AppLovin presents: Ask the Developer
Starting your app business can be challenging and confusing. With our blog, we aim to educate developers and marketers alike on the world of ad tech, but one of the best ways to learn is to hear it from the developers themselves. That’s why we started the Ask the Developer series, which features developers from around the world and covers topics from marketing to user acquisition. Below, you’ll find each of our Ask the Developer interviews and case studies.
Ask the Developer: How PocApp Studios evolved from a university project to a viable business
PocApp Studios was one of the winners of the Indie Dev Prize at Casual Connect Europe 2018. The PocApp team was selected for an all-expenses paid trip to San Francisco, where they participated in a workshop at our office.
The team created its first game, Carpet Kitty, as a project while in school and went on to release their idle RPG hit, Castle Cats(Android | iOS). We sat down with the PocApp Studios team to talk about how they turned a university project into a business, and what it’s like being a developer in Sweden.
Learn more in our full interview with PocApp Studios.
Ask the Developer: How Dumpling Design embraced mobile AR games with Smash Tanks
For this installment of Ask the Developer, we sat down with Dumpling Design to talk about everything from how CEO Travis Ryan got started in games development to their latest augmented reality game, Smash Tanks. Dumpling Design, based in Sheffield, UK, is one of nine winners of the Indie Dev Prize at Casual Connect 2018. Winners were flown out to AppLovin’s San Francisco office for a three-day workshop on everything from UA to creative development.
Learn more in our full interview with Dumpling Design.
Ask the Developer: Lionbird Games on indie devs going global
We sat down with Lionbird Games, one of the nine winners of the Indie Dev Prize at Casual Connect 2018 to talk about going global. Based in Hong Kong, Lionbird Games built an impressive portfolio of over forty games with a collective one trillion game downloads. Here’s how they did it.
Learn more in our full interview with Lionbird Games.
Ask the Developer: How Chinese developer Zenjoy propelled Word Connect to the top 3 games in the US
Established in 2010 in Beijing, China, Zenjoy managed to propel its game Word Connect to the top of the US game charts. We sat down with Yang Zhe, the company’s Monetization Manager, to talk about monetization strategies as well as how to take your game global.
Learn more in our full interview with Zenjoy.
Ask the Developer: East Side Games on making counterculture games and licensing an IP
East Side Games, known for its hilarious game Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money, spoke with us about the ins and outs of licensing an IP as well as the importance of community. “One of the reasons why we’ve survived for the past seven years is because our fans have stood by us through thick and thin,” said East Side Games CEO Josh Nilson.
Learn more in our full interview with East Side Games.
Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tapps Games has built an impressive portfolio of over 250 games. Some notable games include Bid Wars, Vlogger Go Viral, MyBoo, Toilet Time, and We Are Illuminati. We spoke with Co-founder Flávio Miyamaru, VR Head of Product Marcelo Marcati, and CMO Felipe Hayashida about what it’s like being a mobile game developer in Brazil and how they found success.
Learn more in our full interview with Tapps Games.
GMO Media’s Prepics (iOS | Android) is a wildly popular app among junior high and high school girls in Japan. It’s part of a social network called Prican, which has been around for over 11 years. Prepics lets users communicate via customizable photos and images.
In this Ask the Developer, we sat down with GMO Media’s Community Media Division Leader Marino Suzuki to talk about Prepics’ monetization strategy. Learn more in our full interview.
Founded in Tokyo, Japan in 2012, SmartNews set out to create an AI-powered news app that would help users discover diverse news. In a market where Google and Apple dominate with their own news apps, it can be tough for other news aggregator apps to succeed, but SmartNews manages to compete with its strong user acquisition strategy.
We sat down with SmartNews’ Head of US Marketing Fabien Nicolas to talk about the challenges of building an app in a crowded ecosystem and how SmartNews is building a better news reading experience. Learn more in our full interview.
At our panel during the Casual Connect conference in Los Angeles, we spoke with Julian Erhardt of Fluffy Fairy Games, Josh Nilson of East Side Games, and Eiso Kawamoto of Metamoki about their unique stories and experiences navigating the intricacies of the mobile gaming market. The key takeaways from the panel were which KPIs mobile game devs should be tracking, the biggest mistakes devs can make, and why they shouldn’t be afraid of failure. Learn more in our full panel recap.
Fluffy Fairy Games, the creator of Idle Miner Tycoon, found itself in a unique position with a huge Facebook community. This was a result of Fluffy Fairy understanding the importance of community in shaping their game into what its most dedicated players wanted.
“We spent a lot of time thinking about our players and how to make them happy,” said Nate Barker, Director of Business Development at Fluffy Fairy Games. “We essentially just built what they asked for.” Learn more in our full interview.
Ever read an interview with a cardboard mushroom? Here’s your chance. We sat down with Mr. Cardboard Nameko of Beeworks Co., Ltd. to talk about their hit game, Nameko’s Nest. Beeworks uses a mix of in-app purchases (IAP), banner ads, and rewarded video ads to monetize its game. Mr. Cardboard Nameko walks us through the best placements for rewarded video in order to avoid disrupting the user flow. Learn more in our full interview.
In order to grow in an increasingly saturated mobile games market, developers have to look globally in order to grow. Even small indie developers like SELECT BUTTON are now looking globally, and they found great success outside their home market in Japan. By using a crowd-sourced translation service, SELECT BUTTON saw its success in international markets overtake its home market. Learn more in our full interview.
The Chinese market us a unique one, but developer IGG, the creator of Lords Mobile, found that a solid global UA strategy helped their game succeed at home and abroad. IGG chose partners with global experience like AppLovin to help them break into international markets by being flexible and focusing on performance. IGG also employed both video and playable ads in their strategy to achieve higher conversion rates and user retention. Learn more in our full interview.
While video and playable ads dominate the mobile marketing conversation today, there’s still a time and place for other formats like native ads. Developer GOODROID managed to increase their revenue by 10-15% simply by utilizing exiting in-game space to display native ads.
“Since their placement is so unobtrusive, we’ve heard zero complaints from users,” said GOODROID CEO Matsuda-san. However, developers should avoid making native ads too easily to tap on by mistake, which can frustrate players. Learn more in our full interview.