High-quality advertising creatives help mobile game companies create globally popular games

This is a guest post by Summer Liu from SocialPeta

The global mobile games’ revenue in 2021 is expected to reach $90.7 billion, up 70% compared to $68.3 billion in 2019, and it will surpass $116.4 billion in 2024, according to Newzoo Global Mobile Market Report 2021.

With the mobile games’ revenue soaring worldwide, advertisers have increased their advertising efforts. According to SocialPeta’s 2021 H1 Global Mobile App Marketing WhitePaper, the first half of 2021 saw an average of 504 ad creatives per advertiser, up 183% year-on-year, and over 19 million active ad creatives, an increase of over 180% year-on-year.

Source: SocialPeta’s 2021 H1 Global Mobile App Marketing WhitePaper

In the mobile gaming industry, advertising is the most common way of customer acquisition. However, the efficiency of customer acquisition relies on the quality of ad creatives and advertising strategies. With the assistance of SocialPeta platform, we analyzed three representative game companies: Rollic Games, Playrix, and Nexters, to figure out how they have made their games massive hits in the world through advertising.

Rollic Games: Continuous advertising, using a hot game to increase the popularity of another game of the same type

Founded in Turkey in 2018, Rollic Games is a developer and publisher of casual games. It was acquired by Zynga, a world-known game publisher, in 2021 for $170 million.

According to SocialPeta’s data, Rollic has released totally 96,000 ad creatives in about a year. High Heels!, its most popular parkour game, was first advertised in middle or late January 2021, and has since accumulated nearly 4000 ad creatives with steady growth. In February 2021, High Heels! became the second most downloaded mobile game worldwide with 24.4 million installs.

Source: SocialPeta–Analysis on High Heels! as an advertiser on Android

In April 2021, the ad impressions of High Heels reached a peak, and High Heels generated 60 million global downloads to become one of the most successful hyper-casual mobile games worldwide in 2021.

Source: SocialPeta–Analysis on High Heels! as an advertiser on Android to show its advertising for the past 360 days

Among the ad creatives in the past 90 days, the most popular one is a video displaying the game’s gameplay: A race between players all in high heels of different heights. People like it very much when players are doing the splits, a manifestation of cool girls pursuing freedom and independence. Many users have become fans of the game after being intrigued by the combination of absurdly high heels and cool actions!

The high-quality ad creatives also bumped up the game’s revenue. Rollic’s hyper-casual games, including High Heels with a record-high revenue, made a major contribution to Zynga’s revenue growth in Q1, according to Zynga’s Financial Report Q1 2021.

The explosive popularity of High Heels has led to a significant increase of hyper-casual parkour games which took the most spots on the top 10 ranking of mobile games worldwide by downloads in May 2021 released by Sensor Tower.

Playrix: multi-platform advertising with amazing ad creatives

Founded in Russia in 2004, Playrix is one of the top mobile game companies in the world, having games with over 1.1 billion downloads worldwide.

Among which, Gardenscapes, a casual match-3 game, is Playrix’s most profitable game. Since its release in August 2016, Gardenscapes players worldwide have spent over $3 billion for the game on App Store and Google Play.

Gardenscapes has been advertised on multiple platforms worldwide since its release, and reached 62,400 ad creatives in total in the past 2000 days, according to SocialPeta’s data.

At the end of March 2021, a new version of Gardenscapes was released, and ad creatives for the game were also increased to hit a peak in the past year. In the first half of 2021, thanks to its continuous advertising, the game generated a revenue of $405 million to become the second-highest grosser in puzzle and decoration games worldwide.

Source: SocialPeta–Analysis on Gardenscapes as an advertiser on Android to show its advertising for the past 360 days

Gardenscapes’s great success is also owed to its amazing ad creatives. Among its hot ad creatives in the past 360 days, the video ad creatives on Google Ads are the most efficient, attracting players to the game with its storylines, gameplay, pin-pulling puzzles and other features.

In terms of countries and regions, the game is more strongly advertised in America, China Taiwan, and Canada.

Source: SocialPeta–Analysis on Gardenscapes as an advertiser on Android to show its advertising for the past 360 days

It is understood that the US has been the biggest market for Gardenscapes, generating $1.1 billion in player spending, accounting for 37% of the game’s gross revenue since its release.

Nexters: Increase marketing spending, making advertising a regular part of operation

Founded in 2010, Nexters relocated its headquarters to Cyprus in 2017. Nexters has games with a total of over 200 million installs worldwide, making it one of the top 5 independent mobile game companies in Europe.

Nexters’s financial report Q2 2021 shows that Nexters reached a revenue of $110 million in Q2, up 73% year-on-year; and its marketing and sales cost was $91 million, up 193% year-on-year. It’s obvious from the Report that Nexters’s success has a great deal to do with its heavy investment in advertising.

Among all Nexters’s games, Hero Wars is best known. In May 2020, Hero Wars generated nearly $24 million in global revenue to become one of the top 5 card and board mobile games in the overseas market.

An outstanding revenue can not be achieved without efficient advertising strategies. According to SocialPeta’s data, Hero Wars accumulated 21,000 ad creatives in the past 1,500 days.

The data from the past 360 days show that the game’s ad creatives had been in steady growth. During the 14 days in August 2021, there were nearly 1,900 ad creatives.

Source: SocialPeta–Analysis on Hero Wars as an advertiser on Android to show its advertising for the past 360 days

In terms of advertising platforms, Hero Wars has always chosen Google Ads as its main platform.

Source: SocialPeta–Analysis on Hero Wars as an advertiser on Android to show its advertising for the past 360 days

Among all its hot ad creatives in the past year, the minigame ones are the most efficient: A failed challenge in the game gives players the urge to change the outcome themselves, as a result, they download the game.

It’s been over 5 years since its release, yet Hero Wars is still being advertised, with a lot of its ads on YouTube and other websites. The ad creatives range from the once-most-popular puzzles to today’s minigame, reflecting the continuous improvement made by Hero Wars in ad creatives. Now, Hero Wars remains one of the top 100 best-selling games on iOS in many countries around the world.

As the number of mobile devices and mobile game revenue continue to grow, the industry will constantly be seeing new players in the future. With high-quality ad creatives and advertising strategies, game companies will be able to acquire more precise users, achieving the marketing effect of “increase in brand awareness and sales”, allowing good games to be known and loved by more players around the world.

About the author

Summer Liu is the Business Director of SocialPeta. SocialPeta is an ad intelligence platform.

Marine Nozerand

Hi there, I'm Marine (she/her), I'm a Content Manager at Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.).
Marine Nozerand

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