State of Mobile Gaming

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13

Session 1 of the “Secrets of Game Growth” event by Mopub. Michail Katkoff (CEO of Savage Game Studios, Founder of Deconstructor of Fun) shares insights about mobile gaming trends and how to decide what games to make, while Eric Seufert (Analyst and Strategy Consultant at Heracles Media, Founder at MobileDevMemo) shares his thoughts on what ATT means for gaming and which games will benefit.

Source:
State of Mobile Gaming
(no direct link to watch/listen)
(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Webinar
Publication date:
May 31, 2021
Added to the Vault on:
June 19, 2021
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💎 #
1

There are 3 important pillars in regards to the kind of game you should make:
1. What kind of game do you want to make?
2. What can you actually build in terms of resources?
3. What does the market will actually want in 1-2 years?

01:31
💎 #
2

You need 4 things to become a top dog
1. Marketing power and a strong BI stack
2. Product excellence - being able to operate games for years (new content, etc.)
3. Diversified portfolio - so you can get more opportunities and tap into new markets. But also because when new huge games come in (e.g. Fortnite) if they target your specific audience your CPMs will rise.
4. Genre mastery - you need to understand your audience better for each game you’re building.

07:57
💎 #
3

For puzzle games, the growth of revenue has started to go down but the growth of installs has continued going up. This is a bad sign.

12:36
💎 #
4

People have been predicting the end of hypercasual for a long time but they are still here, with a focus on feel-good mechanics. It’s uncertain how this will evolve with ATT but for these games the focus should shift to achieving hybrid monetization.

14:05
💎 #
5

RPG games’ monetization model is at risk with ATT, but even scaling even more so. A lot of games are adding PC SKUs to counteract the effect.

15:25
💎 #
6

Some US states have been allowing real casino gambling. If more states do so, it will allow even further growth but it remains an extremely competitive genre and we can also expect diversification.

16:52
💎 #
7

In shooter games, there is an opportunity for new entrants that focus on progression elements from the launch (a new wave of shooters). This allows them to acquire cheaper (PvP prices) yet monetize them better.

18:40
💎 #
8

Michail approaches the gaming industry by breaking it down into categories, genres and subgenres and looking at revenue generated and YoY growth. Check out his overview of the game industry.

19:23
💎 #
9

Think about making a game similar to games in subgenres that have grown a lot, but for a different audience: keeping the same UX, mechanics, economics, etc. Example: Top War game that probably targets more of a male audience but with merge mechanics. Or Merge plane.

20:45
💎 #
10

Ad monetization will likely decrease, in a permanent fashion. If CPMs go down, games will adapt. Especially in genres like casual gaming, etc.

25:53
💎 #
11

Games with broad appeal will benefit more. There will be a move to the middle, as niche games with high monetizing users will suffer.

26:54
💎 #
12

We’re going back to the era of licensing being a valid means of driving marketability (e.g. Kim Kardashian). It’s difficult to get right because you need to match the right IP with the right game mechanics, but it does improve top of the funnel metrics. Cf. Eric’s presentation from GDC 2018 on Succeedding with Licensed IP for Mobile F2P Games.

29:03
💎 #
13

Setting up FB campaigns, having strong analytics and automations will not sustain long-term growth anymore. You will need to mix product marketing into this traditional UA skillset to better understand who the audience is and how to reach them: from a data point perspective (data -> targeting) but also just on how much creative testing you can do.

30:32
The gems from this resource are only available to premium members.
  • Unlock access to gems from 170+ mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Receive the hottest gems 🔥 (most valuable insights) each month
Upgrade Your Plan
💎 #
1

There are 3 important pillars in regards to the kind of game you should make:
1. What kind of game do you want to make?
2. What can you actually build in terms of resources?
3. What does the market will actually want in 1-2 years?

01:31
💎 #
2

You need 4 things to become a top dog
1. Marketing power and a strong BI stack
2. Product excellence - being able to operate games for years (new content, etc.)
3. Diversified portfolio - so you can get more opportunities and tap into new markets. But also because when new huge games come in (e.g. Fortnite) if they target your specific audience your CPMs will rise.
4. Genre mastery - you need to understand your audience better for each game you’re building.

