Since its founding in 2000, Japanese mobile studio KLab has created nearly a dozen mobile games. One of KLab’s biggest hits is Bleach: Brave Souls, which draws inspiration from the popular BLEACH sword-fighting battle action manga and anime series. In 2020, the 3D hack-and-slash action game celebrated its fifth anniversary. In that time, the game has seen over 50 million downloads worldwide.
In the time since Brave Souls’ inception, the mobile app ecosystem had evolved rapidly. Freemium monetization was the new industry standard, and diversification became essential to sustaining profitability. Accordingly, KLab began to explore new revenue models that might complement the game’s existing in-app purchases. Enter Tapjoy, which teamed up with KLab to find new ways to monetize Bleach: Brave Souls.
Over the past five years, ad monetization had grown in prominence — now KLab was ready to get in on the action. However, the publisher was also adamant about not interrupting or devaluing the gameplay experience players have been enjoying for years. While it was ready to embrace in-app ads, the KLab team also hoped to preserve the integrity of the game and its existing IAP infrastructure.
The solution: the Tapjoy offerwall. Offerwalls are a hub of rewarded ads natively integrated into a game. These offers are presented in an unobtrusive, opt-in format. As research has shown, many mobile gamers favor rewarded ads to traditional ad formats, and that continues to prove true for Bleach: Brave Souls. Those users who choose to engage can earn in-game currency for interacting with offerwall ads, while those who would rather forgo ads entirely can get right back to playing.
Though KLab was apprehensive about introducing ads into its flagship title, these fears turned out to be unfounded. There was no negative effect on the game’s KPIs and IAP revenue held steady. Meanwhile, users had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Tapjoy Offerwall. Many immediately took advantage of the offers to earn in-game currency and revenue increased 30% over video rewards.
"We were apprehensive about introducing ads into a game primarily supported by IAPs, but the Tapjoy Offerwall exceeded our expectations. Players received it favorably, and it’s now part of our long-term monetization strategy for Bleach: Brave Souls."
- Jun Morimoto, Producer, KLab