Apr 23rd 2019
How BitMango Became One of the Top Ten Android Publishers
Android is exploding. Approximately 53%+ of all smartphone users in the US use a version of the Android OS (Source: eMarketer, August 2018). Let that sink in. Mobile app developers who tap into Android users can catch more than half of all the smartphone-carrying consumers in the US.
To jump on this trend, Korean developer BitMango made some moves that were as quick and colorful as their hit puzzle mobile games. In October of 2018, BitMango ranked as one of the top 10 US Android publishers in free downloads. Vungle has been guiding BitMango’s monetization and UA for several years, so we talked to Mansu Park, CGO of BitMango’s Development Studio and Jangyong Choi, UA Manager on the Publishing Team, about BitMango’s success not just as an Android publisher but as a maker of engaging mobile games.
BitMango office, courtesy of Game Analytics
Thanks for joining us today! Please tell us a bit about BitMango and your major games.
Choi: Our vision is to become the world’s number one puzzle game company. By focusing on core fun and making games small and fast, we’re on a mission to create a culture of games that everyone can easily access and enjoy. Our major titles include Word Cookies, Block! Hexa Puzzle, Roll the Ball: Slide Puzzle and Line Puzzle: String Art.
What do you care about the most when you develop a mobile game?
Park: When it comes to creating games, we always think about the player. Our ultimate goal is to create puzzle games that players can enjoy and remember for years and years to come. People find puzzle games, at their core, to be extremely entertaining. BitMango’s strategy hinges on our players; we develop prototypes as quickly as possible, enter soft launch stage, and then make decisions based on user feedback. We build out the games that have distinct playability and clearly meet user demands.
Roll the Ball: Unroll Me and Word Cookies from BitMango
What key metrics do you monitor? How do you know if a game is successful or not?
Park: I would say that retention is probably one of the most important metrics that we track, especially during soft launch.
We normally have a two-week soft-launching period for most of our games. During those two weeks, BitMango will update the game based on data that we collect from launch, tweaking the game and ultimately improving its retention.
After those two weeks, the game will only get released globally if the retention is higher than our criteria. If not, we drop this title and move on to the next project.
How’s your UA experience on our network?
Choi: Vungle provides high retention along with high volume, so we use you for all our games’ UA. Particularly, Vungle’s traffic matches our users’ engagement behavior from our new games, so we can get more volume and better user quality. Vungle is also well-managed against fraud, so we can trust you.
How do you optimize your ad creatives?
Choi: We do A/B testing to find the creatives that have good conversion rates, and we combine these qualified creatives to maximize efficiency. We constantly benchmark competitors’ creatives and research which creatives are trending on the market.
However, this process requires a lot of time and budget, even it doesn’t always produce good leads. So we take advice from Vungle Creative Labs and work with them, sometimes participating in their seminars to glean information. It’s very helpful in building the direction of our creative production.
What advice would you give to the mobile puzzle game developers?
Park: We experienced a lot of trial and error because we overlooked our players in the early stages of development. It’s important to always remember that users will turn their back on your game if it doesn’t properly meet their needs. If the game is bad, they won’t care about it, regardless of how many hours you spent making it.
Make sure to listen to users through retention data, session length, reviews, custom logs, and level data. With all of this information compiled together, you can then make relevant updates to keep our players happy.
By using data to understand your players and improve your game, you won’t need to have a huge team spending months of development time.
Once your games have reached your target numbers, make decisions about UA and enforce them. Always keep an eye on changes in target numbers, since market conditions change fast.