니다. 참고 해주세요.

그럼에도 불구하고, 티어 1에 속해있는 나라들은 크리스마스나 새해에 매일 이용하는 유저와 매주 이용하는 유저의 수가 증가 합니다. 이로써, DAU가 새해 쯤에 최고조에 달하는 것이 보일테죠. 위의 도표를 참고 해주세요.

2. 참여범위와 사용률은 일정하게 남습니다

참여율(Engagement rate)은 당신의 앱을 활동적으로 사용하는 유저의 비율을 일컫는 말이고, 사용률(Usage rate)은 각각 유저들이 매일 얼마나 광고에 노출되는지를 일컫는 수치 입니다.

참여범위와 활동률은 유저의 행동에 따라 달라지기 때문에, 일년 내내 일정한 수치를 띄우는 것이 좋습니다. 이 두 수치는 여러분의 수익화 전략으로부터 영향을 가장 많이 받습니다. 계절의 영향을 받지는 않는다는 소리죠. 만약 광고 수익화에 대한 전략을 조정하지 않는다면, DAU를 제외한 참여범위와 활동률은 그대로일 것입니다.

참여범위와 활동률을 개선하고 싶으시다면, 광고 수익화에 대한 방법을 조정하는 것을 추천합니다. 여기 이 세가지 팁을 참고 하세요:

1. 새로운 광고들을 테스트 해보고, 홈 스크린에 나오는 것을 반드시 확인 하세요.
2. 매 세션/날마다 유저가 몇개의 광고를 접하게 되는지에 대한 빈도수를 조정 해보세요.
3. 여러분의 오퍼워에서 보상 두배와 같은 스페셜 프로모를 운영해보세요.


3. IPM은 크리스마스로 부터 1주전 쯤에 그 수치가 가장 높습니다

미국에서는 추수감사절과 크리스마스까지의 기간동안 IPM이 급격하게 증가하는 것을 볼수 있습니다. 왜일까요? 그건 바로 새로운 기기를 가진 유저들이 앱을 많이 설치하기 때문이죠.

그러나, 새해가 끝난 후에 IPM이떨어지는 현상이 보여도 놀라지 마세요. 이미 예상된 일이랍니다. 이 현상은 티어 1에 속한 나라들에게도 포함된 일입니다,

티어 1에 속한 나라들은 추수감사절과 블랙 프라이데이의 주말에도 IPM이 일정한 수준이나, 크리스마스나 새해에는 증가합니다. 크리스마스가 가까워지는 주에는 40% 정도가 높아지는데, 이는 IPM이 가장 높아지는 시기 입니다.

IPM은 게임의 장르에 따라 달라지기도 합니다. 명절에 IPM 지수가 가장 높아지는 장르는 캐주얼 게임입니다.

The post 2018 명절 트렌드 리포트 appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
https://www.ironsrc.com/news/2018-%eb%aa%85%ec%a0%88-%ed%8a%b8%eb%a0%8c%eb%93%9c-%eb%a6%ac%ed%8f%ac%ed%8a%b8/feed/ 0
Mishka Katkoff Shares 2019 Predictions in Mobile Gaming https://www.ironsrc.com/news/mishka-katkoff-shares-2019-predictions-mobile-gaming/ https://www.ironsrc.com/news/mishka-katkoff-shares-2019-predictions-mobile-gaming/#respond Thu, 22 Nov 2018 16:24:01 +0000 https://www.ironsrc.com/?p=32669 The Mobile Gaming Industry Report At ironSource Gamefest 2018, Mishka Katkoff, who is the Head of Studio at Rovio and Founder of the popular Deconstructor of Fun blog, discussed 2019 predictions and trends for the mobile gaming industry. Here’s what he had to say. What’s next for casual games? Mishka breaks casual games into five... Read more »

The post Mishka Katkoff Shares 2019 Predictions in Mobile Gaming appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
The Mobile Gaming Industry Report

At ironSource Gamefest 2018, Mishka Katkoff, who is the Head of Studio at Rovio and Founder of the popular Deconstructor of Fun blog, discussed 2019 predictions and trends for the mobile gaming industry. Here’s what he had to say.

What’s next for casual games?

Mishka breaks casual games into five subcategories: location-based games, arcade games, lifestyle games, puzzle games, and simulation games.

1. Revenue will grow more than downloads

As of August 2018, casual games (excluding APAC) amassed $559 million in net in-app purchase revenue, and 181 million downloads.

In 2018, puzzle and simulation games were the only categories to increase year-over-year revenue, while location-based games failed to gain significant revenue market share.

