Mobile Games Market

In the gaming business, mobile game makers represent a sizable group using game metrics. They are in charge of measurements and analysis of all types. Their responsibilities include creating the logic and mechanisms for the game, as well as balancing it. They frequently analyze statistics as well. They keep track of things like how far the players have progressed in the game and how much money they have spent.

But how do they gather such information? How can we obtain it? And, most importantly, how should it be used? We’ll find out soon enough.

Mobile Game Genres

The genre of a game is established by the gameplay and game characteristics. The genre frequently influences the sort of data we wish to investigate. diverse genres also imply diverse business structures.

One of the most crucial things a designer must do while planning to make a game is deconstruct the genre. The ability to showcase the most essential features while utilizing the most lucrative mechanisms is critical to product success.

Currently, hyper casual is the genre with the highest workload-to-profit ratio. Such games are discussed in our earlier essay.

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Source: Radical Labs, The Best Strategies for Successful Mobile Game Development


Monetization in Mobile Games

Monetization in mobile games is even more complicated than it is in PC or console games. Here, we have many more settings and ways to earn money, the most common of which is posting in-game adverts.

In mobile games, we may differentiate three monetization models:

  1. In-app purchase-driven: a business strategy centered on in-app transactions, primarily including in-game currencies, loot boxes, and other amenities, designed to speed character growth. It is sometimes associated with the so-called «paywall» phenomenon, in which game designers intentionally construct the game in such a manner that the user is subconsciously obliged to buy an upgrade/resource/premium account to make further progress.
  2. Ad-driven: a company model that relies heavily on advertising revenue. Throughout the game, an advertising banner is normally shown, and every now and then, a short on-screen commercial (known as an interstitial ad) is shown to the user. This strategy also includes rewarded adverts, which are 30-second movies or interactive advertisements. In exchange for observing them, the player receives resources like as health or mana points, soft or hard cash.
  3. Premium: a revenue model that is quite similar to that of PC/console games. We pay once and have access to all game content, typically without the need for micro transactions.

Knowing how to market our game requires the proper tools to optimize our revenues. Let us investigate.

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Tools for Analytics

It would be quite difficult to measure such a large amount of data separated into so many pieces from start. That’s why we have specialized equipment! There are various extremely well-developed ways for gathering and measuring user information from game downloaders. Each tool generally comes with a tutorial or guide that explains how to use it!

Here are some of them:

  • Game Analytics is a popular tool for analyzing and balancing player behavior. It has a nice style and offers many options for data personalization. It also handles complex real-time behavior studies!
  • Unity Analytics: This is an official Unity utility. It provides a great deal of versatility. We may utilize pre-built metrics, create a data comparison chart, or add unique metrics, such as the number of individuals who fought a certain boss or completed a specific level!
  • Firebase: Firebase is a mobile and online application development platform noted for its extremely robust solutions that allow for the simultaneous measurement of several types of data, frequently delivering more limits than any other tool!
  • AppsFlyer: a less well-known but equally effective analytics and attribution solution. It is useful for any mobile apps, not just games.

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Fundamental Metrics!

We’ve finally arrived! With a brief summary, below are the most essential KPIs in the mobile gaming sector.

Retention (D1/D7/D30): the proportion of users who return to the program after a set length of time. The most common retention metrics are computed across 1-day, 7-day, and 30-day time periods. In practice, this is the most crucial aspect to consider while designing a game. Typically, publishers provide standards defining the needed retention. If it is not met, the game will most likely not be developed further. Voodoo, for example, wants a 47% D1 retention, which implies that 47% of users who install the game must return to it the next day.

Retention = (Number of People Who Logged in a Specific Period of Time / Total Number of Downloads) * 100%

LTV (lifetime value): the projection of net profit throughout the life of the game. It displays the predicted net worth of future cash flows from the specified user. LTV is notoriously difficult to assess owing to several factors that we frequently cannot foresee. This score also indicates how much money should be spent on research & development and marketing. LTV may be calculated using a variety of formulae. I’ll give you the shortened version because discussing the extended formula would require a new article.

LTV = (Average Revenue Per User / Churn Rate) – Cost Per Acquisition

CPI / CPU (cost per install / cost per user): this is the cost of acquiring a new user through sponsored advertising. CPI is frequently used to determine the profitability of a project campaign. This measure is only applicable to paid installs. Many implications may be drawn from it, for example, if the CPI is more than the LTV, the product is not profitable.

CPI = Total Advertising Expenditure / Total Amount of Downloads

Custom events: These are ones that we create with the tool of our choice. These are one-of-a-kind game-specific occurrences, while we frequently employ the same or very similar patterns as in previous products. Event parameters are crucial in this context because they allow us to undertake data analytics. These metrics examine, for example, what level we were when we killed the third monster, how many HP we had, what weapon we used, what armour we wore, whether it was a team effort or not, if we had a premium account or not, and so on. Custom events can be highly complex, with several dozen parameters, however this needs a significant amount of data analysis. Most of the time, ten parameters per event should enough.

