Case Study

Kwalee is a video game publisher and developer based in the UK. They’re known for their dozens of hyper-casual hits, including Draw it, Teacher Simulator, and Airport Security. They wanted to expand their game portfolio with a new hit, but needed to better understand which of their many prototypes to invest in.

That’s when the ironSource team recommended the LevelPlay marketability testing tool, and the rest is history - soon their new game Hunt & Seek became #1 on the charts. Ryan Davies, Head of Digital Marketing, explains how they did it.

Trying out marketability testing

“At Kwalee, we’re always testing new game prototypes. We’ve spent years anticipating a tool, outside of the typical hyper-casual methods, that could help us more accurately predict which of our prototypes would scale on our key channels. In fact, we switched to LevelPlay mediation partially because of its marketability testing products. 

When the ironSource team presented their marketability testing tool, we were totally on board. Previously, we were only testing our games on social networks, so we only had a limited understanding of our games’ potential across channels.

Using the marketability testing tool, we could test games on SDK networks and see which ones show initial potential to scale there, giving us a more holistic and accurate view of marketability. This was critical, since at the end of the day, a good chunk of our installs over a game’s lifetime come from SDK networks. Plus, the tool gave us access to useful KPIs, like a dedicated marketability score, IPM, and minimum bid needed to scale.”

Putting our prototypes to the test

“Following the ironSource team’s guidance, we agreed to test all of our prototypes that performed well on social media. The whole process was smooth - we wanted to test all of our prototypes monthly, and they created a shared spreadsheet where they documented each test and its result. 

We made a plan together with the ironSource team to optimize results. If a game had just an average marketability score, for example, we agreed to run the test again with a different creative set.

The marketability test scored each game on a 1-5 scale. While many games had potential, one stood out immediately with a score of 5: Hunt & Seek. We didn’t expect this game to perform so well based on our initial social testing, so it wasn’t a priority for launch - but the marketability test highlighted its hidden potential, so the ironSource team suggested further developing the title.”

Topping the charts

“Two months later, after finishing development of Hunt & Seek, we launched it globally - and it quickly made its way to the US top charts. It also had very high IPMs, matching the marketability test’s results.

Not only did the marketability test reveal each of our prototypes’s potential - it allowed us to dig deeper and find opportunities in unexpected places. 

In a year where it’s become increasingly difficult to identify hit titles on social platforms, ironSource’s marketability tool stands as a more realistic, representative, and reliable method for discovering hit games.”

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