That said, downloads for puzzle games in 2018 steadily declined as CPIs rose, and downloads for arcade games took a nosedive likely because of market saturation. Downloads for simulation games increased nicely, bouncing back from hibernation.

In 2019, we can expect these trends to continue, with revenue growing at a faster pace than downloads.

2. Hyper-casual games will mature

According to Mishka, hyper-casual games have been successful so far because they’re low cost, churn out quickly knowing within a week whether the game will live or die, and focus on novelty while sticking to proven mechanics.

In June 2018, hyper-casual games took a heavy nose dive in revenue and downloads, signaling a saturation point in the market. In order to stay competitive, Mishka predicts that hyper-casual games will begin incorporating deeper arcade mechanics in 2019. Perhaps hyper-casual games will even begin focusing on Day 7, 14 or even Day 30 retention.

3. There’s more room for innovation in puzzle games

Of all the casual game subcategories, mobile gaming market trends show that puzzle games take home the most revenue – remaining stable but high, while downloads keep steady. This shows us that there’s still room for growth and innovation in this category.

Already, we’re seeing deeper meta game mechanics in puzzle games, as some of the older games like Angry Birds 2 and Best Fiends are evolving to more midcore games – specifically, through bosses, collections, social meta game features, and events monetizing through gacha mechanics.

However, innovation in puzzle games won’t include PvP elements, as each puzzle game with PvP elements launched in the last two years has failed.

What’s next for midcore games?

Mishka breaks midcore games into five categories: action, card games, MOBA, RPG, and strategy.

1. Revenue will grow more than downloads

As of August 2018, midcore games (excluding APAC) saw $554 million in net in-app purchase revenue, and 120 million downloads.

In 2018, revenue for strategy and RPG declined, while revenue for action games increased. The action category was largely driven by the rise of battle royale games.

Meanwhile, downloads declined in all categories since there were no big launches this year. The action subcategory peaked in March due to the launch for PUBG and Fornite, and has remained steady since.

2. RPG will be biggest revenue driver

Looking at the massive growth of RPGs in China, Mishka predicts that RPG will be the biggest grossing category on mobile in 2019.

To succeed as an RPG in 2019, where revenue is extremely high, Mishka lists a few key factors. First, keep live operations fresh by optimizing the game for each player. Second, tie new content to gacha monetization to increase LTV. Third, incorporate extremely deep and evolving meta-game mechanics. The depth should come over accessibility and core gameplay, and will require deep building.

Looking at the mobile gaming market in 2019

According to this mobile gaming industry analysis, 2019 is going to be a wild year for mobile games. We’ll see genres consolidate and fold into each other, new sub-categories emerge, and revenue continue to grow.

The post Mishka Katkoff Shares 2019 Predictions in Mobile Gaming appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
https://www.ironsrc.com/news/mishka-katkoff-shares-2019-predictions-mobile-gaming/feed/ 0
Getting in the Holiday Spirit: What to Expect from DAU and IPM https://www.ironsrc.com/news/getting-holiday-spirit-expect-dau-ipm/ https://www.ironsrc.com/news/getting-holiday-spirit-expect-dau-ipm/#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 08:03:21 +0000 https://www.ironsrc.com/?p=32623 Chen Mizrahi is a BI analyst at ironSource. During the winter holidays – from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas, to New Year’s Day – there is a marked shift in mobile user behavior, as millions of people are buying new phones, and generally have more free time to play games. That’s why the holidays are... Read more »

The post Getting in the Holiday Spirit: What to Expect from DAU and IPM appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
Chen Mizrahi is a BI analyst at ironSource.

During the winter holidays – from Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas, to New Year’s Day – there is a marked shift in mobile user behavior, as millions of people are buying new phones, and generally have more free time to play games.

That’s why the holidays are the best time of year for both monetization and user acquisition managers. On the monetization side, the sharp increase in DAU translates to an increase in total revenue. On the user acquisition side, the jump in DAU and IPM makes for the highest install volumes of the year.

DAU peaks on New Year’s Day

Throughout late November and December, your app will experience an increase in DAU and impressions. This behavior is similar to what you experienced during the summer months, in which variance between weekday and weekend behavior is less drastic.

In the US, as depicted in the graph below, expect to see a sharp increase in DAU throughout the weekend of Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Moreover, you can expect a gradual increase in both daily and weekly users between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.


*This data excludes apps launched after October 1, 2017.

Keep in mind that in other Tier 1 countries, you might not see an increase in DAU during Thanksgiving, as this is exclusively an American holiday.

Nevertheless, Tier 1 countries see a gradual increase in daily and weekly users the week between Christmas and New Year’s, with DAU ultimately peaking on New Year’s Day. Refer to the graph above.

