Research, Resource

(1200x600) Push Notification Platforms

If someone asked you to single out the one, most important communication element of today’s smartphone, what would it be? Making a phone call probably isn’t, as more and more people use smartphones for a lot of stuff, but phoning isn’t one of them.

So, what else? According to various experts, Gigwalk CEO Ariel Seidman being one of them, it’s push notifications that take the crown. He calls it ‘tapping people on the shoulder’, and that’s a big deal because it’s virtually impossible to tap such a vast amount of people on the shoulder, basically at the same time.

Such an important feature which can be integrated into any mobile app or game deserves tons of attention, and in this article I will list some of the most popular and best mobile push notification platforms out there.

But before I proceed with the list, let’s first take a look at what push notifications actually are and how they’re being used today.

What is a push notification?

There are two types of notifications on today’s smartphones, called push notifications and pull notifications. A pull notification is created when the user asks the server for particular information. To put it in simple terms, a user must be using a particular app, and ask for particular info, in order to get it from the app. For example, if you use an app to monitor football results and open it to refresh it to get the latest info – you’ll receive a pull notification because, as the name suggests, you pulled the info. Another example would be a weather forecasting app – if you open it and tap refresh to get the latest data on the temperature and the forecast, you’ll be getting a pull notification.

Example of a push notification. Credit: Eric Ritchey / Flickr

Example of a push notification. Credit: Eric Ritchey / Flickr

Push notifications work differently – users don’t necessarily need to use the app or game in that particular moment for it to send a notification to the user. Every time you receive a Facebook or Twitter message, or a breaking news story that appears on your locked smartphone screen, you’re actually looking at a push notification.

Users usually need to opt-in to receive such notifications, and options to control them are usually presented to the user just after an app is installed. Of course, every app allows for this feature to be turned off or back on at any particular time.

Problems with push notifications

This function, however, should not be as straightforward as it is today.

Siedman sees two distinct ways developers should communicate with the user – either through push notifications, or via email. He compares those two to tapping people on the shoulder or sending them actual mail. Out of that he draws one simple conclusion: what type of content deserves to be delivered by tapping people on the shoulder, and what should be sent via mail, to be consumed when there’s more time?

Privacy and intimacy vs annoyance and distraction is what is at play here, and a lot of developers don’t seem to notice the difference, pushing notifications for things that can wait, ultimately leads people to turning off the feature completely.

And just like that, you’ve lost an amazing way to communicate with your users, to send them notifications about any special offers and innovations you might have been offering at the moment.

The problem here lies in the way push notifications are handled – they can either be turned on or off, often there’s no middle ground. This is a shame because, as Siedman sees it, you don’t simply allow or prevent everyone in real life to tap you on the shoulder. Some people can do it, others can’t. Usually there are no push notifications for specific topics within a game or app, and that is something developers should have in mind before deciding to implement push notifications.

Now that we know what push notifications are, how they work and what the biggest obstacles to their proper functioning are, let’s take a look at some of the best platforms for the service you can find.

urban airship#1 Urban Airship

One of the oldest and most popular push notification platforms is Urban Airship. Founded in 2009, it is usually the first place where app developers in need of mobile app optimization go. It has tens of thousands of apps using it, and offers various types of pushes, including pushing to a particular platform (iOS or Android) or specifically tagged devices (tagged beforehand).

Its biggest setback seems to be pricing – many users claim they’re significantly more expensive than the competition. The first million pushes each month are free, after that – every push costs $0.001 and every rich media push costs $0.0025.

pushwoosh#2 PushWoosh

Push Woosh is a close second, and a real contender to the number one spot. Its most popular features include the localization option, which allows devs to send push notifications in different languages with one click, based on the language settings each receiver has on its phone, as well as the rich free plan. The free account offers support for five apps and a million devices, that can get an unlimited amount of notifications. According to Folio3, PushWoosh has the cheapest premium plan of the bunch, starting at €39.95 per month ($49).

