Data drop: vital stats on ad creative, Kabam, Evermerge, Apple, Netflix, Rovio and more


There’s a deluge of new data and research to wade through every week.

So every Wednesday we’re here to break it all down into digestible chunks: data drop has just the numbers you need to know about, minus the fluff.

Liftoff’s mobile ad creative index

The data for this report was pulled from 2022, says Liftoff, which kicks off its latest findings by saying playable ads are by far the most cost-effective way to drive installs, with an average CPI of $1.31.

Next, a breakdown of CPI by ad format:

Where it gets really interesting is in this CPI by ad format graph, showing a huge gulf between Android and iOS:

The most eye-opening stat from above is that playable ads cost nearly 9x per install on iOS than they do on Android ($6.17 vs $0.73). Though of course Apple customers are always more valuable.

Next, a split by format on day 7 ROAS:

A snappy tip on the ad creatives themselves – midcore players want accurate renderings of in-game art styles, and are turned off by art that’s too stylised.

Later, Liftoff advises using a creative format that offers video, a brief playable and then a static CTA end card. This format resulted in a 20% lift on average in installs per mille (IPM) when used in MobiltyWare’s Solitaire.

A stat about longer ads is buried further into the report: Liftoff is seeing an average of up to 50% higher conversions when using longer video ads of between 31-60 seconds. Liftoff notes that Playrix is doing it – so it must be working.

Some other quick tips on making longer ads: save time and budget by knitting existing creative together; lean into telling a story, especially if that’s the heart of the game; and show off multiple game mechanics – the more you show, the more viewers might like.

TikTok-style UGC ads are also recommended, but are easy to get very badly wrong; keep them genuine, informal, chatty and lo-fi. Presenting a problem then depicting your game as the solution to it is also effective.

Kabam axes around 100 staff

Kabam confirmed it would be laying off 12% of its workforce this week; we understand the firm has around 860 employees, which means around 100 staff were affected. The news broke through Kotaku writer Ethan Gach, who first tweeted the info.

France Jacques in Kabam HR later said on LinkedIn that the layoffs were “from across all disciplines in the business, ranging from IT, marketing, finance, HR, artist, design, engineering, product management, production, live ops” and more.

Published recently: New King Arthur game “ushers in a new era” at crossplatform Kabam

A Kabam spokesperson later sent us the same statement: “In light of current economics and the industry’s market realities, after reviewing our strategic priorities, Kabam has made the difficult decision to reduce its workforce by 12 percent.”

“This restructuring provides greater financial flexibility to invest in new growth areas while also streamlining our existing development teams. We want to thank those who are leaving Kabam today for their contributions and we are supporting them through this challenging transition.”

Kabam is one of many mobile game firms going crossplatform – we recently spoke with Kabam’s product VP Tyler Black about the new strategy.

Evermerge hits $200m on its third birthday

One of Big Fish’s flagship games Evermerge has just celebrated its third birthday, so we checked Appmagic and saw it has now passed over $200m in lifetime IAP revenue and 21.6m lifetime downloads. Total revenue will be even higher, if you layer ad revenue on top, which is difficult to estimate.

Apple Arcade and Netflix Vs PS+ and Game Pass

This neat graph from data firm Ampere Analysis shows us how much movement there is in Apple Arcade and Netflix’s game catalogue compared to the big console players.

Though the PlayStation and Xbox services get tons of publicity for the new games being added every month, broadly speaking the different PS+ and Game Pass catalogues actually lost about as many games as they gained in April.

On mobile, the catalogues are rather more stable – Arcade’s library actually shrunk in April, just before Apple added 20 games to Arcade all at once, while Netflix added three games in April. There were four more in May (Laya’s Horizon, World of Goo, Transformers Forged to Fight and Dungeon Boss).

Rovio’s brand recognition research

We’ve not come across CEO Magazine before, but this week we read a cosy chat with Rovio boss Alexandre Pelletier-Normand that contained a couple of interesting stats.

Angry Birds brand awareness sits at around 95 per cent, according to Rovio’s own research (so maybe take that figure with a pinch of salt). Recognition is highest among older audiences who have played the games, and younger folks familiar with the Netflix show and movies.

Rovio boss Alexandre Pelletier-Normand said in a recent interview that brand recognition is high for older and younger players, but more needs to be done to woo Gen Z players.

But there is a gap when it comes to Gen Z, which is described as “indifferent” to the brand. The interview suggests that this is possibly going to be addressed through a “new game for PC and console” being built in its Montreal studio. New owner Sega has experience here, which helps.

A couple of other nuggets elsewhere in the piece: 2022 was a record year for flagship game Angry Birds 2, it says, and Dream Blast grew 33 per cent in the last quarter of 2022. Pelletier-Normand has also opened six studios in his two years as CEO.

Notable Newzoo numbers

We’re a little late to the party on this one, but Newzoo’s global games market report from earlier this month says that the mobile games business was worth $91.8bn in 2022 – 50% of the global market.

Mobile was down year-on-year, however, by 6.7%, a much bigger YoY drop than PC and console.

Console games were 29% of the market at $52.2bn (down 3.4 YoY), PC was 20% at $36.5bn (down 2.6% YoY) and browser games were a 1% sliver at $2.3bn (down 14.8%).

That means the overall games business in 2022 was worth $182.9bn, down 5.1% YoY.

Impossible Date hits 25m

This has been hanging around the upper end of the charts since early April, and this week it hit 25m downloads across both platforms, said developer Mangorama. The figure checks out, roughly: Appmagic says it’s at 27m.

The game itself is, sadly, absolutely horrible and breathtakingly sexist. But that clearly hasn’t stopped anyone downloading the collaboration between Matchingham Games and Istanbul studio Mangorama.

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