Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki: Strategies for Retaining The Right Users
This week at Pocket Gamers Connects Helsinki, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel, “Strategies for Dealing With an Ever More Expensive UA Funnel” with peers from Lightneer, SYBO Games, and Ilyon.
I was excited to share a thought I don’t think anyone was expecting: I disagree with the idea that on the whole, the cost of UA is rising. Over the last year and a half, we have seen record low costs per install (CPIs) across the board with the surge of hyper-casual games entering the market and rising up the charts. My fellow panelists agreed with the overall sentiment of this statement but noted that naturally, specific game genres face different challenges with UA.
While there might not be one benchmark to measure the success of a game, there is still a need to measure key metrics like return on advertising spend (ROAS) and CPI. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly important to take factors like life-time value (LTV) and average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) into consideration as well.
What can make a difference between a chart-topping game and a flop is great creative. The panelists agreed that in a content-driven world, it is vital to continually assess what elements appeal to players and to test creatives for your game(s) to find what works, and arguably just as important, what doesn’t work. The power of strong creatives has allowed niche, casual games to be marketed more effectively, making the market more accessible.
Looking ahead, we know that in-app bidding is going to be the future of mobile game monetization. In-app bidding will level the playing field, giving equal opportunity to developers of all sizes, and AppLovin is already seeing real-world examples where in-app bidding creates a substantially higher return for publishers.