Maximizing Mobile Game Growth: Leveraging Rewarded Models and In-Depth Attribution for Enhanced LTV


Did you know that mobile gaming generated 49% of all gaming revenue worldwide in 2023, amounting to $90 billion? With the mobile gaming industry growing rapidly, maximizing Lifetime Value (LTV) is essential for long-term success. Higher LTV leads to significant boosts in user retention and revenue growth. That’s why AppSamurai and Kochava have teamed up to deliver cutting-edge solutions designed to elevate your game’s performance and profitability. Let’s dive into how you can achieve these goals!

To give a quick overview of this amazing duo:

AppSamurai: We are a one-stop-shop mobile growth platform that leverages the power of AI and in-house expertise to craft tailored growth strategies for your mobile app. Precision is our guiding principle: connecting your app with the right audience at the right moment. Our solutions include AppSamurai DSP, App Discovery (OEM), and AppSamurai for Games, all designed to maximize player retention and monetization.

Kochava Inc.: Kochava is a leading provider of real-time data solutions for omnichannel attribution and measurement.  They empower advertisers and publishers to measure what matters with tools that deliver better insights and actionable data in one operational platform. 

Kochava unifies all data and critical omnichannel solutions into a cohesive system, providing the foundation for limitless advertiser and publisher tools to help reach unique growth goals. With a culture of customer-driven innovation, dedication to data security, and the most powerful tools in the ecosystem, they are trusted by top brands to harness their data for growth.

The Importance of LTV in Mobile Gaming

First, let’s start with the definition of LTV to understand its importance in mobile gaming. A game’s lifetime value (LTV) represents the total revenue a player is expected to generate over the course of their engagement with the game. 

The metric is crucial for mobile game developers because it directly impacts profitability and informs strategic decisions. With LTV-based marketing, developers can optimize user acquisition strategies, optimize in-game monetization strategies, and maximize revenue. The longer a player is retained, the more likely they are to spend money and stay engaged, which is crucial to long-term growth, stronger LTV, and success.

The mobile gaming industry has always been data-driven, and it has become increasingly complex due to evolving user behaviors and the rising popularity of casual and hybrid-casual games. 

Factors such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, market saturation, and the insufficiency of ad monetization as a sole revenue source have contributed to these changes. Consequently, metrics like LTV have become even more crucial for app developers and marketers.

So, what are some challenges in maximizing LTV?

  1. Player Retention: It can be challenging to keep players engaged over time, especially with so many games available. It’s essential that developers keep their players engaged with fresh content, updates, and engaging experiences.
  2. Monetization Balance: Achieving the right balance between monetization and user experience is crucial. Overusing monetization strategies can drive players away, while underusing monetization strategies can limit revenue potential.
  3. Attribution Complexity: It can be challenging to accurately attribute revenue to specific marketing campaigns and user acquisition channels. The ability to attribute high-value players to specific efforts is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of those efforts.
  4. Ad Fatigue: It is possible for players to become fatigued by frequent ads, leading to reduced engagement and churn. It is possible to mitigate this problem by implementing non-intrusive ad formats and rewarded ads.

An integrated approach that combines rewarded models with in-depth attribution solutions can substantially increase LTV .Rewarded models offer players rewards to deeply engage with games, which increases user retention and engagement.

At the same time, attribution solutions measure and analyze user interactions across multiple channels, helping developers and marketers understand which strategies are most effective. The dual approach maximizes marketing effectiveness, user acquisition, and revenue potential by identifying and focusing on high-value customers.

Introduction to Rewarded Models

Rewarded models in mobile games create a value exchange where players willingly interact with various offers to receive benefits, enhancing their gaming experience and providing a seamless growth strategy for developers.

Rewarded Playtime (Play-2-Earn)

With rewarded playtime campaigns, players are rewarded based on the time spent playing your game, allowing them to become dedicated fans. As players invest more time in the game, their inclination to make in-app purchases increases, simplifying the process of scaling mobile games.

How it works:

  • Players are motivated to invest their time in offers through an opt-in system.
  • Players are presented with the most suitable, tailor-made offers. 
  • This model reaches a variety of audiences and allows for specific segment targeting.

Rewarded Engagement (Multi-Level Approach)

Through AppSamurai’s offerwall, players are free to select games that resonate with them. As players progress through levels and in-game actions, they earn incremental rewards, driving deeper post-install tasks and significantly increasing ROAS as players are driven to complete more valuable post-install tasks.

A quick look into a case study: 

Unico Studio Achieves 125% ROAS via AppSamurai’s Rewarded Playtime Campaign

In addition to rising eCPMs, Unico Studio also faced challenges in acquiring quality customers with higher LTVs. AppSamurai’s growth consultants devised a strategy to overcome this challenge using Rewarded Playtime (Play-2-Earn) campaigns. The campaign was designed to acquire engaged users who would invest their time for rewards. As part of the strategy, campaigns were optimized for different audience segments and offers were managed to increase LTVs over time. As a result:

  • Unico Studio achieved a ROAS of 125%, with players exhibiting higher LTVs 
  • Achieved a 15% revenue growth via in-app purchases, in addition to revenue generated from in-app ads

Read more here.

Strengthening LTV with In-Depth Attribution Solutions 

Marketing attribution solutions are essential to understanding how marketing efforts affect user acquisition and retention.Through tmeasuring and analyzing user interactions across multiple channels, these solutions help developers and marketers allocate resources effectively, optimize campaigns, and maximize LTV.

Kochava and LTV

Kochava enhances LTV through several powerful features:

  • Intuitive Analytics Dashboard: Provides seamless visualization of key revenue metrics, including revenue per install (RPI), revenue per user (RPU), and total revenue. You can filter and split data based on ad partner, campaign, creative, keyword, and other attributes to determine which marketing strategies produce the best results.
  • Dynamic Audience Segmentation: Utilize Kochava Audiences to segment high LTV users for reengagement and activate these segments via preferred partners’ audience APIs.
  • Ad Revenue Measurement: Measure revenue from ad monetization via integrations with Google AdMob, AppLovin Max, IronSource, and other monetization partners. 
  • Accurate ROI Measurement: Measure media costs and holistic revenue and understand true ROI across channels with Kochava’s media cost aggregation.

Here’s a recent case study by Kochava: Tap Anywhere – In-Depth Attribution for Stronger LTV

Tap Anywhere, a developer of casual games like Laser Overload, incorporated Kochava’s Free App Analytics (FAA) SDK to get insight into the quality of their ads and users. Using Kochava’s tools, they were able to see performance across every network partner and prioritize the most successful strategies. The result was Tap Anywhere increasing their app users by over 69% across their app portfolio in 30 days, optimizing their ad spend with networks that increase LTV.

For more details, visit the case study on Kochava’s website.

For more information on how to get your growth journey off to a great start, download Kochava’s free Beginners Guide to Mobile Game Marketing here.

Final Thoughts

Boosting LTV is key to long-term success in mobile gaming. By leveraging rewarded models and detailed insights from attribution, you can grow your revenue, improve user engagement, and fine-tune your marketing strategies. The most effective way to use these tools is to work with trusted industry leaders like AppSamurai and Kochava. So, want to take your mobile game to the next level? Reach out to find out how AppSamurai and Kochava can help you achieve your growth goals:


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Umay Özde

Content Marketing Specialist

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