Meet Hot Siberians – a mobile game development studio based in Cyprus that achieved significant success in the idle tycoon genre. Like many studios today, they constantly question how to monetize attracted audiences better. However, with their team mainly focused on enhancing gameplay and fixing bugs, there was limited room for monetization experiments. That’s where Balancy stepped in to make a difference.
|“Balancy transformed our approach to monetization experiments, allowing us to explore opportunities that were previously out of reach due to busy pipeline. Thanks to Balancy, our game designers can effortlessly test new ideas and grow metrics without burdening the development team”.|
Dmitrii Koshelev, CEO.
Searching for a solution
Idle Forces: Army Tycoon is a military base themed idle city builder game. Before integrating Balancy, the game has already generated revenue not only with ads, but also in-app purchases. However, the potential of in-app purchases was not used to its maximum.
Analytics revealed a dedicated player segment frequently interacting with rewarded ads but hesitating to make in-app purchases. Despite their obvious enjoyment of the game shown by great retention numbers and desire to get more in-game resources, something prevented them from investing money in the game.
In response, the team identified the necessity for crafting a personalized special offers system to tap into the game’s complete in-app purchase potential. They achieved this goal by leveraging Balancy’s offers constructor and visual scripting tools.
Converting ad watchers into the first purchase
In the first experiment, the team worked on converting players into the first purchase by showing a “no ads” banner. When purchasing this banner, players remove ads from their game experience and receive some gold (an in-game currency).
💡A curious fact: A/B tests showed that adding in-game resources to the “no ads” banner increases the value of the offer and conversion.
Hot Siberians used their knowledge about players’ ad-watching activity to create the following visual script in Balancy:
The script waits until players watch 50 rewarded ads and suggests the first offer. If players buy it, the script finishes. If players don’t buy it, the script continues.
After watching 100 ads, players are shown a similar pop-up banner, but this time with a bigger discount and better value. The same logic continues in the script nodes that follow.
In the end, the script offers the final pricing point that would still be profitable for a developer even if players stop watching ads. After that, the script finishes.
Tailoring pricing and content for minnows, dolphins, and whales.
What some players find expensive (non-paying or minnows) others will find cheap (whales), and giving the same offer to everyone doesn’t make much sense. Big publishers use this knowledge to offer personalized pricing points and value propositions to players of different paying capacities.
Small and midsize studios do not always find resources to conduct such experiments and, therefore, miss on this monetization opportunity. Using Balancy, Hot Siberians successfully employed personalization to boost conversion rates without straining their resources.
As the next experiment, Hot Siberians offered different starter packs to different segments of players based on their paying capacity. Starter packs in Idle Forces appear quite late in the game experience, so developers are able to accumulate information about players’ paying behavior patterns.
They have defined 5 segments (non-payer, minnow, dolphin, orca, whale, and killer whale) and prepared 3 starter packs (starter pack, improved starter pack, and expert starter pack):
And this is what the employed script looked like:
You may wonder what this black box at the end of the script is. It’s a mega script, which is described in the next experiment. Depending on which starter pack players buy, they enter a different part of the mega script.
Crafting a personalized promo journey
In essence, a mega script is a sophisticated system of offers, where the next offer depends on the previous choices of players. The general idea behind is quite simple: if players purchase a small pack, they are navigated to a more expensive offer with similar content. If they don’t make purchases, they are offered smaller packs or a bigger discount.
While creating the optimal matrix of offers, the team conducted a lot of A/B tests (using Balancy for this purpose). If something needs to be changed in the current system of offers (pricing, content, sequence, discount, etc.), it can be changed and deployed directly from the Balancy interface, without involving programmers.
Over a span of 2 months, the team accomplished the following outcomes through these monetization experiments:
Hot Siberians managed to increase conversion in the USA by 37% and ARPPU by 50%. Balancy streamlined the entire experimentation process, requiring only minimal resources from one game designer.
Would you like to see how Balancy can help to run your game? Set up a meeting with our team.