Interview

Case Study: How Panteon bucked the hypercasual trend with ironSource LevelPlay

Panteon got 100 Mystery Buttons back into the top of the charts with increased installs and ARPDAU thanks to a partnership with ironSource

Case Study: How Panteon bucked the hypercasual trend with ironSource LevelPlay

Panteon is a Turkish mobile games publisher with a portfolio of hypercasual titles. Despite fierce competition in this category, they managed to get their latest two games, 100 Mystery Buttons and Trading Master, to number one in the US gaming charts.

100 Mystery Buttons eventually disappeared from the top charts, but four months later, after using ironSource LevelPlay mediation products, it returned, with installs and revenue increasing – a rare achievement in the hypercasual genre – where hits tend to have short lives.

Ahmet Emre Gürcan, the Lead Growth Manager at Panteon told PocketGamer.biz how his team managed to get 100 Mystery Buttons back on top using ironSource’s day one (D1) return on ad spend (ROAS) optimiser and LevelPlay mediation to close the monetisation and user acquisition loop.

Instant but fleeting success

100 Mystery Buttons is based on a TikTok trend, and we thought once the concept lost relevance on social media, we’d struggle to unlock the scale needed to continue growing the game.

To some degree, we were right. We launched the game globally using ironSource’s user acquisition (UA) platform, and in a very short period of time, we found ourselves in the US gaming charts top 10. With ironSource’s help, our game achieved the virality and scale we hoped for, but a super successful few weeks after the global launch, 100 Mystery Buttons began to disappear from the top of the charts. By November 2021, we were hardly spending on our UA campaigns for the game.

Using both playable ad creatives and video ads, we saw more than a tenfold (10x) uplift in installs
Ahmet Emre Gürcan

Back from the dead with ironSource’s ROAS Optimiser

In late November 2021, the ironSource team saw an opportunity to breathe new life into our game and recommended using LevelPlay’s exclusive D1 ROAS optimiser to kickstart our UA.

By using machine learning to analyse real-time data, make constant adjustments to our bids, and optimise campaigns towards our key performance indicators (KPI), the solution enabled us to bring in quality users at scale efficiently and easily.

Not only that, but this all happened with minimal operational overheads – the tech did all the heavy lifting for us so we could focus on optimising our creatives.

We focused on optimising towards D1 ROAS, a best practice for hypercasual games, and the results speak for themselves.

Using both playable ad creatives and video ads, we saw more than a tenfold (10x) uplift in installs.

What’s more, the game returned to the top charts, reaching the top 20 in the US gaming charts on iPad in December 2021.

But scale is one thing – the tricky part is finding scale while maintaining a positive ROAS. Thankfully, because the optimiser was automatically driving installs from high-quality users, we managed to achieve this winning combo - a sustainable scale that provided a return on investment.

...we increased our average revenue per daily average user (ARPDAU) by 32 per cent within three weeks
Ahmet Emre Gürcan

Closing the loop with ironSource mediation

We were so impressed with the ironSource ROAS optimiser that we decided to test additional ironSource LevelPlay tools, to see if our monetisation strategy could also be improved.

We tested the waters using ironSource’s A/B testing tool, which is one of our favourite products in their platform. In fact, it’s one of the best in the industry. It’s easy to use, and the performance analysis is straightforward.

Using a hybrid monetisation approach, combining bidding and traditional waterfall instances, we increased our average revenue per daily average user (ARPDAU) by 32 per cent within three weeks. The strong user base we’d recently built up using the ROAS optimiser served as the foundation for this revenue increase - boosted by the premium advertiser demand we were leveraging through ironSource mediation.

All the tools a game studio needs

ironSource has all the tools a game studio needs, and we can get help anytime, whatever the problem is. Throughout this journey, the ironSource team has been a pleasure to work with and has given us end-to-end support - including software development kit (SDK) integration, waterfall setup, creative support, and user acquisition. We’re excited to use their suite of growth products on all our games, and continue taking our business forward.

PocketGamer.biz regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.

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