onesignal#3 OneSignal

OneSignal is a relatively young platform, which first appeared in the wild back in March 2013. Besides being able to send push notifications to mobile devices, it can also notify users on PCs through its Web Push API. It supports all the biggest / most important platforms out there, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1 (no word on Windows 10 just yet), Chrome Native and Web Push (Chrome, Safari, Firefox). It even supported the now discontinued Amazon Fire. Its biggest advantage is that it offers a free tier that can be used by anyone, from the tiniest to the largest firms. It features per-user localization, segmentation, A/B testing and real-time analytics, just to name a few features. Some people have said they had a few issues setting the platform up, but have praised the support team and said that once set up, works like a charm. OneSignal works well with SOOMLA – game developers can discover potential payers with the GROW Insights API, and segment those users in OneSignal to target them later. You can find more details in this code sample.

carnival#4 Carnival.io

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in New York, Carnival is considered to be one of the most balanced mobile marketing platforms – one which dances perfectly between the needs of developers making the apps, and marketers, actually using both the app and the service. It doesn’t have a price list on its website, so you’ll need to drop them a line if you’re interested, but it seems as they don’t offer a free plan. On the other hand, some developers that have tried the platform say their basic plan starts at $250/month, which breaks down to some $0.007 – $0.01 per monthly active users, which is a pretty solid deal. Its key selling point seems to be good integration with big analytics providers which allows you to submit your events into platforms like Localytics or Mixpanel.

streethawk#5 StreetHawk

StreetHawk is having a hard time floating on top of search engine results as the American TV series of the same name keeps popping up. It’s selling itself as a complete mobile engagement platform which can help you increase the lifetime value of your users. It offers some nifty and rich actions without programming requirements, including rich media push notifications, advanced analytics, geofences and iBeacons. It offers three pricing plans, ‘Start’, ‘Engage’ and ‘Predict’, where Start is free for up to 10,000 users. The platform also offers free trial for the other two plans, but if you want exact prices, you’ll have to send them a nudge. Here’s where its downside also seems to be hiding, as some developers have called StreetHawk’s pricing plans “one of the more complicated plan structures out there”.

pushIO#6 Push.io

With a key selling point in the AutoPush service, Push.io aims to be the number one solution for businesses looking to automate a few features. Through AutoPush, users can automate both building and serving push notifications. Push.io is a B2B company founded in 2009, and acquired by Responsys in 2014. Soon after, Responsys was itself acquired by Oracle, which is why when you navigate to Push.io, you’re forwarded to Oracle’s Mobile Marketing sub-page. Its biggest disadvantage seems to be this website, which is a complete mess, and can discourage people from pursuing the service at all. It does not offer a free plan and seems to be on the expensive side, with a 30-day trial for $99. The same price goes for 25,000 push notifications.

airpush#7 Airpush

Airpush is more than ‘just’ a push notifications platform – it’s a full-blown mobile ad monetization network which also happens to offer push notifications, as well. The company boasts having more than 150,000 apps using it, and being ranked #2 on the Forbes list of Most Promising Companies in 2014. Besides offering the standard in-app monetization methods (banners, video ads, etc.) it offers push notifications and can trigger sign-ups anytime in app sessions. Many review sites out there claim Airpush is Android only, but the company says it works on iOS and mobile web, as well. It focuses its business around using push notifications for advertising, which is something you should keep in mind, together with the introduction to this article.

approxee#8 Appoxee

Appoxee is an Israeli start-up, founded in 2010 and acquired by analytics firm Teradata in 2015. For its push notifications service, it offers rich-text, preview support, audience segmentation, as well as rules and triggers support. It also offers in-app messaging, allowing you to send rich html messages to your customers from within a particular app. Considering all that tap-on-the-shoulder-vs-mail thing, this is a solid feature. These messages can contain images, coupons, special offers or videos. Another interesting feature is called “Best time to send”, which analyzes each user’s app behavior and learns when’s the best time to send a notification or a message. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a pricelist on its website, so you’ll need to drop them a line if you want to learn more. Folio3 claims a free account provides support for unlimited apps and up to 250,000 users, while the lowest premium plan costs $500/month.  

