Since 2014, My Town has been creating digital open-world dollhouse mobile games for children, and has grown into one of the largest games publishers in the world. However, it wasn’t until 2018 that they began using ads in their games, and after a few sub-par experiences with other mediation platforms, in 2020 My Town switched to ironSource’s mediation platform and in-app bidding solution to grow the business.
Fast forward a few months, and they’ve migrated 25 of their games to ironSource’s mediation and significantly increased eCPM and ARPDAU. Read on to hear directly from My Town’s co-founder, Mark Tulchinski, about his experience starting his own indie game studio, using ironSource’s mediation platform, and its impact on the business.
From premium to F2P
My co-founder and I started My Town after watching our kids role-play for hours with their toys, action figures, and dollhouses. We asked ourselves, is it possible to package these fun, joyful experiences into mobile games, and bring them to millions of kids all over the world? Six months later, we launched our first title, and got started on our mobile games journey.
Until two years ago, our games at My Town operated on a pay-to-play model, and in-game ads were not part of our strategy. For some time, this approach served us well, but we realized the next stage of our growth could only be unlocked by switching to a freemium, or free-to-pay, model.
In the last two years, since adopting the F2P model, we’ve been able to leverage our freemium model and reach more users, and in turn unlock new revenue using ads. As we were inexperienced with the world of in-game ads, it was especially important for us to be able to manage our ad operations in an easy-to-use mediation platform. However, the mediation platforms we tried out to were complicated to integrate and offered a poor user experience.
Our goal was to find a mediation platform that would:
- Be easy to integrate and control
- Offer great reporting and data
- Increase eCPMs
Easy to use and set up
We switched to the ironSource mediation platform and LevelPlay in-app bidding solution, which have provided us with exactly what we were looking for and helped turn our studio into a strong mobile games business.
The integration of ironSource’s mediation was far easier than the previous platforms we tried. From a technical perspective, it was very straightforward to add more than one ad network at a time.
We also love how easy it is to control our operations on ironSource’s mediation platform - from changing our waterfall settings to activating bidding networks, it requires minimal clicks to do what we want. This saves us a lot of time, so we can focus on the things that matter most - like perfecting our products and optimizing our ad placements.
Aside from the seamless UX, it was important for us to have access to a robust and transparent reporting dashboard - and ironSource’s mediation provides just that. This lets us stay on top of all the key changes in our monetization performance and optimize our strategy accordingly.
These features led us to migrate 25 titles over to ironSource’s mediation platform.
Maximizing revenue with LevelPlay in-app bidding
Thanks to the increase in competition and high quality sources that ironSource’s mediation provides, since switching to the platform we’ve increased our eCPM by 28% and seen a strong incremental increase in our ARPDAU.
We also began using ironSource’s LevelPlay in-app bidding solution for some of our titles. It’s pretty clear that bidding is the future for mobile game monetization, so it was a logical decision to start.
The chart above shows the impact of bidding on our monetization performance for one of our games, Home DollHouse. LevelPlay in-app bidding links our supply to a range of high-performing ad networks, enabling us to maximize competition for our ad space and increase ARPDAU 63%.
We liked how we could start using it immediately, in contrast to most other bidding solutions on the market which require developers to pass a minimum threshold of daily active users or go through an approval process.
Overall, using ironSource’s mediation platform and in-app bidding solution has helped fuel our growth in a relatively short period of time, and we’re excited to continue this upward trajectory.