ER and UR remain constant

Engagement rate (ER) is the percentage of users who actively engage with ads on your app, and usage rate (UR) is the number of daily impressions per engaged user.

ER and UR should remain constant year-round as they depend on user behavior within the app. These rates mainly depend on your ad monetization strategy and are not affected by seasonality. If you don’t adjust your ad monetization strategy during the holidays, you should not expect to see an increase ER and UR – only an increase in DAU.

To improve ER and UR, we suggest adjusting your ad monetization strategy. Here are 3 tips:

1. Test new ad placements and make sure they’re visible on the homescreen
2. Adjust your frequency caps by fine-tuning the number of ads users watch per day/session
3. Run special promos such as double credit promotions on your offerwall


IPM is highest the week before Christmas

In the US, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, expect to see a sharp increase in IPM. Why? Our data shows that users with new devices are more likely to install many apps.

However, don’t be alarmed if IPM begins to decrease after New Year’s, as this is expected. This trend applies to Tier 1 countries, too.


*These charts compare IPM during the holidays to IPM in September, where 0% represents IPM in September 2017

In Tier 1 countries, IPM should remain steady the weekend of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but increase Christmas and New Year’s Day. The week leading up to Christmas shows an increase of up to 40%, the highest IPM rates of the season.

IPM also varies across game genres. The category with the largest increase in IPM during the holidays is casual games.

The post Getting in the Holiday Spirit: What to Expect from DAU and IPM appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
https://www.ironsrc.com/news/getting-holiday-spirit-expect-dau-ipm/feed/ 0
Gaming Growth in China https://www.ironsrc.com/news/gaming-growth-china/ https://www.ironsrc.com/news/gaming-growth-china/#respond Sat, 03 Nov 2018 13:02:36 +0000 https://www.ironsrc.com/?p=32364 One of the most interesting topics in the gaming industry this year has been China’s place in the market. From the incredibly lucrative nature of the Chinese market, to government intervention in gaming content, there is always something to be said when it comes to mobile gaming in the far east. This year, China will... Read more »

The post Gaming Growth in China appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
One of the most interesting topics in the gaming industry this year has been China’s place in the market. From the incredibly lucrative nature of the Chinese market, to government intervention in gaming content, there is always something to be said when it comes to mobile gaming in the far east.

This year, China will generate almost $40B in game revenue. Mobile games will generate $23B of this number. The Chinese market is no longer one that publishers and developers can ignore.

At this year’s Gamefest, Jeff Lyndon, founder and president of iDreamSky – the largest independent mobile game publishing platform in China – gave a presentation on everything you need to know on how to break into the Chinese mobile game market. iDreamSky has brought hits like Gardenscapes, Subway Surfers, and Temple Run to Chinese audiences.

A competitive market

Jeff opened his presentation and asked the audience: “How many of you have tried to do business in China?”

A number of people raised their hand.

He followed up and asked: “And how many of you have actually succeeded?”

The number of raised hands drastically dropped.

In 2010, 6 of the 10 top free games, and 10 of the top 10 paid games were foreign titles. Today, there is only 1 foreign title on the top charts in China. It’s been increasingly difficult for foreign mobile games to succeed in China.

For local publishers, the market in China is extremely saturated and super competitive. For foreign publishers, there are far more challenges: the Chinese government, competition amongst publishers, the growing number of Android channels, and the fast and ever changing nature of the market.

Chinese app distribution is changing all the time, so for foreign publishers to succeed, they need to either have their own team on the ground, or they need to find a local publisher who understands the Chinese market and knows the most effective way to distribute.

Localization, localization, localization

User behavior in China is a completely different ballgame than in the west. Games that succeeded in China are ones that are not gender or age specific, and can be played by anyone.

To the western eye, as Jeff put it, games in China look “not elegant and complicated”. They are packed with buttons and their UX is completely different. Why? Chinese users have very specific behavior when it comes to games.

When you launch your game in China, you need to prepare yourself for this new kind of user behavior – especially when it comes to IAPs and ad monetization. Reconsider where you place your IAP entry and ads, where users click on a rewarded video, and how to design your monetization loop (read more about user acquisition).

When iDreamSky launched Subway Surfers in 2014, they noticed that Chinese users weren’t using skateboards (IAPs) while playing. After investigating, they realized that the Chinese market didn’t understand that they needed to double tap to activate the feature. At first iDreamSky added a tutorial to educate their Chinese users – but it didn’t work. Finally, they ended up adding a button, which resulted in Chinese users purchasing the IAP skateboard 20% more than international users.