catapush#9 Catapush

Even though it’s somewhat smaller than its competition, and a bit “rough around the edges”, Catapush offers an interesting and rarely seen feature which has earned it its place in this list. Besides the classic push notifications, Catapush offers SMS failover – when the user’s lost data connectivity, or in more extreme cases, deleted the app – users can send the push notification through SMS instead. Although this feature screams “How invasive can you get?!”, it’s an interesting one and deserves to be mentioned. Its analytics are integrated through an API, and are mostly centered around note delivery. A demo version is available online, and a free beta can be requested. As for pricing, it’s free for up to 100 recipients, while all above that needs paying. Being an Italian-based company, pricing is in Euro: €29/month for up to 2,500 recipients, all the way to €249/month for up to 25,000 recipients. Everything above that is custom tailored.  

batch#10 Batch

Batch can thank Parse for making its way onto this list as soon as it did. Truth be told, it would have probably squeezed its way in at some point, but with Parse out of the way, it’s that much easier. Batch is a very young company, with a lot of promise. If was founded in January 2014 and is headquartered in Paris, France. What sets Batch apart from other similar platforms is the feature which allows the user to index non-specific notifications and monitor what the competition is doing. As Batch co-founder explained here, it allows you to search through public notifications for keywords, effectively allowing you to track your competition and gain valuable market insights. It offers four different pricing packs, as well as a free trial for each one. Batch can be a good choice for both low-budget start-ups and big companies, as its basic pack is free of charge.

Runner Up: Parse Pushparse

Parse Push was originally the number three on the list, but as the company announced it’s shutting down, we decided to move it to the bottom. Parse Push used to be everyone’s sweetheart – one of the most loved and most stood for platforms out there. Two things are important when talking about Parse: first – it’s not a push platform per se – it’s a mobile BaaS (backend as a service), meaning it provides much more than just push services. Second, it was acquired by Facebook in 2013 for $85 million. It covers web, mobile and IoT (Internet of Things), and comes with a free one-month trial. Besides, it’s free for a million unique recipients a month, and offers scheduling, segmentation and A/B testing for free, as well. For every additional 1000 recipients, you’ll have to pay $0.05.

I used a couple of parameters when creating the list, including online reviews, publically shared personal experience from various developers, number of apps that use the service, features, company size and pricing.

In my humble opinion, this list includes the best of the bunch, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the perfect pick for your mobile game or app. There are countless others, including Google Cloud Messaging, Jeapie, MixPanel, MobDB, Amazon SNS, Quick Blox, PushWizard, Kahuna, AppBoy, Iterable, Pushbots, AppBooster, Notifica, and the list goes on and on. 

Developers can also use GROW Insights to detect hidden whales and segment them for sending push notifications later on.

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Guest Post

About the Author: My name is Marc, I live in Barcelona and in the past year I founded the indie studio Kinematic Games and I created my first game, Cubes. If you want to read more about the process I recommend following my blog Indie Thoughts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

(1200x600) My Journey into the Indie

My journey began in late 2014, after my university graduation as a multimedia engineer. I was looking for a job for some months, but I knew deep down I wouldn’t find anything that fit what I wanted to do. In the end, I decided to create my own game and with the game came the studio.

My professional experience until then wasn’t related to gaming and the only experience I had was making a game with four colleagues for the videogames subject in my last year of college (that’s when I heard the word Unity for the first time in my life) and my final project. The project was a VR horror game made for Oculus Rift and that’s what really gave me the confidence necessary to start developing a professional game on my own. kg_logo_alpha

It was a decision that I was half super confident with and half totally crazy because I had never done anything like that. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to face the next months, but the idea of creating a game all alone was super exciting to me and I became unstoppable.

The process taught me a lot, but my first lesson was to keep it simple – very, very simple. That meant having to start all over about three times because my first apparently simple ideas were too complex. And while simplifying the ideas I realized that I had to boost my imagination to create a great game with no resources. After that, I brainstormed a bunch of new ideas and days later I was back to the game!