07:57
💎 #
3

For puzzle games, the growth of revenue has started to go down but the growth of installs has continued going up. This is a bad sign.

12:36
💎 #
4

People have been predicting the end of hypercasual for a long time but they are still here, with a focus on feel-good mechanics. It’s uncertain how this will evolve with ATT but for these games the focus should shift to achieving hybrid monetization.

14:05
💎 #
5

RPG games’ monetization model is at risk with ATT, but even scaling even more so. A lot of games are adding PC SKUs to counteract the effect.

15:25
💎 #
6

Some US states have been allowing real casino gambling. If more states do so, it will allow even further growth but it remains an extremely competitive genre and we can also expect diversification.

16:52
💎 #
7

In shooter games, there is an opportunity for new entrants that focus on progression elements from the launch (a new wave of shooters). This allows them to acquire cheaper (PvP prices) yet monetize them better.

18:40
💎 #
8

Michail approaches the gaming industry by breaking it down into categories, genres and subgenres and looking at revenue generated and YoY growth. Check out his overview of the game industry.

19:23
💎 #
9

Think about making a game similar to games in subgenres that have grown a lot, but for a different audience: keeping the same UX, mechanics, economics, etc. Example: Top War game that probably targets more of a male audience but with merge mechanics. Or Merge plane.

20:45
💎 #
10

Ad monetization will likely decrease, in a permanent fashion. If CPMs go down, games will adapt. Especially in genres like casual gaming, etc.

25:53
💎 #
11

Games with broad appeal will benefit more. There will be a move to the middle, as niche games with high monetizing users will suffer.

26:54
💎 #
12

We’re going back to the era of licensing being a valid means of driving marketability (e.g. Kim Kardashian). It’s difficult to get right because you need to match the right IP with the right game mechanics, but it does improve top of the funnel metrics. Cf. Eric’s presentation from GDC 2018 on Succeedding with Licensed IP for Mobile F2P Games.

29:03
💎 #
13

Setting up FB campaigns, having strong analytics and automations will not sustain long-term growth anymore. You will need to mix product marketing into this traditional UA skillset to better understand who the audience is and how to reach them: from a data point perspective (data -> targeting) but also just on how much creative testing you can do.

30:32
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💎 #
1

There are 3 important pillars in regards to the kind of game you should make:
1. What kind of game do you want to make?
2. What can you actually build in terms of resources?
3. What does the market will actually want in 1-2 years?

01:31
💎 #
2

You need 4 things to become a top dog
1. Marketing power and a strong BI stack
2. Product excellence - being able to operate games for years (new content, etc.)
3. Diversified portfolio - so you can get more opportunities and tap into new markets. But also because when new huge games come in (e.g. Fortnite) if they target your specific audience your CPMs will rise.
4. Genre mastery - you need to understand your audience better for each game you’re building.

07:57
💎 #
3

For puzzle games, the growth of revenue has started to go down but the growth of installs has continued going up. This is a bad sign.

12:36
💎 #
4

People have been predicting the end of hypercasual for a long time but they are still here, with a focus on feel-good mechanics. It’s uncertain how this will evolve with ATT but for these games the focus should shift to achieving hybrid monetization.

14:05
💎 #
5

RPG games’ monetization model is at risk with ATT, but even scaling even more so. A lot of games are adding PC SKUs to counteract the effect.

15:25
💎 #
6

Some US states have been allowing real casino gambling. If more states do so, it will allow even further growth but it remains an extremely competitive genre and we can also expect diversification.

16:52
💎 #
7

In shooter games, there is an opportunity for new entrants that focus on progression elements from the launch (a new wave of shooters). This allows them to acquire cheaper (PvP prices) yet monetize them better.

18:40
💎 #
8

Michail approaches the gaming industry by breaking it down into categories, genres and subgenres and looking at revenue generated and YoY growth. Check out his overview of the game industry.

19:23
💎 #
9

Think about making a game similar to games in subgenres that have grown a lot, but for a different audience: keeping the same UX, mechanics, economics, etc. Example: Top War game that probably targets more of a male audience but with merge mechanics. Or Merge plane.

20:45
💎 #
10

Ad monetization will likely decrease, in a permanent fashion. If CPMs go down, games will adapt. Especially in genres like casual gaming, etc.

