Gametion Technologies, based in Mumbai, has been making games for over a decade. Founded by CEO Vikash Jaiswal, Gametion initially focused only on HTML and Flash games, but made the change to mobile games to satisfy a growing user demand. Even with shifting platforms, the company’s goal remains the same: to make games that all gamers can enjoy. Its most successful app, Ludo King — which is their take on India’s famous Ludo game — has been downloaded over 100 million times globally, and holds the #1 spot for Ludo games on the Google Play store.
To earn revenue, Gametion was using a third-party mediation tool to manage all its ad monetization networks; however, the team had many issues — including spending too much time optimizing cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM), constant crashes, and low revenue. Searching for a solution, Gametion turned to AdMob bidding. With bidding, Gametion's total revenue grew by 15%, average daily revenue per active user (ARPDAU) by 30%, and CPM by 35%.
High operational costs with low return
For years, the Gametion team tried many different solutions to manage their ad networks. “With previous tools, we were putting in a lot of manual effort to optimize our CPMs — and we often didn’t see the actual CPM numbers until three to 24 hours after the ad space had been filled.” says Vikash. The team felt the process could be better optimized and more transparent. Furthermore, the team experienced multiple system crashes and instability with previous solutions.
The team decided to try out bidding after being approached by their Google account manager with the option to test out a new AdMob tool*. “We tried bidding because it solved our major concerns: higher revenue, better operational efficiency, and real-time bidding between other demand partners without having to integrate multiple SDKs” mentions Clarence Pereira, lead game developer for Ludo King.
Trust in Google AdMob
Prior to making the switch, Gametion tested out another real-time solution but Clarence recalled a lot of operational hiccups. “There were a lot of crashes and issues that could have pulled our app rankings down. We did not want to risk going with a solution we did not wholly trust.” he said. Beyond trust, the Gametion team did not want to lengthen the process of adopting a new solution and preferred to dive right in. “We trust Google over any other network out there. We felt comfortable integrating bidding right away knowing Google is on the back-end and we have nothing to worry about.” said Clarence.
The first step in trying out bidding was to implement the Google Mobile Ads (GMA) SDK and the various adapters needed in Ludo King. Gametion then released the new build with bidding on the Google Play store and made it available only to their current users. Next, the team set their preferred price floor in their AdMob dashboard, and began taking ad requests. Gametion tested bidding on a percentage of their users for three months. Gametion measured overall revenue growth and ARPDAU. “CPM of course was something we tracked as well, but that was made easier with the AdMob dashboard since it gave us all our historical data.” said Clarence.
With support from their account manager, Gametion had an easy onboarding experience with no difficulties going live. “The account team spent a lot of time helping us onboard, and the tech team was always there to solve any issues — it was a very smooth transition.” said Clarence. It took Gametion only one day to implement bidding into Ludo King.
Less SDKs and revenue boosts
Gametion tracked its chosen metrics throughout the course of three months. With bidding, Gametion saw its overall revenue increase by 15%, with ARPDAU growing up to 30%. Data from the AdMob dashboard showed that its AdMob CPMs had grown 35%, as well.
It was very eye-opening to see our AdMob CPMs outperform our other ad networks. Giving equal opportunity to all ad networks showed us that with AdMob we not only get a more efficient solution with better fill rates, but also keep higher CPMs.
Lead Game Developer, Gametion Tech,
Furthermore, Gametion saw a 99.94% stability rate with bidding.
The biggest game changer for Gametion was being able to integrate fewer SDKs and still see a revenue lift. “We were very happy to see that now every impression matters, and we don’t have to do manual work to make that happen. It has taken a lot of work off my plate.” finished Vikash. With AdMob bidding solving all of their previous concerns, Gametion is excited for the future of bidding and the results it will bring to all their future games.
*Bidding is an in-app header bidding solution from Google AdMob that is available to select partners as a beta. It works together with traditional waterfall mediation to maximize ad revenue. If you are interested in learning more, please contact your account manager and request a consultation.