During the development process I also needed help from other people, sometimes a friend who was a designer would give me advice, sometimes a colleague or family member to test the early versions of the game or most of the time the two life savers of the game, were: the developer communities (Unity answers, Stackoverflow, etc). I was able to find or ask any question I had about any problem and other developers would help me. SOOMLA was also a lot of help and brought my game to a whole new level. Even though I created the game all alone, it’s been crucial having other people near because one always needs a hand sooner or later.

I consider myself a casual gamer with a strong artistic sense, so I wanted my game to fit that description. I set out with 4 main goals to achieve.

1. Find a funny, engaging and challenging game mechanic.

I wanted the player to have fun while playing and at the same time feel: “I’m sure I’ll do better next time.”

What I did:

  • I started with a basic mechanic, but I ended up making six variations of it (Arcade, Continuous, Epileptic, Expert, Inverse and Shooter).
  • I thought about more mechanics to try in case some didn’t work or in case I want to expand the game someday.

2. Define a very specific visual style.

My goal was to make the player see something nice and clean at all points in the game.

What I did:

  • I very carefully picked the color palette and the combination of colors.
  • I created a global style and made variations for each mode.

3. Maintain my values.

I think that values are one of the most important things to remember while developing a game because it’s where you put your personality as a game designer.

What I did:

  • For example, one of the things I knew from the beginning was that my game wouldn’t have any ads in it.

4. My worst critic.

Even though you have incredible ideas in your head, sometimes when you try them they aren’t as good as you thought they would be. So this usually starts an internal debate about leaving the idea as it was or throwing away days of work to search for a better one.

What I did:

  • Always went for the second option. If I wasn’t completely satisfied with the result I started again until I was.

In brief, that’s how I ended, more than a year later, with my game Cubes.

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Research, Tech Resources

(1200x600) Top 10 Parse Alternatives

Contrary to popular belief among mobile game developers, the recent Parse announcement that it’s shutting its services down is not the end of the world.

Wait, what?

Yes, you heard me. A few days ago, Parse announced that it is retiring, sending out ripples of disbelief and discontent across the development world. No need to panic, though, keep reading.

First of all, Parse will have a year-long cooldown period – the final shutdown is scheduled for January 28, 2017, so you have plenty of time. Second of all, the company released a database migration tool (you can find it here), as well as an open-source Parse Server, which lets you run most of the Parse API from your own Node.js server.

Third of all, we’ve created a list of the best Parse alternatives for your mobile game you can find.

Why should you care?

Parse is a mobile backend as a service (MBaaS). That is a model that has grown to become an essential part of (almost) any game, even though it is a fairly new product category, one that’s been around for roughly five years. Its services might vary to some degree, from company to company, but the basics are the same – every MBaaS will offer a cloud storage solution, push notifications, file sharing and social integrations (Facebook, Twitter), as well as messaging and communications options. In today’s world of mobile and (quite often) social gaming, you can see why these features are essential to a mobile game’s success. It removes the burden of building in-app purchase item ownership data, building player progression storage or in-game communications, to name a few, and allows the developer to focus on more pressing matters like art, game design, innovation and monetization.

This is why we can’t have nice things

Parse was an important figure in the chain – it was loved by developers for having tons of features, good documentations and quality customer support. And after it got acquired by Facebook back in 2013 for $85 million, game developers were certain the company would have a bright future ahead – flocking to use its service.

Now, panic and fear has crept up on hearts and souls of mobile developers everywhere, as they raise their hands in despair and wonder why bad things always happen to good people </drama>.

But seriously, don’t worry. While the Parse announcement spawned a lot of lists with alternatives, those mostly revolve around general apps, with little to no focus on gaming. And with gaming being a specific industry in its own right, we feel a specific list is needed. We’ve got you covered. Below you will find the top 10 Parse alternatives for your game backend (listed in no particular order).

gamesparksGameSparks

GameSparks, which launched in 2013 and now has over 72 million players using their platform, is a good mobile backend as a service option, and one of the more popular ones. It is flexible and has a good set of features such as analytics, a management dashboard, leaderboards, and real-time and turn-based muliplayer. It runs a MAU (Monthly Active Users) cost which can be confusing, leading people to think it’s too expensive when, in fact, it offers quite a competitive price. GameSparks isn’t a prescriptive service. They provide a highly flexible, configurable and extensible platform that allows developers to build and manage their own projects.