25:53
💎 #
11

Games with broad appeal will benefit more. There will be a move to the middle, as niche games with high monetizing users will suffer.

26:54
💎 #
12

We’re going back to the era of licensing being a valid means of driving marketability (e.g. Kim Kardashian). It’s difficult to get right because you need to match the right IP with the right game mechanics, but it does improve top of the funnel metrics. Cf. Eric’s presentation from GDC 2018 on Succeedding with Licensed IP for Mobile F2P Games.

29:03
💎 #
13

Setting up FB campaigns, having strong analytics and automations will not sustain long-term growth anymore. You will need to mix product marketing into this traditional UA skillset to better understand who the audience is and how to reach them: from a data point perspective (data -> targeting) but also just on how much creative testing you can do.

30:32
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Notes for this resource are currently being transferred and will be available soon.

What game to make?

[💎@1:31] There are 3 important pillars in regards to the kind of game you should make:

1. What kind of game do you want to make?

2. What can you actually build in terms of resources?

3. What does the market will actually want in 1-2 years?

Data shared in this presentation comes from SensorTower (downloads, revenue) and GameRefinery, excluding key asian markets (China, Korea - stats would dwarf what we see in western games).

Take numbers with a grain of salt, they are estimates.

We were in the maturity or stabilization stage below, but the pandemic gave a new boost.

We often think of more and more games coming out, but the number of new games in the market has actually stabilized.

More and more games generate $10M or more annually.

The top games are also evolving, with only 26% of games that have been in the top 100 since Jan 2017 (this was 55% last year). Even the time to reach the top 100 was decreased. 42 games entered the top 100 chart in 2020.

[💎@07:57] You need 4 things to become a top dog

1. Marketing power and a strong BI stack

2. Product excellence - being able to operate games for years (new content, etc.)

3. Diversified portfolio - so you can get more opportunities and tap into new markets. But also because when new huge games come in (e.g. Fortnite) if they target your specific audience your CPMs will rise.

4. Genre mastery - you need to understand your audience better for each game you’re building.

2021 Trends
Puzzle games

[💎@12:36] For puzzle games, the growth of revenue has started to go down but the growth of installs has continued going up. This is a bad sign.

Hypercasual games

[💎@14:05] People have been predicting the end of hypercasual for a long time but they are still here, with a focus on feel-good mechanics. It’s uncertain how this will evolve with ATT but for these games the focus should shift to achieving hybrid monetization.

RPG games

[💎@15:25] RPG games’ monetization model is at risk with ATT, but even scaling even more so. A lot of games are adding PC SKUs to counteract the effect.

Casino games

[💎@16:52] Some US states have been allowing real casino gambling. If more states do so, it will allow even further growth but it remains an extremely competitive genre and we can also expect diversification.

Shooters games

[💎@18:40] In shooter games, there is an opportunity for new entrants that focus on progression elements from the launch (a new wave of shooters). This allows them to acquire cheaper (PvP prices) yet monetize them better.

[💎@19:23] Michail approaches the gaming industry by breaking it down into categories, genres and subgenres and looking at revenue generated and YoY growth. Example below.

Merge genre growing but most games look the same

There is risk in the merge genre.

[💎@20:45] Think about making a game similar to games in subgenres that have grown a lot, but for a different audience: keeping the same UX, mechanics, economics, etc. Example: Top War game that probably targets more of a male audience but with merge mechanics. Or Merge plane.

The challenge now is how do you target these audiences post-ATT?

ATT

Advertising spend will drop, maybe not for 6 months but probably for 2 weeks or 2 months. Some genres will benefit from that, others will be hurt.

CPMs will drop on no-IDFA traffic.

[💎@25:53] Ad monetization will likely decrease, in a permanent fashion. If CPMs go down, games will adapt. Especially in genres like casual gaming, etc. 

[💎@26:54] Games with broad appeal will benefit more. There will be a move to the middle, as niche games with high monetizing users will suffer.


[💎@29:03] We’re going back to the era of licensing being a valid means of driving marketability (e.g. Kim Kardashian). It’s difficult to get right because you need to match the right IP with the right game mechanics, but it does improve top of the funnel metrics. Cf. Eric’s presentation from GDC 2018 on Succeedding with Licensed IP for Mobile F2P Games.


