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Ask the Dev: The Secret Sauce for CookApps’ 800% Boost in Revenue Across Their Games

by AppLovin on Dec 4, 2020

In our most recent Ask the Developer series, we took the conversation overseas to South Korea for an in-depth conversation with CookApps, a studio based outside of Seoul, to understand their strategies and best practices for making mobile games. 

Luke Chung at the CookApps headquarters, located in Seongnam-si, a city southeast of Seoul.

We spoke with Luke Chung, CookApps’ Business Manager, about achieving an 800 percent revenue increase across all of their games. It’s a secret weapon—the studio used MAX to help boost their monetization strategy across all of their games. 

Luke shares his experience with MAX and how he used it to CookApps’ advantage. 

Your games are successful and unique. What do you attribute to that success? 

First, I think it is data analysis. We analyze a lot of data and it’s one of our company’s biggest strengths. We also analyze the current trends and our product team put forth a great deal of effort with the data to make sure things continuously improve. This helps us stay competitive with the current market.

Since our team does not suggest any specific games, the developers have created and refined games based on the existing data in order to release new games again. It looks like they gained a lot of knowledge as this has continued for more than a year.

What motivated you to switch to MAX?

Since the beginning of this year, we tested a variety of popular mediation platforms. We would select a specific app and perform a month-long mediation test. More specifically, we used company A’s mediation for a month and then company B’s mediation in the same app. 

Then we tested MAX in May. After checking the data on the three eCPMs and the impressions, we concluded that MAX provided the largest increase in revenue. When we tried one mediation platform, we noticed a bias when testing with other mediations. They prioritized their own ad networks over others. However…

MAX gave us an advantage by running a fair and competitive auction, as the requests went to many networks.

It was the strongest mediation platform so we continued to use MAX. Currently, we are mostly using MAX along with other mediations to test our game Caribbean Life as well.

What were the results after integrating MAX?

Last year we started developing a lot of match-three puzzle games. Our product team has approached these games from different perspectives. 

The results were positive—our userbase has increased significantly in our tier one locations, but unfortunately, this didn’t translate into increasing our advertising revenue. It was after integrating MAX that we finally increased ad revenue across all our apps by about 800 percent, compared to the previous year!

Tell us specifically how MAX helped with your 800 percent revenue growth

In addition to MAX, we’re also using other mediation platforms that we continue to test. 

Since we’re operating about 140 apps, there are over 8,000 line items, making it difficult to manage all of them in other mediation platforms. MAX helps make it easier to manage these line items. MAX is well-made, especially for line management, and has reduced our workload greatly.

In the past, we used to map the line items manually every morning, and if something was wrong, the revenue would drastically go down. But now, we can see if there is an issue with just one click using MAX, so we never have to manually check our line items anymore. Now, we can use that time more efficiently to run A/B tests to optimize our monetization stack. Doing this has led to significant revenue growth.

What’s next for CookApps? 

For now, we will continue to make match-three building games and mid-core games.

We’re also making new games that have to do with jewelry. We’re also planning to make decorating games that can be released globally.

We’re continuing to develop games in three genres as I mentioned and  I think we’ll continue with stronger development and focus our marketing on mid-core games until the end of the year.

We’d also like to challenge ourselves by developing games in other genres next year.

Learn more about what MAX can do for your studio.