playfabPlayFab

PlayFab launched in September 2014, though behind the veil the’ve been in business for 3 years as the in-house backend for Uber Entertainment. Some will say it is the most complete backend platform, especially after it partnered with Photon, the multiplayer cloud service. With 20M players on their system and a top game holding 1 million DAU (confirmed with their team), PlayFab is no stranger to scale. Features include player accounts, virtual goods management, in-game messaging, and game data storage. Another unique PlayFab aspect is their recently launched marketplace, which makes it easy to integrate with key 3rd party services beyond Photon, such as attribution-tracking, advanced analytics, community tools, and more.

heroiclabHeroic Labs

The key selling point of HeroicLabs is the API which allows game developers to easily integrate multiplayer and social elements without needing a server backend. It focuses and optimizes mostly for massive games, games of high volume. HeroicLabs also has a code sample with SOOMLA in our knowledge base.

gamedoniaGamedonia

Gamedonia is another complete backend solution for mobile games. The cloud platform for game developers does not require a server and offers many social games and real-time elements such as PvP (player versus player) modules, in-game chat or social sharing. Gamedonia was founded in 2012 and besides offering mobile support, also works in the browser.

kiiKii

Kii is another developer sweetheart and a Unity partner, making its community support quite strong. Its key selling point is a burst limit of 150 API calls per second, which is quite important. On the other hand, it does not allow anonymous users. Other features include server extensions, push notifications, leaderboards and achievements. It supports iOS, Android and Windows 8.

kinveyKinvey

Kinvey is one of the pioneers in the MBaaS game, which by default makes it a strong contestant for the best service out there. Compared to Parse, I’d say the two are quite similar in features: it offers cloud storage and push notifications. There’s also an easy way to integrate Facebook Open Graph for all those apps without websites. However, like Parse, it’s a general purpose MBaaS for all mobile apps, not just games.

braincloudLogo_80brainCloud

brainCloud might make your brain hurt of all the features it offers. It calls itself “backend in a box.” It is a ready-made, cloud-based backend designed for game developers, allowing them to jumpstart their game creation with various pre-built features. Its features include Cloud Data, including user and global statistics, shared data and custom files, Multiplayer, with support for turn-by-turn and one-way offline (clash-style) multiplayer. Other features include Achievements, Leaderboards and Monetization features.

floxGamua Flox

Flox is a scalable and lightweight cloud backend for mobile games built by Gamua. It runs on all mobile devices supported by Adobe AIR, and also allows offline play. Players can be authenticated through Google+, Facebook, email or the iOS GameCenter API. It comes with rich documentation and a powerful customer support.  If you’re developing with AIR, or specifically the Starling framework, this is the backend for you.

app42App42

App42 is another popular solution. It has many features, including all the usual ones like leaderboards, cloud storage or social sharing. It used to be cheaper than Parse (now it definitely is), while offering the same burst limit. A great solution for any mobile game developer.

pun_logo_bigPhoton

Photon is a cross-platform multiplayer game backend – a service tailored especially for game developers. It allows you to easily add multiplayer to your games and run them in the Global Photon Cloud. You can also host your own Photon servers, if that kind of hybrid is your thing. It is a good choice for game developers of all sizes, from indies to AAA studios.

Basic pricing plans

Company Free Tier? Minimum Price
GameSparks Yes $0.02/player (MAU – applies when a game has reached 10,000 users)
PlayFab Yes Free. (Support + Enterprise are paid)
HeroicLabs Yes $69 / Month / $0.02 (MAU)
Gamedonia Yes 89€ / Month
Kii Yes $1,200 / Month
Kinvey No $2,000 / Month
brainCloud Yes $30 / Month
Gamua Flox No $29 / Month
App42 Yes $99 / Month
Photon Yes $95 / Month
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Research

This post is part of a new series that explores the top mobile games created in a country. Here are the top mobile games in FinlandJapanIndiaIndonesiaBrazilChina, and Israel

(1200x600) Top 10 Korea

As we continue to move around the globe, looking at the best games made in specific countries, we make our way towards South Korea, probably the only country in the world where Starcraft is a national sport, and players are celebrities.

