PGC Helsinki Digital: How app store optimisation saw Lab Cave's Love & Dating Story increase installs by 314%

Aging up art and using colour psychology to boost installs

PGC Helsinki Digital: How app store optimisation saw Lab Cave's Love & Dating Story increase installs by 314%

As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital, Lab Cave business development executive Anna Frangogianni looked at a case study of bringing new life to a game when it didn't launch as expected.

The game in question was Love & Dating Story, which had around 500,000 pre-orders on iOS but was seeing around 30 installs a day on Google Play in the first few weeks.

The first step to revamping the game was to research competitors, looking at their Google Play store listings to determine where the studio was going wrong, as well as user research, which uncovered that while Lab Cave was aiming for teenage girls, its actual audience was 40-year-old women.

Lab Cave then moved on to testing its hypothesis, using A/B testing and testing new icons with different art styles, eventually landing on an icon six months after launch that could only be improved on with very minor changes.

Aging up

The studio used SplitMetrics to test these different art styles, and found that simply by changing the icon and screenshots led to almost a 14 per cent increase in conversion rate, and a 30 per cent overall improvement for the store page.

The changes went even deeper, with the art team using colour psychology in screenshot text, such as applying a hot red to words like "desire", which also saw an improvement to metrics.

A much more drastic change came from a new title. The game was launched as "My High School Love Story", but was changed to "Love & Dating Story" - the team was keen to keep "Story" in the title as this was an important keyword.

Overall, through these app store changes, the game saw a 314 per cent increase in installs on Google Play and 49 per cent increase in installs on iOS. This led the Google Play release to almost reach the same number of installs as the iOS pre-order figures.

Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital is the best of our Pocket Gamer Connects conference in an online form, with an entire week of talks, meetings, and pitch events taking place from September 14th to the 18th. You can read up on all the tracks taking place throughout the week here.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.