Mobile Gaming Needs Intelligent Revenue Management | wappier
Why The Mobile Game Industry Needs Intelligent Revenue Management
Intelligent Revenue Management for Apps and Games

Why The Mobile Game Industry Needs Intelligent Revenue Management

There’s no industry quite like mobile gaming, for better or worse.

Today it accounts for roughly 80% of app store revenue and more than $50 billion in total market value, with the latter expected to hit $180.1 billion by 2021. Evidence suggests, however, that mobile game publishers will need to change their attitudes towards growth sooner rather than later if they’re going to survive long enough to see their industry thrive. Here is an interesting blog post as recently published at

Vanishing Frontiers

The rest of the commercial world operates quite differently from mobile gaming as far as marketing is concerned. In more mature industries like telecoms or automotive manufacturing, any first-to-market advantage opportunities have long since dried up. As the cost of customer acquisition rose prohibitively, retention became a higher priority, and budgets shifted accordingly. These industries now allocate just a third of their marketing spend to customer acquisition and the remainder to activation and retention. 

Meanwhile, it’s not uncommon for mobile game marketers to allocate 90% of their marketing resources to paid user acquisition. It’s a gold rush mentality that’s been embraced by most game publishers, but it won’t last forever. App stores are getting more crowded every day, with more than 4.3 million games now competing for a user base that is approaching saturation. Consequently CPIs have never been higher, and with so many developers competing in what has proven to be a hit-driven business, it’s only going to get more difficult to keep paid UA net-positive. 

Scaling up retention headcount might seem like the solution, but what’s worked for previous industries won’t work for mobile gaming. Where multinational brands like Ford, Coca Cola and Vodafone have dedicated hundreds of marketers to regional customer retention initiatives, most mobile developers are required to make due with teams of 2 or 3 to manage what is often a customer base of millions. Unlike traditional marketing, game developers often see an aggressive content release cycle as the only tool at their disposal when it comes to improving retention, which only addresses part of the challenge. Instead, technically advanced products require equally advanced retention and monetization solutions. They require, what we at wappier call, Intelligent Revenue Management. Following the recent news of our $4 million funding round, we wanted to explore this topic in greater detail.

Intelligent Revenue Management

Mobile game marketers need to go beyond conventional marketing automation if they’re going to remain sustainable. They need to take the same level of sophistication and ingenuity they’ve applied to user acquisition and turn it towards the post-acquisition player lifecycle. This includes bringing to bear the full power of state-of-the-art machine learning and artificial intelligence to consistently predict and deliver “next best action” opportunities at a user level, at scale. It’s long been the dream of live ops and growth management teams, but at wappier, we’re making this kind of automated live ops a reality.

Designed and developed by marketing and data science experts with nearly 20 years of experience running loyalty and mobile marketing campaigns, the wappier Intelligent Revenue Management Platform combines prescriptive analytics, built-to-purpose data visualizations, and self-optimizing personalization systems to affect meaningful change for mobile game publishers. Combined, these solutions improve engagement, retention, and monetization metrics at negligible overhead cost to the publisher. For mobile game publishers, this means turnkey solutions for effective Personalized Loyalty Programs and Global Pricing Optimization.

Automated Loyalty, Retention, and Monetization

Our Automated Loyalty solution offers fully automated, closed-loop, personalized player experiences with over 30 pre-built, engagement and retention features right out of the box. These best practice features are optimized with in-game data and continue to improve as they learn from player behavior. Each can be fully customized to match your game’s look and feel, creating a seamlessly native player experience.

Automated Loyalty and Retention Programs for Apps and Games

Once implemented, wappier’s machine-learning combines aggregated data sets from hundreds of related in-game events and rewards, analyzes the outcomes to predict player behavior, and delivers an ideal “next best action” designed to maximize the value of every single player. This could be an incentivized ad impression, a first purchase discount, or a personalised IAP bundle. Whatever has been algorithmically proven to increase value within each player segment is what gets delivered. Publishers are able to reward and retain their highest spenders, test secondary monetization options with lower value segments to improve payer conversions, and maximize engagement across their entire player base, all without writing a single line of code.

To date, wappier Loyalty Programs have been implemented in over 80 mobile games across multiple categories, driving dramatic improvements to retention, gameplay progression, and revenue including the following:

  • 21% Higher Day 1 Retention
  • 24% Higher Time Spent in Game
  • 25% More Transactions per Payer
  • 75% Higher Cumulative ARPU

Global Pricing Optimization

Even the world’s best mobile games leave money on the table due simply to the fact that they price their IAPs for the U.S. market and let App Stores adjust prices according to currency exchange rates for different countries. Simply put, their IAPs are mispriced for the majority of players around the world.