Yes, celebrities. While you were out there scrolling through Kim Kardashian’s Instagram profile, people were telling stories of Bengi, nicknamed ‘The Right Hand of God’ – arguably the best League of Legends player in the world.

Credit: Flickr / Powder

Bengi, the face of terror. This person is literally a Messi for League of Legends. Credit: Flickr / Powder

But I digress. This time we won’t tackle South Korea’s gaming obsession from that angle. Instead, we’ll focus on mobile gaming and as you might have imagined, it’s no different here – these people are still slightly obsessed and very, very active.

Let’s look at some figures before proceeding with the list:

South Korea is a country of 50.22 million people (last count was in 2013) and, according to OneSkyApp, it has a smartphone penetration of 73%– meaning just slightly over 40 million people have a smartphone in the country. Out of that number, two thirds (66%) play mobile games, so that makes approximately 26 million players.

Android dominates the market, which is no surprise knowing that the country is home turf to Samsung. Some Still, Apple is doing a great job at disrupting its biggest competitor, with some reports saying that it reached a market share of 33%. Others place that number at 14%, which is probably a bit more realistic figure – but still an impressive one.

Gamers over there spend a lot of money on their entertainment, as well. According to the statistics portal Statista, mobile games in South Korea are expected to generate $1.4 billion in 2016. Moreover, that number is expected to grow even further, by 6.67%. By 2020, it will be generating $1.9 billion annually.

Looking at the types of games they play, MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), or RPGs in general, are South Korea’s guilty pleasure. So much in fact, that when non-RPG games made it to the top ten list on Google Play for the country, VentureBeat wrote an article about it. Think about it – RPGs are so popular there that if they’re not completely overwhelming the Play Store – it’s news.

When it comes to games, Asian markets do things a bit differently than the West – they integrate their games with their favorite communications apps. We’ve seen it before with WeChat in China, and in South Korea, we can see it with KakaoTalk.

They’re creating a closed ecosystem, where users need only register in the chat app (in this particular case, the KakaoTalk app) in order to get access to exclusive and extremely popular games. If you ever come across a South Korean mobile game that has ‘for Kakao’ in its title – that’s it.

It obviously works: according to this report, even back in 2013, out of the global top 10 games, three were built exclusively for Kakao. So let’s take a look at the best games made in South Korea.

*Interesting SDKs are courtesy of logo

infinite#10 Infinite Stairs

Android | iOS

Developer: NFLY Studio

NFLY Studio is an indie mobile game development studio headquartered in Busan, South Korea. It has been active on the market since 2012, and has since released seven mobile games, for both Android and the iOS. Its latest game, Infinite Stairs, is also its most popular product.

Release Date: 2015
Genre: Arcade
About the game: Infinite Stairs is an endless-runner style of game that goes up vertically, something like the oldie and goldie Icy Tower. In genre, it is an arcade pixel graphic mobile game that features dozens of characters and challenges the player’s reflexes and focus, while delivering tons of fun.
Interesting SDKs: 

 InMobi  Tapjoy 

wooparoo#9 Wooparoo Mountain

Android | iOS

Developer: NHN PixelCube

NHN PixelCube is a South Korean game developer and publisher. Besides building its own games, it also brings Western games to the SK market, as well as Chinese games. It has its own game platform for the Western market called Toast.com.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: Strategy
About the game: Wooparoo Mountain is a strategy game for mobile devices, similar to FarmVille or Clash of Clans. It features more than 80 different and cute characters that can be combined for a total of 20,000 combinations. The game is rich in gameplay and features advanced visuals.

dominations#8 DomiNations

Android | iOS

Developer: Nexon

Nexon is a mobile game development company founded in Seoul back in 1994. Back then it was a publisher and a PC development studio. In the meantime, it has expanded into the mobile platform and opened up studios in the US and Germany.