Organic installations occur when people determine for themselves if a game is worth downloading or purchasing. These downloads are not associated with any installation source (for example, an advertising). Organic installations are thought to be associated with so-called free advertising. Promoting a game, for example, on social media can increase the amount of organic installations. Some individuals use mailing lists or other free resources to market their game. When the game is downloaded directly from the search engine, organic installations are also tallied.

Non-organic installations are downloads that occurred as a result of different sorts of marketing activities. These downloads are regarded as paid. This signifies that the advertising strategy is bringing in new customers.

CPA (cost per acquisition / action): This measure indicates the cost of a user activity (conversion), such as downloading a game, clicking on an ad, or making an in-app purchase. It’s fantastic since it allows us to pay for a direct outcome and simply compare performance across channels.

CPA = Total Cost of a Campaign / Number of Conversions

CTR (click-through rate): the proportion of persons who click on an advertisement. This is a way of determining the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. The better the ad unit, the greater the CTR. The CTR metrics of an ad unit may vary based on its popularity and clickability.

CTR = (Total Clicks / Total Impressions) * 100%

ARPU (average revenue per user): a number that measures the average revenue made by a single player. ARPU varies widely depending on the game type — in certain cases, ARPU metrics can be up to 50 times more than in others.

ARPU = Total Revenue / Total Number of Users

ARPPU (average revenue per paying user): a measure used to assess how much money gamers spend on average. Only those who have completed at least one transaction are included for this measure. Because the great majority of players favor the F2P model, they do not pay any money (advertising income is excluded). This is crucial to note: if you want to create an ad-supported game, this measure will most likely be useless to you.

ARPPU = Total Revenue from Paying Users / Total Number of Paying Users

ARPDAU (average revenue per day active user): a number that allows you to track your game’s daily progress. It enables you to correctly monitor in-game behavior on a daily basis and calculate the average income per daily active user.

ARPDAU = Daily Revenue / Daily Active Users

DAU (daily active users): the number of users who launched the application at least once each day. DAU metric is frequently used in conjunction with other measures (for example, ARPDAU). Its primary goal is to determine if the popularity of your game is increasing, decreasing, or remaining constant.

WAU (weekly active users): the number of users who launched the application at least once during the previous week. Typically employed in DAU/WAU or WAU/MAU ratios.

MAU (monthly active users): the number of users who used the app at least once in a given month. Frequently used to assess the «stickiness» of a game.

CPM (cost per mille): a metrics that calculates the cost of reaching 1,000 consumers. If the CPM is $10, 1000 views will cost you $10.

CPM = (Total Campaign Advertising Cost / Total Impressions) * 1000

eCPM (effective CPM): eCPM is used to calculate product revenue. It is the money generated by 1000 impressions. If the eCPM is $1, 1000 ad unit views will yield $1.

eCPM = (Total Revenue / Total Impressions) * 1000

ROI (return on investment): a metrics that will assist you in determining whether or not the current condition of investment matches your expectations. It is frequently used to improve investment efficiency or to compare it to other investments.

ROI = (Net Profit / Total Investment) * 100%

Conversion: In other words, it is a result of the advertising effort. It can entail downloading the game (in the case of new players), but it can also mean purchasing an in-game product, and so on.

In other words, impression is just the number of ad views. Even if the ad was not clicked on, it was still viewed and counted as an impression.

K-factor: a statistic used to calculate the game’s growth rate. If the K-factor is 1, the game does not expand, if it is less than 1, it loses players, and if it is greater than 1, it grows in popularity.

K-Factor = Invites Sent by Each User * Conversion Percentage of Invites

Sticky factor: a statistic that indicates player involvement. The MAU/DAU ratio simply displays how large groups of players enter the game and how frequently they do so. The higher the proportion, the more engaged the gamers are.

Sticky Factor = Monthly Active Users / Daily Active Users

A segment is a collection of users who share traits. It is about categorizing users based on several characteristics that influence their in-game behavior. For example, if there is a subset of players that are really engaged or spend a lot of money, you can provide them with a special offer for an item. One of the most crucial aspects to consider while building your game is market segmentation. This can significantly improve player engagement.

Funnel: This metrics shows and measures a player’s journey. It is primarily concerned with determining which stages of the game the players have finished, and at what stage their journey with your application ended on average. A well-executed funnel can reveal which portions of the game are potentially problematic or overly grindy. It is also an excellent method for increasing retention and conversion.

Churn rate: this metrics allows you to track the amount of people that leave your game within a certain time period. This is one of the most crucial pieces of information required to calculate LTV.

Churn Rate = (Users Who Have Left / (Users at the Beginning of the Period + New Users during the Period)) * 100%

The higher the ANoSPDAU (average number of sessions per day active user), the better the players’ involvement in a short period of time. It calculates the average number of sessions per day that users play.

ANoSPDAU = Total Sessions / Daily Active Users

Total daily play time: the amount of time in seconds that people spend playing your game.

Whales (spenders) are gamers who have spent a significant amount of money on your game. It is usually less than 1-2% of all users. Companies typically rate the players, with the threshold for being deemed a whale typically being $100 per month.

Minnows (spenders): These are the gamers that have spent the least amount of money on your game, generally about $1 per month.