[💎@30:32] Setting up FB campaigns, having strong analytics and automations will not sustain long-term growth anymore. You will need to mix product marketing into this traditional UA skillset to better understand who the audience is and how to reach them: from a data point perspective (data -> targeting) but also just on how much creative testing you can do.

We’re already seeing a broadening of the marketing mix.

We might also see more and more content fortresses, sort of mini App Store. Allows to do CRM better, etc.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Upgrade Your Plan

What game to make?

[💎@1:31] There are 3 important pillars in regards to the kind of game you should make:

1. What kind of game do you want to make?

2. What can you actually build in terms of resources?

3. What does the market will actually want in 1-2 years?

Data shared in this presentation comes from SensorTower (downloads, revenue) and GameRefinery, excluding key asian markets (China, Korea - stats would dwarf what we see in western games).

Take numbers with a grain of salt, they are estimates.

We were in the maturity or stabilization stage below, but the pandemic gave a new boost.

We often think of more and more games coming out, but the number of new games in the market has actually stabilized.

More and more games generate $10M or more annually.

The top games are also evolving, with only 26% of games that have been in the top 100 since Jan 2017 (this was 55% last year). Even the time to reach the top 100 was decreased. 42 games entered the top 100 chart in 2020.

[💎@07:57] You need 4 things to become a top dog

1. Marketing power and a strong BI stack

2. Product excellence - being able to operate games for years (new content, etc.)

3. Diversified portfolio - so you can get more opportunities and tap into new markets. But also because when new huge games come in (e.g. Fortnite) if they target your specific audience your CPMs will rise.

4. Genre mastery - you need to understand your audience better for each game you’re building.

2021 Trends
Puzzle games

[💎@12:36] For puzzle games, the growth of revenue has started to go down but the growth of installs has continued going up. This is a bad sign.

Hypercasual games

[💎@14:05] People have been predicting the end of hypercasual for a long time but they are still here, with a focus on feel-good mechanics. It’s uncertain how this will evolve with ATT but for these games the focus should shift to achieving hybrid monetization.

RPG games

[💎@15:25] RPG games’ monetization model is at risk with ATT, but even scaling even more so. A lot of games are adding PC SKUs to counteract the effect.

Casino games

[💎@16:52] Some US states have been allowing real casino gambling. If more states do so, it will allow even further growth but it remains an extremely competitive genre and we can also expect diversification.

Shooters games

[💎@18:40] In shooter games, there is an opportunity for new entrants that focus on progression elements from the launch (a new wave of shooters). This allows them to acquire cheaper (PvP prices) yet monetize them better.

[💎@19:23] Michail approaches the gaming industry by breaking it down into categories, genres and subgenres and looking at revenue generated and YoY growth. Example below.

Merge genre growing but most games look the same

There is risk in the merge genre.

[💎@20:45] Think about making a game similar to games in subgenres that have grown a lot, but for a different audience: keeping the same UX, mechanics, economics, etc. Example: Top War game that probably targets more of a male audience but with merge mechanics. Or Merge plane.

The challenge now is how do you target these audiences post-ATT?

ATT

Advertising spend will drop, maybe not for 6 months but probably for 2 weeks or 2 months. Some genres will benefit from that, others will be hurt.

CPMs will drop on no-IDFA traffic.

[💎@25:53] Ad monetization will likely decrease, in a permanent fashion. If CPMs go down, games will adapt. Especially in genres like casual gaming, etc. 

[💎@26:54] Games with broad appeal will benefit more. There will be a move to the middle, as niche games with high monetizing users will suffer.


[💎@29:03] We’re going back to the era of licensing being a valid means of driving marketability (e.g. Kim Kardashian). It’s difficult to get right because you need to match the right IP with the right game mechanics, but it does improve top of the funnel metrics. Cf. Eric’s presentation from GDC 2018 on Succeedding with Licensed IP for Mobile F2P Games.


[💎@30:32] Setting up FB campaigns, having strong analytics and automations will not sustain long-term growth anymore. You will need to mix product marketing into this traditional UA skillset to better understand who the audience is and how to reach them: from a data point perspective (data -> targeting) but also just on how much creative testing you can do.

