Author profile

Ioana Hreninciuc

Former CEO at GameAnalytics
6 min read
#Ads & Monetization

Why AdOps and LTV are Essential to Your Softlaunch

The term ‘live ops’ is an industry-standard. Most large and mid-sized studios and publishers have a department that remotely configure their games, whether that’s localization, in-game events like flash sales, or daily bonuses. So what is ad ops? And where does it fit in? Well, before we can explain that, we need to explain Lifetime Value (LTV). Optimize your LTV at softlaunch In games that rely on ads to make money, it’s usually the user acquisition and monetization teams who are fighting to increase LTV. They’ll make the Cost Per Install (CPI) 1 cent cheaper or get the player to watch one more teeny tiny ad. All to creep up their profit, cent by cent. But developers almost always optimize their ads after they launch their game – it’s already live and getting thousands of downloads a day. Leaving it...
Hypercasual markets cover
6 min read
#Data & Analytics

2020 in Metrics: Understanding Casual and Hypercasual Gaming Markets

2020’s been a year like no other. Casual and hypercasual gaming has fared better than most industries – overall playtime has been consistently up by around 15% on previous years. But when all of our usual social norms have been upended by global lockdowns, how do we make sense of the player metrics we rely on? I recently hosted a webinar on this topic. Using Benchmarks+ from GameAnalytics, I pulled some of the most telling player data from the first eight months of 2020. I dived into the key metrics like retention, session lengths, and playtime. And I did a deep dive specifically on hypercasual – comparing the different app stores and regions. Here’s a summary of the trends I found that will be most useful for developers to understand. The differences between iOS and Android It’s important not to...
Mobile Game LTV
6 min read

How to Find Player LTV Blind Spots and Earn More From Your Game

The ecosystem of mobile ads in gaming has evolved to a point where it’s possible to understand what actions players took, and from this, learn how to generate the most Lifetime Value (LTV). Yet most tools out there are fairly new and, like many studios, you may be missing out by simply not integrating these into your typical work processes. To help give you a head start into what’s changed and why it’s important, we put together this guide on the most common blind spots for player LTV, and how to identify and address them to grow your game’s revenue and profitability. Let’s get started. Use the LTV metric to know which platform is performing the best The same game can perform very differently on Android compared to iOS. Even more so when you look across regions. In China, the...
Finding Hit Publishers Cover
4 min read
#Data & Analytics

What’s Their Secret? 4 Steps Successful Publishers Take to Find Hit Games

We’ve all asked ourselves this question: “How do publishers release hit game after hit game? How do they know which ones are going to be successful?”. Now, we don’t know all the ingredients to their secret sauce (be it their relationships with developers, network, or UA tools). But what we can do is go over what we know, and what we do best. Data. Data is a crucial part in finding the next big hit. But sifting through tens or hundreds of prototypes at one time is in itself, a massive challenge. Especially when your team is small. Step 1: Find more prototypes to evaluate In an ideal world, you’d open up your laptop and see key metrics (like day 1 retention, day 7, and Playtime) for a bunch of new games that were submitted yesterday. Well, you can. And...
2 min read
#Tool & Product

Supporting BAME game dev teams with industry insights

A few days ago, we issued a statement mentioning that we are willing to do our part to support the black community, as well as other ethnic minorities. Since then, we’ve been discussing ways to do this, not just now in the short term, but on an ongoing basis. We are a small company, but something we do have plenty of is data and insights. We also have a wonderful community of talented indie game developers from around the world, who are working very hard to get their first hit. Knowing which mechanics, genre, or publisher to pick can make a massive difference in a prototype’s success, and insights are essential to that decision process. We put two and two together and we’ve decided to offer up to 12 months free access to our premium insights service, Benchmarks+, for indie...
8 min read
#Data & Analytics

