Case Study

Founded in 2017 in Cyprus, Azur Games is an international mobile game developer and publisher with offices in Russia, Belarus, Cyprus, and the United Arab Emirates. Their top mobile games are Stack Ball 3D, World War Heroes, Modern Strike Online,, and others.

Keep reading to hear from the team at Azur Games on how ironSource helped scale their playable ad campaign without increasing their bids.

From videos to playables

We launched Stack Ball 3D in April 2019 in the App Store and Google Play. But at that point, we used only video ads. Our team used a basic version of a playable ad for Stack Ball 3D, which showed off the gameplay and gave users a chance to play a couple of levels.

We ran the creative on several ad networks, including ironSource, but it wasn’t performing as well as our video ads. 

Customizing recommendations

Our account manager at ironSource saw the potential in the playable we used, and the help of Playworks - ironSource’s in-house interactive ad studio - to improve its performance. Playworks prepared some recommendations for us:

  • Add a dark overlay on the hole with the jumping ball
  • Add an animated arrow that emphasizes users to tap
  • Show the classic ball and different colors to better match the assets on the app store
  • Break the ball when users lose, making it more clear to users that they’ve lost

We could tell that Playworks’ recommendations weren’t just generic suggestions they give all their clients. Instead, they showed an individual approach: they played our game, analyzed its most fun features, and built a plan tailor-made for our needs. 

Also, Playworks ensured that their recommendations were completely backed up by in-ad data, using metrics like time-to-engage, lose CTR, exit rate, and more. Using that data, they also knew, for example, that features like animated arrows performed especially well for hyper-casual games.

This entire process only took a week - from the time ironSource provided us with the recommendations to the day we went live. Our team made sure to prioritize fixing the playable ad as quickly as possible. 

Reaching god mode

Following ironSource’s recommendations, the second version of the playable ad for Stack Ball performed exceptionally well, and had a direct impact on the game’s competitiveness and scale.

As a result, IPM increased by 60% after improving the playable ad and scale increased 10 times over, gaining a significant increase in traffic from our top geos. 

"ironSource is one of our premium partners. They consistently meet our performance goals and they know how to acquire high-quality users at scale."

- Gulnaz Saitova, User Acquisition Team Lead at Azur Games

It’s important to note that we made no changes to our CPI - we were bidding the same amount per install as the first playable version, but our performance this time around was much better. We learned that improving IPM was the best way to improve performance costs.

Our success with Stack Ball’s playable helped us expand our presence in the hyper-casual market. Now, we are more confident in our creative strategy and efforts when going live with new hyper-casual products like Bottle Jump and 





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