We’re already seeing a broadening of the marketing mix.

We might also see more and more content fortresses, sort of mini App Store. Allows to do CRM better, etc.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.

The detailed notes taken for a resource are an easy way to see the gems in context to get a better understanding. They also include any relevant visuals from the source.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
GET Access

What game to make?

[💎@1:31] There are 3 important pillars in regards to the kind of game you should make:

1. What kind of game do you want to make?

2. What can you actually build in terms of resources?

3. What does the market will actually want in 1-2 years?

Data shared in this presentation comes from SensorTower (downloads, revenue) and GameRefinery, excluding key asian markets (China, Korea - stats would dwarf what we see in western games).

Take numbers with a grain of salt, they are estimates.

We were in the maturity or stabilization stage below, but the pandemic gave a new boost.

We often think of more and more games coming out, but the number of new games in the market has actually stabilized.

More and more games generate $10M or more annually.

The top games are also evolving, with only 26% of games that have been in the top 100 since Jan 2017 (this was 55% last year). Even the time to reach the top 100 was decreased. 42 games entered the top 100 chart in 2020.

[💎@07:57] You need 4 things to become a top dog

1. Marketing power and a strong BI stack

2. Product excellence - being able to operate games for years (new content, etc.)

3. Diversified portfolio - so you can get more opportunities and tap into new markets. But also because when new huge games come in (e.g. Fortnite) if they target your specific audience your CPMs will rise.

4. Genre mastery - you need to understand your audience better for each game you’re building.

2021 Trends
Puzzle games

[💎@12:36] For puzzle games, the growth of revenue has started to go down but the growth of installs has continued going up. This is a bad sign.

Hypercasual games

[💎@14:05] People have been predicting the end of hypercasual for a long time but they are still here, with a focus on feel-good mechanics. It’s uncertain how this will evolve with ATT but for these games the focus should shift to achieving hybrid monetization.

RPG games

[💎@15:25] RPG games’ monetization model is at risk with ATT, but even scaling even more so. A lot of games are adding PC SKUs to counteract the effect.

Casino games

[💎@16:52] Some US states have been allowing real casino gambling. If more states do so, it will allow even further growth but it remains an extremely competitive genre and we can also expect diversification.

Shooters games

[💎@18:40] In shooter games, there is an opportunity for new entrants that focus on progression elements from the launch (a new wave of shooters). This allows them to acquire cheaper (PvP prices) yet monetize them better.

[💎@19:23] Michail approaches the gaming industry by breaking it down into categories, genres and subgenres and looking at revenue generated and YoY growth. Example below.

Merge genre growing but most games look the same

There is risk in the merge genre.

[💎@20:45] Think about making a game similar to games in subgenres that have grown a lot, but for a different audience: keeping the same UX, mechanics, economics, etc. Example: Top War game that probably targets more of a male audience but with merge mechanics. Or Merge plane.

The challenge now is how do you target these audiences post-ATT?

ATT

Advertising spend will drop, maybe not for 6 months but probably for 2 weeks or 2 months. Some genres will benefit from that, others will be hurt.

CPMs will drop on no-IDFA traffic.

[💎@25:53] Ad monetization will likely decrease, in a permanent fashion. If CPMs go down, games will adapt. Especially in genres like casual gaming, etc. 

[💎@26:54] Games with broad appeal will benefit more. There will be a move to the middle, as niche games with high monetizing users will suffer.


[💎@29:03] We’re going back to the era of licensing being a valid means of driving marketability (e.g. Kim Kardashian). It’s difficult to get right because you need to match the right IP with the right game mechanics, but it does improve top of the funnel metrics. Cf. Eric’s presentation from GDC 2018 on Succeedding with Licensed IP for Mobile F2P Games.


[💎@30:32] Setting up FB campaigns, having strong analytics and automations will not sustain long-term growth anymore. You will need to mix product marketing into this traditional UA skillset to better understand who the audience is and how to reach them: from a data point perspective (data -> targeting) but also just on how much creative testing you can do.

We’re already seeing a broadening of the marketing mix.

We might also see more and more content fortresses, sort of mini App Store. Allows to do CRM better, etc.