Global Pricing Optimization

This approach, while practical, fails to take into account the myriad cultural and economic factors that impact purchasing decisions at the global level, including:

  • Macroeconomic factors like GDP, propensity to consume, exchange rate, and unemployment rates
  • Microeconomic factors like smartphone prices and the cost of housing
  • Game market statistics like revenue and growth projections and the total number of users
  • Mobile technology statistics, such as smartphone penetration, and mix of iOS vs Android
  • Device and game context, such as device type or game genre
  • Player and gameplay context like DAU, MAU, level, events per day, or purchase history
  • Temporal elements like seasonality and trends

The wappier Intelligent Revenue Management Platform is the only Pricing Optimization system that leverages machine learning to quantify the weighted relationship between these factors and more when determining ideal price points. With little to no overhead cost, it allows publishers to optimize IAP pricing on a per-country basis, increasing overall transaction frequency and revenue by anywhere between 20% to 80% each month.

As the golden age of mobile game publishing draws to a close, only those who invest time and energy into keeping the customers they have and maximizing revenue from those customers will continue to prosper. That’s why we started wappier. Today, we process over 2 billion data facts per day and deliver optimal gaming experiences to millions of players all over the world. To learn more, or to see our full platform in action, contact our team to learn more and schedule a demo.

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Beyond Game Economy Design – Increasing Profit Through Intelligent Revenue Optimization


On January 21, 2020,  Ted Verani, VP of Business Development took the stage at Pocket Gamer Connects London as part of the Monetizer track to present Beyond Game Economy Design – Increasing Profit Through Intelligent Revenue Optimization.

Building a profitable mobile game takes more than a well-designed virtual economy. The most successful titles measure user-level behavior to create personalized retention and monetization systems that exist outside the core gameplay loop. True revenue optimization requires comprehensive analysis of every available data point to determine the ideal offers and ‘next best actions’ for each player. In this video, Ted shares how to build automated loyalty programs that improve engagement and retention across genres including hyper-casual, as well as tips on using Behavioral Economics to optimize IAP pricing strategies.

wappier @Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020

wappier in heading to London for Pocket Gamer Connects, January 20-21. 

Interview Title: “How Loyalty Programs can Improve Mobile Game Retention”

Our VP of Business Development, Ted Verani discusses Global Pricing, Intelligent Revenue optimization, and wappier’s AI driven approach to Loyalty & Retention with James Gilmour – Pocket Gamers January 22nd

wappier does #GDConnect2019 Flag: United States on Google Android 10.0


Our own Ted Verani moderated the Mobile Gaming Today panel with industry leaders at GameDaily Connect USA on August 27, 2019.

The mobile market represents around half of all global games revenues, and opportunities abound for savvy developers, but it is very challenging for game makers stand out from the crowd in app stores.  This led off a free wheeling conversation about how to not oly acquire players but to retain them,  as well as discussion on market trends and keys to success for the booming mobile space.  Our panel of experts shared perspectives and  vital points developers need to understand.





Ted Verani, Vice President Business Development, wappier

wappier featured @ 📹

12 September 2018: Video Interview for

Interview Title: “wappier on Using Dynamic Pricing in Mobile Games to Increase Spending and Retention”

Last September, wappier joined forces with Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2018 and was part of this amazing mobile gaming gathering. On day 2, our Founder and CEO, Alex Moukas, met with James Gilmour, Video Production Editor at Alex chatted with James about Dynamic Pricing and how we are using machine learning to automate the pricing of IAPs in mobile games leading to a positive impact on both user spending and player/payer retention.

wappier does #PGCLondon2019 Flag: United Kingdom on Apple

21-22 January 2019: Pocket Gamer Connects London 2019

Session Title: “Loyalty Programs – Increasing Engagement and Retention Outside of Gameplay”

Our Founder and CEO, Alex Moukas, took the stage this January and shared his insights on why app developers need to invest in loyalty and retention to make more out of their existing users.

Summary: Leading brands and organizations around the world use Loyalty Programs as a way to engage meaningfully with their customers. Why not in mobile gaming? Loyalty Programs are an easy and effective way to improve engagement and retention outside of gameplay. Even a 5% increase in retention can lead to 30-100% increase in revenue. Plus, it’s cheaper to retain an old customer than acquiring a new one.

