How Hypercasual Publishers Can Start Exploring IAP Monetization Pocket


Dr Matina Thomaidou is Director of Customer Success at Wappier, the intelligent revenue management platform for apps and brands.

Hypercasual games have all the players in the world but a fraction of the IAP earnings of similar titles.

While the category generated almost half of all mobile game downloads in 2019, it only earned 1% of IAP revenue driven by casual games.

Why? Popular wisdom says that hyper-casual gamers aren’t invested enough in the easy experience these games offer to spend real money on, so publishers have to depend on ad revenue for their bottom line, but it does. may not be sustainable in the long term.

Apple’s privacy policies disrupted the accuracy of user-level ad targeting, which in turn cast doubt on the viability of in-app advertising as a stand-alone revenue stream.

It remains to be seen if this will prove to be true, but a surefire way to mitigate risk is to diversify monetization strategies to include in-app purchases.

Find your “third builder”

Hyper-casual or whatever, if you’re looking for inspiration for IAP’s monetization strategy, you could do worse than study Supercell’s Clash of Clans, whose gameplay is masterfully crafted to encourage IAP.

Making sure players get the full experience, the game begins by filling their purses with in-game currency.

Then when the player is in the middle of the honeymoon phase, they come to a crossroads where they have the option of investing in a dividend paying asset that will accelerate engagement or continue at a relative disadvantage.

It’s an incentive known colloquially as the “third builder” and it serves as a common thread to deliver immense long-term value to players and generate revenue.

Find that golden stretch in your gameplay, and you have also found the way to IAP income.

Matina Thomaidou

What is the moral of the story? Find the “third builder” in your hyper-relaxed game, a time early in the experience when players’ enthusiasm is at its peak – and therefore their willingness to invest in a long-term relationship with your game.

Hypercasual players tend to turn faster than others, so you will likely have to speed up the offer timeline, but the core of the strategy still stands.

Find that golden stretch in your gameplay, and you have also found the way to IAP income.

Get off the beaten track

As Marvel continues to grow its narrative network, Facebook is investing in the metaverse, and Roblox is making money, mobile game publishers should consider the myriad ways that connected universes can generate revenue, especially IAP revenue. .

Whether through direct integration or an inter-game loyalty program, hypercasual games connected to other titles within publisher portfolios are much more likely to encourage players to participate in the savings. Game.

Blizzard was undoubtedly the pioneer of this approach, sell packs that unlock rewards across multiple games. They allow players, for example, to purchase a skin for their World of Warcraft character and receive an item that they can use in Heroes of the Storm.

With hyper-casual games, publishers could stimulate appetite for IAP by allowing players to purchase exclusive items for other games, use currency earned in other titles, and more. Whatever the mechanism, the principle is the same: IAPs make more sense when players invest in a connected world rather than in a simple isolated experience.

Improve your IAP promotional strategies

Amazon taught the business world many lessons, but one of the most important was the power of relevance and visibility to drive consumer behavior.

While traditional retailers relied on general advertising to entice consumers to browse their shelves, the online store took a different approach. Amazon offered personalized product recommendations to its customers, just when they’re most likely to take action.

If hypercasual publishers want to succeed with IAP-driven monetization, they can’t afford to bury their products in the IAP store.

Instead, they should take their IAP promotional strategies seriously. It means rolling out dynamic offers that meet players where and when they’re most likely to buy.

If you think like Amazon, your IAP gaming will take it to a whole new level.

Matina Thomaidou

Is their reserve a little low? Launch them in in-game currency at a discount rate. Do they tend to buy the same items separately? Show them a value pack of all their favorite goodies at wholesale prices. Are they from outside the United States? Consider pricing the packages based on the local economy.

In other words, if you think like Amazon, your IAP gaming will take it to a whole new level.

The rise of the “hybridcasual”

The last few years have been eventful, but with this instability comes a lesson: fortune favors the agile.

Hypercasual publishers can no longer afford to keep all of their eggs in the ad monetization basket.

Even if you’ve weathered this storm, the next big change in tech policy might prove more difficult to navigate. So consider optimizing anything by taking a new, diverse approach.

The truth is that many innovative publishers are already. They are called “hybridcasual”, and that could well be the future of the genre.

Dr Matina Thomaidou, is the Director of Customer Success at wappier and Insights Thought Leader, leading a team dedicated to driving game and mobile app customer success through the power of AI.

Before wappier, I worked at Facebook Ireland (Ads, Data Science, Gaming), IBM Ireland as a data science leader for Europe, Accenture Greece, Microsoft Norway and École Polytechnique in France, leading data science and business analysis projects. Lean Leader in Greece: Women in Tech Global Circle.

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