As the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic disrupted every aspect of modern life, the mobile gaming industry held its breath. With job losses, lockdowns, and a rapidly evolving public health situation, it wasn't immediately clear how COVID-19 would impact the world of mobile games.
Six months later, as the world adjusts to its new normal, some patterns are beginning to emerge. For insight into how the pandemic has shaped mobile marketing, we turned to the AppsFlyer Performance Index, which was released on Weds. Oct. 14th. The latest edition of this industry report, which is compiled twice a year by the attribution platform AppsFlyer, provides some clarity on the staggering changes that have impacted the mobile gaming industry from March to August 2020.
Worldwide lockdowns have resulted in an unexpected boom for the mobile gaming industry, with some calling it "the biggest year yet" for gaming apps. Yet while there may be a much larger audience stuck at home and hungry for games, the coronavirus' impact on economies worldwide has pushed game developers to get creative with their attempts at driving revenue.
The 11th edition of the AppsFlyer Performance Index reflects these new trends by introducing two indices in addition to their existing rankings. The IAP and IAA indices, which speak to the importance of monetisation metrics in today's free-to-play ecosystem, were unveiled October 14th, 2020. The IAP Index ranks media sources according to their ability to deliver users with the highest likelihood of completing an in-app purchase (IAP), whereas the IAA Index reveals which media sources are the most successful at delivering those users who monetize best with ads.
Unsurprisingly, incumbents such as Facebook and Google claimed the top spots on the IAP and IAA for Android. Looking at the companies that are hot on their heels, however, is where the story gets interesting. Innovative mobile advertising sources such as Mistplay ranked high on both the IAP and IAA indices. Taking a closer look at Mistplay's unique platform can explain why some of the world's largest mobile gaming clients - including Playtika, Scopely, and Peak - are finding success with this disruptive Montreal-based startup.
Through the mist
Mistplay, which describes itself as "the ultimate loyalty platform for Android gamers," commands the attention of millions of players in over a dozen different countries. When a user downloads Mistplay, they're presented with a game library curated just for them, thanks to the company's advanced machine learning techniques. This ensures that every game on Mistplay is automatically recommended to those users who have the highest likelihood of deeply engaging with it. As they continuously engage with games through their time played, spend, and game achievements, Mistplay's users earn points. These points can then be redeemed for gift cards to Amazon, Uber, the Google Play Store, and more.
When asked how Mistplay was able to rank 7th on the Retention Index and 7th on the IAP Index globally, CEO Henri Machalani made it clear that behind Mistplay's colorful UI are countless hours of dedicated work. "Having ranked for the second time in the Top 10 of Appsflyer's Performance Index Power Ranking is a testimonial to our product," explained Machalani. "Our team's relentless focus on product UX, customer feedback, machine learning and fraud prevention has allowed us to continuously drive highly engaged and ROI-positive players to all categories of our customers' mobile games."
While the effects of COVID-19 continue to shape the global economy, it's never been more important to have resilient, versatile mobile marketing strategies. As game developers adapt, we'll be paying attention to innovative startups such as Mistplay who are redefining mobile marketing.