South Korean developer RisingWings starts every project with a global perspective, ensuring enjoyment for gamers worldwide. All of its seven titles are casual games, with categories ranging from sports to strategy. The seven games all include a mix of in-app purchases and ads, with ads accounting for 20-30% of RisingWings’ total revenue. In 2021, the developer was uncertain whether their current mediation platform was maximizing average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU). To establish a benchmark and see if their current monetization platform was effective, they ran an experiment with AdMob. After testing AdMob’s mediation and bidding solution, they found they could increase ARPDAU by 8.7% and halve the time they spent managing ad monetization.
Understanding monetization benchmarks
Limited internal resources had kept RisingWings from exploring other mediation platforms. Their focus was primarily on developing and fine-tuning their games, and they didn’t have a reliable baseline for ad revenue. At the same time, RisingWings was encountering challenges with its current platform. The dashboard data had some gaps between figures reported and payments received, in addition to latency concerns. Using this dashboard, the team found it difficult to assess earnings by ad format.
Because of these challenges, RisingWings decided to experiment with AdMob. Their goal was to see if they could improve ARPDAU and reporting, and cut down on their workload with a more efficient solution.
A global A/B test with Firebase
RisingWings had been using AdMob since 2018 as a demand source, so they were already familiar with the platform. They tested their existing solution against AdMob’s mediation platform, which they chose for its real-time bidding solution. With the help of Google, the team set up an experiment using Firebase Remote Config and A/B Testing features.
The RisingWings team chose their most popular title with a global audience of 600K monthly active users, Golf King World Tour for their experiment. For 21 days in February 2021, they kept half of their global users on their current mediation platform and moved the other half to AdMob through Firebase Remote Configuration. “In Firebase, it’s relatively easy and straightforward to configure these tests,” said Golf King Project Manager Woo Byung Chae. Throughout the experiment, the team focused on measuring any shifts in ad revenue and retention.
If we hadn’t run this experiment, we would still be wondering what the impact of changing platforms might be. All the optimization efforts and options would have been very limited with the existing platform.
Golf King Project Manager, RisingWings,
Improved reporting and an increase in revenue
With AdMob, RisingWings saw an 8.7% increase in ARPDAU with no impact on retention. But an uptick in revenue was just the beginning. The team could now access actionable insights, and reporting became stable, predictable, and credible. They could even see earnings broken down by ad format. Operational efforts declined, cutting time and resources allocated to ad management by 50%.
Following these results, RisingWings increased its AdMob ad share. If they hadn’t run this experiment, says Woo Byung, “we would still be wondering what the impact of changing platforms might be, and all the optimization efforts and options would have been very limited with the existing platform.” Today, Golf King runs AdMob’s bidding solution and Firebase on both iOS and Android versions.
When it comes to adopting new features and making improvements, RisingWings hasn’t lost any momentum. The team is applying Firebase Remote Configuration and A/B Testing features to enhance the gaming experience and determine the most optimal store customizations. They’re also working with Google to adopt Data Studio dashboards, and plan to use AdMob’s Audience feature to segment users further, offering a more tailored experience.