The game was launched on Apple app stores as well as Google Play, It was the first of the Trial Xtreme games to be integrated with the Game of Whales platform from day one
Trial Xtreme is the latest installment of our long running series of games under the Trial Xtreme brand, which we’ve been publishing since 2013. To date we’ve had more than 200 million downloads, so getting the monetization strategy wrong can have a big effect on our revenues.
Dumb vs smart campaigns
Because Trial Xtreme 4 was the latest game in an established series, we had plenty of historic data with which to compare the performance with Game of Whales running the in-app offers.
Typically with a ‘dumb’ promotion or offer we would expect to see an immediate response, as a high proportion of active players spending money. However, although the revenue spike can be very high, the effect is usually very short lived. Even worse, this kind of campaign can lead to a lengthy depression in IAP as the offer has effectively cannibalized the revenues from players that would have organically spent on IAP without the discount.
Game of Whales’ AI is programmed to make intelligent in-game offers that are likely to trigger improved conversion and also increase the value of a transaction. It is far more granular with the offers and discounts, meaning that we avoid the cannibalization you see with the dumb campaigns. The result is that there is a slow but constant growth in most metrics, as the platform continually tweaks and optimizes over time.
Using Game of Whales increased ARPDAU by 20%
The biggest change was that in comparison to the control group, with Trial Xtreme 4 we saw an overall increase in the ARPDAU1 of 20%. This was largely down to the improved conversion of non-paying users to paying ones, and by increasing the ARPPU2 of those players already spending money inside the game. We actually found that the majority of the ARPPU growth came from players that had spent $300 or more on IAP - a classic gaming whale. We found that these players were most responsive to IAP offers once they hit $50 and above.
1 Average Revenue Per Daily Active User
2 Average Revenue Per Paying User
Improved 30-day retention
We found that Game of Whales also improved the 30-day retention of the game. By sending gifts and push promotions at times of the day when the platform predicted a player will be most active on their phone - and therefore likely to be receptive to an offer - the retention rate was boosted by as much as 9%.
As well as pushing the offer at a time of day specific to each behavioral cluster, the platform also analyses a player’s current progress within a game and their current in-game resources to create the most compelling offer for each micro-targeted group. Once again, depending on how successful that push promotion was, Game of Whales then iterated the offer based on the response rate.
Landing our gaming whales
As every app developer knows, ‘whales’ - people who spend disproportionately more on in-app purchases than the average player - are the most valuable audience for any game. Thanks to the platform we can see how much time is spent playing each game, plus the specific actions and triggers within the games that are linked to purchasing behavior. So in the case of Trial Xtreme 4, we were able to increase the spend of our whales by 17%, and extend their overall retention in the game by 32%.
Examples of personalized offers
Some players will spend money on starter packs of IAP even before they become fully engaged in a game. In some cases, this can happen even before they have finished the tutorial and progressed to the game proper. Game of Whales can test different starter pack amounts and find the exact amount that will draw the user to make a second purchase in the game.
For example, players might be offered an in-game item that will help their progression in the game, but which costs more than the amount of in-game currency they currently have. By understanding the right item based on the player’s progress and behavior, and offering a time-limited discount, the platform optimizes the chance that the offer will be what’s needed to trigger the purchase.
We found that these kinds of ‘% off” offers were incredibly effective in turning players into payers. Once again, the platform was able to predict the best discount and the best time in terms of game progress to push the offer.
"With Game of Whales the revenues were boosted by as much as 25%. We also found that these kinds of ‘% off” offers were incredibly effective in turning players into payers. Once again, the platform was able to predict the best discount and the best time in terms of game progress to push the offer."