Tony Deane: "It’s necessary to look holistically in order to determine how a game is performing"

Senior Manager of AppLovin talks to us ahead of his appearance at Pocket Gamer Connects

Tony Deane: "It’s necessary to look holistically in order to determine how a game is performing"

It's not long now until one of the industry highlights of the year is upon us, so as we get ever closer to Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki we are getting to know some of our star speakers and giving you a flavour of what they'll be discussing at the event.

We had a chat with Tony Deane, a senior manager on the business development team at AppLovin, a leading marketing software company providing developers with a powerful set of solutions to grow their businesses. Tony helps expand AppLovin’s business through strategic partnerships, analysis, and marketing. He thrives on finding new and innovative ways to improve the way AppLovin’s products and services are offered to developers of all sizes. Prior to this role, Tony was senior analyst, monetization and growth at AppLovin, where he oversaw the technical success of our publishers and developers. Tony is based in Berlin, Germany. Please give us a summary of what you’re speaking about and why it’s important

Tony is participating in the panel discussion about Turning Ads Into Success Stories, which is taking place on Tuesday, September 27th.The topic of turning ads into success stories is critical today given the prominent role ads play in helping both game publishers and developers get discovered and monetize. In fact, the global in-game advertising market is expected to reach $17.6 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 11% from 2022 to 2030. Meanwhile, a recent U.S. study found 73% of 18- to 34-year-old gamers would welcome more advertising if it was done right.

All of this points to a growing opportunity for developers to deliver a stellar in-game ad experience – but, first, it’s important to identify the formats that will work best for gameplay and, ultimately, provide the best experience for players.

What’s the most important key performance indicator (KPI) for you - and why?

In my opinion, there’s no real single most important KPI, as it’s necessary to look holistically in order to determine how a game is performing.

If I had to pinpoint one, I would say Lifetime Value (LTV) is one of the most important metrics for game developers as it gives the clearest overall understanding of a game's performance and potential. While we might run tests and optimise for other metrics when running a game, maximising LTV is one of the most important metrics out there to pay attention to.

Early on in a game’s development – before full monetisation structures have been implemented – developers should keep close watch on additional metrics like retention, impressions per daily active user (IMPDAU), and conversion to purchaser/purchaser retention. Even for established games, these metrics can provide great leading indicators as to whether you’re making positive changes to your game.

What game has been on your phone the longest?

I spend a lot of time playing chess – it’s a classic game that requires a lot of strategy, and I enjoy the level of thinking and concentration involved. On planes, I love to play The Battle of Polytopia on my phone.

Is hypercasual gaming here to stay?

Definitely. Hyper-casual games have such a wide audience. They are a great introduction for players to the world of mobile games, and are eminently “snackable”, fitting perfectly into so many individuals’ busy lives.

Hyper-casual games also provide a great opportunity for people to discover new games to enjoy. According to App Annie, of all top game downloads in 2021, hyper-casual titles were the top three genres, amassing over four billion downloads over the course of the year. It’s clear that hypercasual is here to stay for now.

What was your first-ever mobile phone?

My first ever mobile phone was a Nokia 32.10 I believe – commonly referred to as “blockia” as some will recall.

Can people get in touch with you at the event? What sort of people would you like to connect with?

It would be great to connect with game publishers and developers, and others in the industry. Please feel free to reach out to me via Linkedin or the MeetToMatch system – or catch me on the ground at PGC Helsinki!


Applovin made it into our Top 50 list last month. 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.