In this session, Alex Moukas will demonstrate how game developers can get revenue and retention boosts of 30%+ by enabling an Automated Loyalty Program for their existing players on top their game. He will focus on specific loyalty tactics, how to set up a program without affecting the underlying gameplay, and share case study results from over 30 mobile games.

wappier does #GDConnect2019 Flag: United Kingdom on Google

28-30 May 2019: wappier part of GameDaily Connect London 2019. With over 7,000 attendees each year, GameDaily Connect, ex Casual Connect, is one of the largest mobile gaming trade shows across the world with events in China, Serbia, Kyiv, Tel Aviv, London, Seattle, Anaheim, San Francisco, and more.

Panel Session Title: “Mobile Gaming Today”

Awesome Panelists:

Awesome Moderator: Our own Ted Verani, VP of Business Development @ wappier

The mobile market represents around half of all global games revenues, and opportunities abound for savvy developers, but how can today’s game makers stand out from the crowd on the App Store and Google Play? How can they not only acquire users but retain them? What are the keys to success and what lies ahead for the booming mobile space? Our panel of experts will discuss the vital points developers need to understand.

wappier does #PGCHelsinki2019 Flag: Finland on Google

1-2 October 2019: wappier proudly being part of Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki in October 2019. The mobile gaming industry was there and so were we! On day 1, our Ted Verani, VP of Business Development at wappier, took the stage to wow the crowds.   

Session Title: “IAP Pricing Optimization: Timing and Place”

Summary: Knowing the right price in the right location at the right time is the first step towards maximizing revenue from in-app purchases. This tour of factors proven to impact IAP purchasing decisions will offer attendees a collection of low-cost, high-impact techniques for developing profitable mobile gaming environments combined with a case study on Global Pricing (per country optimization) results.

wappier @ YouTube Channel

wappier featured @ 📹

23 January 2018: Video Interview for

The wappier team traveled to London this January to take part in Pocket Gamer Connects London 2018.

Interview Title: “wappier on Improving Mobile Game Monetization by up to 50%”

On day 1, Alex Moukas, Founder and CEO at wappier, gave a very insightful interview to James Gilmour, Video Production Editor at Alex shared with James his insights about the mobile gaming industry and how wappier is here to help it by building a cloud-based platform that optimizes revenue for mobile apps and games through Engagement and Loyalty Programs and Dynamic Pricing.


wappier @ White Nights St. Petersburg 2018

wappier does #WN2018 Flag: Russia on Apple iOS 13.2

4-5 June 2018: White Nights Conference @ Saint Petersburg

Alex Moukas, Founder and CEO at wappier, took the stage last June and shared his insights on why it is crucial to starts investing effort and intelligence on post-acquisition.

Session Title: “Users Acquired … Now What? Mastering Your Game’s Loyalty & Pricing”

 Summary: Established industries, multinationals, the Fortune-500 companies around the world use Processes and Systems that deliver 30-50% revenue increase from existing customers. Why are they literally non-existent in the Mobile Gaming World? It’s cheaper to retain an old user than acquire a new one, right? For the first time in history, 50-people companies are called to manage 50 million users, this cannot happen with typical marketing automation, segmentation, and workflows. Case studies show it’s time to start thinking of ways to reduce user churn and increase revenue from existing customers.


Title of vid


wappier @ Dev.Play Bucharest 2018

wappier does #DevPlay2018 ✈️

4-5 October 2018: Dev.Play Conference in Bucharest powered by the Romanian Game Developers Association (RGDA), wappier was there!

Our VP of Global Business Development, Ted Verani, was there to talk Mobile Gaming and explain how wappier’s Intelligent Revenue Management Platform is transforming the way app developers and marketers maximize consumer revenue with powerful AI that moves beyond marketing automation.

Session Title: “Users Acquired … Now What? How to Use Loyalty Programs and Pricing Optimization to Maximize Revenue”

wappier @ Casual Connect Belgrade 2018

wappier does #CCBelgrade! ✈️

1-3 October 2018: Casual Connect this October 2018 in Belgrade was just awesome! Ted Verani, wappier’s VP of Business Development, was there to meet old and new industry folks and moderate a #NotToBeMissed panel with:

Panel title: “Designing Games for Optimal IAP”

What did we talk about? While the vast majority of mobile game revenue is earned through in-app purchases, designing games for optimal IAP remains a major challenge, requiring deep knowledge of UX design, virtual economy tuning, pricing economics, and many other disciplines. Featuring experts across these fields, this panel will give attendees concrete and proven advice for designing free-to-play, IAP-driven mobile games that consistently drive IAPs without alienating the player base.