Release Date: 2015
Genre: Strategy
About the game: DomiNations is an RTS game that combines Clash of Clans with Sid Meier’s Civilization. It is a game of strategy and dominance, in which players build their empires from the stone age all the way to the space age. Users can choose from a number of nations, including Korean, British, Romans, Chinese, Germans, French, Japanese, or Greeks.
Interesting SDKs: 

Chartboost  Tapjoy 
 prime[31]   AppsFlyer 
Tune 

warship#7 WARSHIP BATTLE:3D World War II

Android | iOS

Developer: JoyCity

JoyCity is a South Korean game developer that’s been on the market since 1994. First building PC games, it released a few popular titles such as FreeStyle Street Basketball (firs street basketball game in South Korea) and Rule the Sky. After expanding into mobile, it first released the mobile social game Rule The Sky, followed by the globally popular Warship Battle, also known as Gunship Battle in SK.

Release Date: 2015
Genre: Action
About the game: Warship Battle: 3D World War II is an action-arcade game in which players take control of naval ships used during World War II and duke it out against other ships and aircraft. Besides the game being action-packed, it also features a shop where ships can be customized and improved.

darkness#6 Darkness Reborn

Android | iOS

Developer: Gamevil

Gamevil is a mobile games company headquartered in Seoul, with an office in Torrance, California. It is a fairly large company, that reported market capitalization of $400 million back in 2012. In 2013, it acquired Com2Us, another big player in South Korean mobile games industry, also dubbed its “oldest rival”. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: RPG
About the game: Darkness Reborn is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, featuring both PvE (player versus environment) and PvP (player versus player) modes. It allows players to choose between five different classes, and offers high-end graphics rarely seen on mobile devices. It also offers large customization options, including 1,296 skill combinations.

anipang#5 Anipang

Android | iOS

Developer: SundayToz

SundayToz is a social mobile games developer based in South Korea. It was founded in 2009, and has since then built a number of social games for key mobile platforms such as KakaoTalk, Google Play, Apple’s AppStore or Naver. It is the studio behind the local hit-game Anipang and its sequel, Anipang 2.

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Anipang was the first South Korean game to be downloaded 20 million times. It is a puzzle game that is distributed through Cyworld Appstore and Naver Social Apps. It is a match-3 style of game, featuring cute characters like pink piggies, blue dogs and white rabbits. Its life has been speckled with controversy, as the local and mass media accused the developers of stealing other people’s ideas. Lawsuits were thrown around as well. Despite all of this, the game gained global fame.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Adobe Air  PlayHaven 
 Kakao  Upsight 

candypang#4 CandyPang

Android | iOS

Developer: WeMade Entertainment

WeMade Entertainment is a South Korean game development studio with an interesting story. The studio created a 3D MMORPG game called The Legend of Mir, an extremely popular game in the East. It was soon copied by Chinese operator Shanda and released under the name The World of Legend (awesome name, btw </sarcasm>), forcing the original developers into a lawsuit. To make things as clear as possible, they chose the name WeMade, pointing that they had, in fact, made The Legend of Mir game. The studio was founded in 2000 and has since expanded to Seattle, Washington. It even had a professional e-sports team until 2011, competing in Counter-Strike, StarCraft: Brood War and Warcraft III.

Release Date: 2012
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: CandyPang is a puzzle game, very similar to Anipang, and pretty much any other color-matching game. However, instead of switching a tile in order to match three or more, the player need only recognize the tiles which have already lined up and tap on them in order for them to disappear. The game is designed to be played very fast so that a high-score can be achieved.

raven#3 Raven

Android | iOS

Developer: Netmarble Games

Netmarble is one of Korea’s biggest game developers, if not the biggest. It has more than 3,000 employees, working in offices around the world, including the US, Turkey, Japan, China and Indonesia, as well as Taiwan and Thailand. It has a few globally popular titles, such as Raven (EvilBane), MARVEL Future Fight or Everybody’s Marble. It has recently invested $130 million in SGN, a US-based mobile games studio.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: RPG
About the game: Raven is one of South Korea’s most popular games and is often referred to as ‘Korea’s biggest RPG’. Knowing how Koreans are mad about RPG games, this is a big deal. This is a classic RPG game, with multiple races and characters, capable of leveling up and collecting various armor and weapons. It features a couple of modes, including Scenario, Adventure, Raid and Arena. It has been launched globally, under the name EvilBane.