This anecdote is key in understanding the importance of localization.

Offline marketing

Offline and brand marketing are a must if you really want to succeed in China. Why? Gaming in China is a lifestyle. According to Lyndon, games report 40% higher retention rates for users that participate in offline activities.

Going forward, when international developers look at their business in China, they need to consider how your game or product can be marketed offline. Meetups, merchandise, and events are all ways to grow your business at scale in China.

To conclude

While the Chinese market may seem like an intimidating one to break into, it is the market that is experiencing the most growth. Having your game reach the top of the charts in China may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and resources you’ll be able to rise to the top.

How to takeover China: the deck

The post Gaming Growth in China appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
https://www.ironsrc.com/news/gaming-growth-china/feed/ 0
The Next Generation of Interactive Mobile Ads https://www.ironsrc.com/news/ironsource-dan-greenberg-interactive-mobile-ads/ https://www.ironsrc.com/news/ironsource-dan-greenberg-interactive-mobile-ads/#respond Thu, 25 Oct 2018 15:07:13 +0000 https://www.ironsrc.com/?p=32228 In episode 10 of LevelUp, Dan Greenberg, Chief Design Officer at ironSource, gives us the lowdown on what goes into designing hit playable ads, discusses where we can expect to see AR pop up in mobile gaming, and spills the beans on the game studio he admires most (spoiler – they build games for toddlers).... Read more »

The post The Next Generation of Interactive Mobile Ads appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
In episode 10 of LevelUp, Dan Greenberg, Chief Design Officer at ironSource, gives us the lowdown on what goes into designing hit playable ads, discusses where we can expect to see AR pop up in mobile gaming, and spills the beans on the game studio he admires most (spoiler – they build games for toddlers).

Read on for edited highlights from Greenberg’s podcast:

The shift from console to mobile gaming

“As the game industry shifted from console and desktop to mobile, people started to think about their players and their playing environments in new ways. Unlike console games like Call of Duty where players set aside time in their schedule to go home and play, mobile games need to be easily consumed whenever and wherever. The mobile game companies that really succeeded in the beginning were the ones who truly understood their players, and considered where and when their players were actually playing. By understanding a users’ casual playing environment encourages developers to build games with mechanics that are easily understood and can be picked up and played at anytime. ”

“Many mistakes were made in the beginning in terms of studios simply copying desktop and console mechanics to mobile gaming, but then people started to really think about where and when their players are playing mobile games.”

Competition drives innovation

“Competition drives game designers and developers to try new, innovative things. As it becomes more and more expensive to acquire new, quality users, we realize that organic is not what it used to be. The amazing days of having your game featured on the App Store and becoming a hit are over. Even if your game is not featured on Google Play or the App Store, that doesn’t guarantee anything – it’s great but it’s not enough. Competition is what’s driving the industry to try things like interactive mobile ads.”

Cutting edge of creative

“Advertisers in the gaming industry are always at the forefront of innovation and are always experimenting as the competition is fierce. There are a lot of great games and a lot of great studios. We’ve gotten to a point where there are so many amazing games on the market and they’re all struggling to get attention.”

Iterations + data = key

“We’re always iterating versions of the playable, and even soft launching the ads like you would do with a real game. What’s different between playable ads and old-school demos, is that we’re able to collect in-ad data. We’re able to see when and where users get stuck and we can assess the difficulty level of the playables. We collect over 100M events a day, analyzing like we would analyze game design, and were able to tweek and adjust accordingly.”

“The difficulty level of a playable ad has a massive impact on whether or not it will be successful. A pattern we often notice, is that even after 30 seconds, a lot of users continue to play, even if they’re able to exit out of it.”

“Every small change we make to the playable ad affects the conversion. We realized that if it’s too easy, and the user doesn’t find it challenging or interesting, they won’t download the game. When the game is difficult, they’re determined to try it and therefore they’re more likely to download it. In-ad data let’s us pick up on these patterns.”

But, will this integration cannibalize my app?

“We’ve proven time and time again that integrating playable ads from other games into your game won’t cannibalize your app. There is no effect on retention when users see other games they want to try and download. This reality is expressed in our numbers, in our data.”

Playable ads = more $$$

“When you integrate playable ads into your app, you’re going to make more money and it helps you make your game more sustainable.”

Listen to the full gaming podcast .
Want to learn what goes into making the world’s most popular games? Subscribe to LevelUp to never miss an update.

The post The Next Generation of Interactive Mobile Ads appeared first on ironSource.

]]>
https://www.ironsrc.com/news/ironsource-dan-greenberg-interactive-mobile-ads/feed/ 0