Chart of the Week: When incentivised users are better than organic
A la 5th Planet's Dawn of Dragons campaign
Still, paying people with virtual currency to download your game (or app) remains a viable option for many companies.
As pointed out several times at GDC 2013, any publisher with money will spend it across as many channels as they can when they have a game to promote.
A little encouragement
And as a new case study from Tapjoy and 5th Planet shows, incentivised users are always not drawn from the bottom of the quality barrel, as some purists would make out.
If nothing else, these are game players. They will download and play something (or perform an action) to progress in a game they are currently committed to.
Of course, there are some caveats.
5th Planet's chief mobile office Rob Carroll used to work at Tapjoy, so he certainly knows how to make the most of the opportunities it provides.
This was the reason that its campaign for Dawn of Dragons only incentivised users who downloaded the game and beat the first boss. This takes about three minutes.
The result were that although incentivised users had lower retention than organic players, they monetised better.
As they say, you pays your money and you makes your choice (having done your ROI calculation, of course).