Mobile playtime increases by 62%, with IAP up by around 30% in Q1

As millions of people work from home or are on furlough, they’ve needed something to pass the time: streaming TV shows, learning instruments and, of course, playing games. At least, that’s the assumption. We dug into our data to find that playtime has soared and people are spending more, but each genre is affected differently. We’ve analyzed our data in two ways 1. Global network analysis Our first approach was to look at the overall data across our network. Over 75,000 developers use GameAnalytics to analyze how gamers are playing. That’s about 40,000 active mobile games, all in all, including 40 of the top 100 most downloaded games on the app stores. By combining all this data, we can see how more than a third of the world’s mobile players are behaving. Specifically, we analyzed playtime and how much people...
4 min read
#Data & Analytics

ARPPU in top performing games up 20% compared to 2016

Analysis from Benchmarks+ takes into account several different performance quantiles, including the “superstars” (top 5%, 10%, 15%), and the “standard” quantiles (top 25%, median, bottom 25%). We’ve segmented the analysis in this way to give a broad signal of typical performance bands seen across the industry. Tracking these quantiles also sheds light on historical trends per “band” to give a better sense of how the industry has evolved. Using Benchmarks+, we have analyzed how the main gaming categories and genres have performed for daily ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User), looking at the full year of 2019, and all the way back to 2016. For this analysis, our key focus is the top 5% performance for this metric, which is a good indication of how much “whales” spend in popular titles on any given day. All revenue is IAP based...
26 min read
#Marketing & Publishing

Hyper-casual in a Hyper-competitive Market – Voodoo

In this talk, our audience learned just what exactly is Voodoo’s development approach, what their publishing agreement is, and what metrics they care about. You’ll learn from start to finish, the journey of a viral hit (looking specifically at AquaPark). If you fancy watching the other talks from this event, you can find them here: How We Found A Hyper-Casual Niche – Platonic Games The Latest Trends for Hyper-Casual Games – GameAnalytics
Platonic Games Talk 2019
17 min read

How We Found A Hyper-Casual Niche – Platonic Games

During this event, Valeria from Platonic Games took to the stage, and showed us just how exactly her small-time studio tackled the competitive market by finding their niche in Kawaii mobile games. If you fancy watching the other talks from this event, you can find them here: The Latest Trends for Hyper-Casual Games – GameAnalytics Hyper-casual in a Hyper-competitive Market – Voodoo
30 min read
#Data & Analytics

The Latest Trends for Hyper-Casual Games – GameAnalytics

Using data from our portfolio of 74,000+ mobile games, we kicked off our event with an industry update and shared the freshest insights and KPIs for the hyper-casual category (as well as news about our upcoming features). If you fancy watching the other talks from this event, you can find them here: How We Found A Hyper-Casual Niche – Platonic Games Hyper-casual in a Hyper-competitive Market – Voodoo
header bidding
5 min read
#Ads & Monetization

Keeping Your Head: A Beginner’s Guide To Header Bidding In Mobile Games

Today we’re exploring the world of header bidding and ad monetization for mobile games. If that just made you say ‘huh?’, then this is the post for you. We’ll go through the basics, the advantages and disadvantages, and demystify the acronyms and jargon that surround it. So the next time someone starts talking about eCPM or RTB, you’ll know what’s fluff and what’s truly significant for your studio. Jargon buster It’s impossible to talk about ad mediation without using jargon and industry terms. So before we get started, take a look at this cheat sheet of words and phrases that you’re going to come across both in this post and elsewhere (it’s in alphabetical order). Ad mediation – the basics Before we get into the ins and outs of header bidding, let’s set the foundation by starting with how ad...
11 min read
#Game Design

Hyper-Casual Games 101: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Players

Editors Note: In June 2019, we held an event dedicated to making hit hyper-casual games. Alongside GameAnalytics, we were joined by publishing giants, Voodoo, and Kawaii specialists, Platonic Games, to share the latest stats, trends, and insights when making hit hyper-casual games. You can find all of the info, decks, and videos from the event here.  As a relatively new genre, we’re rapidly witnessing changing trends with hyper-casual games, as well as seeing regular new titles fighting for top positions on the app store. With this in mind, relying on tired marketing strategies or an ill-informed idea that free-to-play titles don’t need a marketing budget won’t do you any favours. When monetizing your hyper-casual game, you’ll want to focus on getting as many people playing as quickly as possible, but also make sure they come back. Usually, if a hyper-casual...