Greater acquisition of users and ROAS with Audience Pinpointer
With several award-winning browser and mobile games, including Forge of Empires , Elvenar and Warlords of Aternum , InnoGames employs more than 400 people from more than 30 countries, currently runs seven live games and maintains App Store ratings and Google Play in 4.7 and 4.5, respectively. To further optimize its user acquisition (UA) strategies and achieve its return on advertising investment (ROAS) objectives, InnoGames uses Audience Pinpointer to reach players with high retention rates of 7 days (D7).
InnoGames was born at night
Together with his friend Michael Zillmer, the brothers Eike and Hendrik Klindworth created Tribal Wars , their first browser game, in 2003. They started the game purely as a fun for the long winter nights, but quickly became popular as they added new worlds It became a full-time effort and they founded InnoGames in Hamburg in 2007. The company grew steadily and, with the growing dominance of the mobile games market, made the decision to develop all its new mobile titles in Unity.
From here to Aternum
InnoGames acquired Warlords from Wooga Studio in 2017. Using Unity, they continued to develop their turn-based strategy game (TBS) such as Warlords of Aternum , added massive content updates, optimized battle balance and much more. Many of Unity’s features helped streamline development and improve the game:
The C # AssetBundleGraphTool tool reduces tedious import and asset pooling tasks, allowing engineers to easily create and automate workflows to create and graphically change asset settings.
Lightmapping pre-calculates the surface brightness in multiple Warlords of Aternum scenes and stores the results in a lightmap for later use.
ScriptableObject is a Unity serializable class that contains references to the user interface (UI) / GameObjects for balancing battles. It facilitates the management of changes and debugging by keeping the shared data out of the script instances.
To further increase performance, InnoGames regularly takes advantage of the asset cache server , batch drawing calls (draw calls) , editor scripts and, of course, Unity Profiler .
Looking ahead, the InnoGames team is particularly excited about the implementation of the new components of the Unity data-oriented technology suite (DOTS), the entity component system (ECS) , the C # work system and the Burst compiler , which allow developers to take better advantage of multicore processors of mobile devices.
Increasing monetization and user acquisition
Most InnoGames offers are monetized purely through IAP, and although the Unity Ads team has been a partner for many years, their efforts with ad monetization are increasing. According to Sebastian Goldt, director of performance networks, “CPM and the scope rate are excellent compared to other sources, and we especially appreciate the dedicated support teams, client partners and Unity Ad-Ops, which have made a big difference “.
The InnoGames user acquisition strategy has been diverse, with campaigns on advertising networks such as Facebook, Google and Unity, as well as on TV. They have tested several real-time (RTB) and on-demand (DSP) bidding platforms, if only to avoid relying on a single source. “With Unity Ads we have always been able to acquire high quality users. And now, with Audience Pinpointer, we have further increased the quality of acquired users, which is quite impressive,” Sebastian continued. InnoGames first applied Audience Pinpointer with its user acquisition campaigns for Warlords of Aternum , focusing on players with high retention values at 7 days.
Ads at a more granular level
Audience Pinpointer is a Unity Ads feature that identifies players that are likely to have a specific value beyond the installation of an application, based on the objectives of an advertiser. Lets target individual players instead of groups, in order to improve:
Retention: acquires players who are more likely to play for 7 or more days
Return on advertising investment (ROAS): acquires players based on their expected spending during their first 7 days in a game.
At the time of requesting an ad, and based on the expected D7 retention or ROAS, the Unity machine learning model uses real-time player appraisal to dynamically decide on an offer for each specific player. The system is constantly updated based on the actual behavior of the players and the preferences of millions of players across the Unity platform.
“Using Unity Audience Pinpointer solution, we scale our spending 60% from January 2018 to January 2019,” said Sebastian Goldt, director of performance networks. The bid automatically adjusts for InnoGames to pay based on dynamically updated CPI, maximizing its ROI. Another important feature for InnoGames is that Audience Pinpointer reduces the number of daily optimizations that were previously optimized manually. This gives their marketing managers more time to focus on creative approaches to improve their campaigns.
Committed to the Unity community
In addition to user acquisition, talent acquisition is an important challenge for any study. For InnoGames, becoming a Unity store meant having access to a rich group of Unity developers who could immediately contribute to the production of games. “Unity allows us to incorporate new staff very easily,” said Armin Busen, product manager. InnoGames offers internal training in Unity and also organizes several Unity meetings per year that usually gather 100 participants.
Armin continued: “Unity is the preferred real-time development platform for all of our mobile games. Warlords of Aternum is a good example of Unity’s power to bring a compelling strategy gaming experience to mobiles.”