What I Learned from 2019’s First Mobile Game Conference

PG Connects London Applift

I spent the last couple of days in London at PG Connects, situated at a nice location in Barbican, with some good catering 😉 I had the opportunity to spend some time catching up with people from the industry, and attended a few interesting talks, also met old friends and made new ones 🙂

I came back with my key learnings from the Conference, which I think will define the course of this year’s advertising in mobile gaming.

In 2019, the global mobile games market will grow significantly, generating $72 billion in revenues. According to App Annie, more than 50% of spend on the iOS App Store comes from Asia, while Apptopia puts the average lifespan of the top 50 grossing games at around 28 days.

1. Analytics Matter for Game Developers

With better and cheaper technology available, more and more game developers are into analytics: from small indie studios to big game publishers, including mid-tier guys, all are very attentive to increase monetization performance, track core KPIs, and get all the insights needed to improve the user journey and stimulate further growth.

2. It’s Not Only (Anymore) About Fun

How fun a game is, has always been a key criterion for gaming apps. But increasingly developers are being aware of creating a business and they talk about their game like a business: they build the design and game mechanics around that, with a clear monetization strategy in mind and making sure the game retains. They are also aware that if the product is not viable, no growth hacks will help. (More on this in the next point)

3. Product Drives Retention

Product is (still) the king and is a key force behind user retention. While the retention rates may differ across various categories, in general, a 40% Day-1 retention rate for a game is considered to be good. Hyper-casual can score 50-60% vs. kids’ games can have low retention rates at about 15%. Many studios drop under-performing titles rather than going through a massive overhaul because they prefer to cut losses and move on to the next project.

4. Siloed vs Agile Approach

More and more organizations are abandoning the siloed approach and are adopting an agile setting with cross-functional teams, which carry just one title at a time from concept-to-cash. They tirelessly optimize UA and monetization strategies and improve the game marketing tactics in perfect sync, and try to get learnings out of each iteration.

5. In-App Purchase and Conversion Rate

If one considers the games which monetize through in-app purchase, RPG games have up to 2x conversion rates (% of users who made a purchase) than other top performing genres. In this category, racing games are the lowest, with less than 0.5% conversion rate.

Did you join #pgconnectslondon this year? What’s your take? Share your thoughts with us!

Vladimiro is the Regional Director, EMEIA, at Applift and is based out of Berlin. His motto is simple: play hard, work harder. He works and does business for fun, simply because he loves it. But his real job is hiking and climbing, that he takes up on the weekend shift!