If you are faced with doubts about whether your product will be able to succeed, then the lecture from Alejandra Caceres & Leslie Olesch from MondayOFF is for you! They will show you that CPI is not so scary. And even if you don’t like the numbers, there’s still a chance of making a hit.
MondayOFF is the first hyper-casual gaming studio and publisher in South Korea. They have a pretty unique way of approaching mainly flexible publishing KPIs – they don’t have a line you have to cross to publish with them – and close relationships with partner studios are essential to them.
CPI is the easiest way to check profitability; a saturated market equals very high competition. To stay profitable, you will need a low CPI. A low CPI usually equals high profit – in the end, that’s what you want when publishing a hyper-casual game. But the CPI fluctuates by the change in trends, so MondayOFF doesn’t think it is a 100% reliable metric.
Why not focus only on CPI?
Although all publishers will also consider other metrics. MondayOFF has a pretty low threshold for CPI, a KPI that needs to be met, and highly considers other metrics such as Retention, Playtime, IPM, and LTV. MondayOFF thinks these metrics is a very reliable source of information regarding marketability. An active user base will equal a good revenue stream even if the CPI is a bit higher than the market standard, which is around ¢20-30.
Why is retention so important?
The D1 Retention is the most important indicator of how many players are willing to return to your game after they installed it. Usually, if your game D1 retention is under 20%, your game needs some improvements. A RET of lower than 20% shows that the game is not attractive enough for players to return.
We would say that 30-40% with D-1 Retention shows that the game is very promising and that users enjoy it even if the CPI is slightly higher. And we think we can still work with such a game – to improve Retention, you must focus on gameplay and replayability.Leslie Olesch, Publishing Manager at MondayOFF Inc.
Retention and playtime in the spotlight
Another pointer to see how important Retention and Playtime are in this competitive market is Arcade Idle. Arcade Idle really shines through longevity, expansion, and growth. Everyone knows a cafe or hospital expansion game where you walk around and work with the people, and there’s generally a lot of content. And, of course, more content will result in more satisfaction as long as it’s well executed. Through the constant requests and quests, there will be a much longer Playtime than just having a runner game. A more extended Playtime means more ads can be shown, so obviously, the game will be in profit.
Arcade Idle is excellent for different means of monetization – you can have rewarded ads, interstitials, and banner ads that will not be as distracting as, for example, a simple runner or puzzle game. The good thing about Arcade Idle was that it can be added to almost any type of game – these days, many classic runner games have an Arcade Idle update, so there’s more content in the game that will highly increase Retention and Playtime.
Of course, Retention is super important, but there are other metrics that we should pay attention to, such as IPM (installs per mille). Basically, for every thousand impressions, how many installs do you get? This metric is excellent for optimizing UA campaigns or measuring A/B test successes. It disregards ad spending, and it is much more reliable and a factor that focuses on the quality of the UA campaign. It is much easier to improve IPM than CPI because if you’re experimenting with creatives and playable ads, you can get more interactions and more people interested in your game. Likewise, it also has high effects on eCPM – if IPM is high, then your eCPM will be boosted.
eCPM – Effective Cost Per Mille
The eCPM is a metric not often spoken about but shows how much revenue you have made per thousand impressions. It also helps the publishers know how much to spend per thousand impressions. Knowing this metric can be very exciting but also disheartening depending on the situation, so the final goal for the eCPM is to have a ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) of over a 100%. This means that your ads’ expenses are entirely covered by your revenue.
LTV helps calculate the work of the new user and the value of your app. It is the key to knowing the growth and success of your game, and it is highly affected by Retention in ARPDAU (average revenue per daily active user). That means that if your Retention is high, the LTV will be increased, too. Make sure to pay attention to the Retention – if these KPIs mentioned above still have promising results, then your game has a really high chance of having a long time success. The main goal is for your LTV to be higher than your CPI – your game can be profitable for a long time.
I want to mention that ARPDAU and LTV are highly affected by experimentation and gain changes in monetization and gameplay. So always make sure to know how to manage your monetization in your game. Always make sure you can manage your marketing campaigns to drive your game to success.Alejandra Caceres, Publishing Manager at MondayOFF Inc.
For example, if you add some sort of gems or something the user can buy to make his characters stronger or faster, this will add more value to your art and increase your LTV. Also, how many interstitials you have while the user plays your game and how often they are played – these two things can affect your attention due to the different showings of the interstitials and affect your ARPDAU highly because more ads = more revenue.
MondayOFF mainly focuses on Retention, Playtime, and LTV, as was mentioned earlier. They believe that as long as these three metrics are promising, the game can be a success, and it can be further improved to have better metrics in the long run. Suppose the CPI is lower than ¢70 under Retention over 30%. In that case, it has a really high publishing potential.
Change and Drop – special case
This is a game that is dear to MondayOFF. Beforehand, the metrics above for the CTR, CPI, and IPM are non-organic traffic; and the Retention, Daily Session Time, and LTV are non-organic and organic traffic. The results are from Facebook ads, which were tested on Google Play.
For the initial iteration, the CTR was 1.58% which is pretty low, but then they could pump it up to 3.05% in the final iteration. The CPI made a pretty huge change: in the initial iteration, it was ¢1.73, and in the final one, it lowered to ¢49. You can see that you can have better CPI results by making different iterations and not giving up on your game.
The IPM also rose up a lot: from 20.61 to 67.9 in our final iteration, meaning more players download the game when watching ads. For the Retention – in the first iteration, it had a quite high metric. MondayOFF decided to keep working on it, and in the final iteration, Retention rose to 37.8%. And on Day 7, Retention, the initial iteration went from 7.6% to 9.5%.
Daily session time grew to 7.5 minutes from 4.3 minutes, meaning that more users are playing the game for a longer time per session. The LTV initial was ¢32, and it rose to ¢58, higher than the CPI in the final iteration, meaning that it has a big potential to make a profit in the future.
I wanted to highlight that CPI is not everything in your initial iteration. If your CPI is not great, but the Retention is pretty promising, you should not give up on your game. We believe in flexible KPIs and giving every game a chance. Always remember that Retention, Playtime, and LTV are the key metrics to knowing if your game can be a potential hit.Alejandra Caceres, Publishing Manager at MondayOFF Inc.
Opportunities with MondayOOF
MondayOFF has a Dashboard, which is fully self-serve. You can schedule your own campaigns, and there are no rejections – you can test any game you wish without asking permission from a publishing manager. This is great because you have more opportunities to test any game you want. If you stay in touch with MondayOFF, you can have the chance to participate in their educational programs, game jams, and future competitions.
These will take place in the third quarter of this year, so follow MondayOFF on LinkedIn for more information. Join their Discord server to be the first one to know everything and keep in touch with the publishing managers to be part of a great community.