future fight#2 MARVEL Future Fight

Android | iOS

Developer: Netmarble Games
Release Date: 2015
Genre: RPG
About the game: MARVEL Future Fight is an RPG game many people call ‘dungeon crawler’ because of its gameplay. It features basically all Marvel heroes players can control as they battle for the survival of the human race. It features a few different mission types, including Villain Siege, Daily Missions and Story Missions. All these types can earn players new gears, new mastery points and a higher rank.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Tune  GrowMobile 
 Kakao 

summoners#1 Summoners War

Android | iOS

Developer: Com2Us

If there’s just one thing you ought to remember regarding Com2Us is that these guys have managed to trademark ‘Tower Defense’. That’s like trademarking the words ‘Role-playing game’. Obviously, people were not pleased, with some saying this is why TD games usually suck. Aside from that, Com2Us is a fairly large game development studio, whose majority stake was acquired by Gamevil in 2013.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: RPG
About the game: Summoners War is South Korea’s most downloaded and most popular game, with more than 50 million downloads across multiple platforms. It has been praised by the media, with some saying it’s a must-buy, even though it’s a free-to-download game. This is a 3D RPG game with elements resembling very much what we can see in games like Pokemon, in which players duke it out in the Sky Arena. It features more than 900 different types of monsters that can be summoned, as well as a 3-player co-op mode in real-time. It has been localized in 14 different languages, and also offers in-game purchases.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Tune  Chartboost 
 PartyTrack AdPick 

That is our list for the best of the best from the South Korean mobile games market. While searching for the best games, we looked at the most popular and most talked-about game developers, the number of downloads and overall rating their games have across various platforms, as well as any awards they might have won on local or international competitions. Game reviews and opinions from journalists were also taken into consideration.

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Guest Post

About the Author: Aloha and Konnichiwa! My name is Jason Sio and I’m the founder and CEO of Apartment 507, which is a startup company based in Japan that focuses on investing and publishing indie games. We recently partnered up with an indie game studio that we met in Tokyo and are ready to show off our first mobile iOS/Android game called Fluff Eaters. We will be debuting at this year’s PAX South event in San Antonio, TX. Please come visit us at Booth #15055.

(1200x600) Advertising-for-PAX

Ask anyone who is into gaming, and that person might have heard of PAX. Each year the PAX event invites more people than the last. For any game developer hoping to get their games noticed, this annual event is a potential gold mine of opportunities to connect with the right type of people who come for only one reason: games.

PaxAdTest2

Official Fluff Eaters Advertisements PAX South

Let’s face it, for any indie developer looking to attend a PAX event, you know it’s not going to be cheap especially if you’re on a tight budget. This is where partnering with a publisher really helps with the cost of attending events and paying for marketing ad space. But what if indie developers don’t want to partner up or just want to take a financial risk? Just exactly how much does it cost to attend a single PAX event? In this article, I will break down the basic marketing cost as a startup gaming publisher and attempt to reason why we decided on the things we did and did not.

Booth

First and foremost, you need to rent a booth. By having a booth, you allow people to interact with your game, collect leads, and connect with people in the gaming industry. The cost of renting this year’s booth at PAX South cost a reasonable $1,250 for a 10’x10’ booth. This is the smallest and cheapest booth that a PAX South event offers. If you want to go bigger, you must have some serious cash to burn. The cost to hang with the big boys can go as high as $45,000 dollars, which is no longer classified as a booth, but an island. As luck would have it, we got moved to a new spot at the last minute to float near the big boys.

Ads

When it comes to exhibiting at an event as big as PAX you have to stand out from the rest of the crowd. We decided we needed a way to reach the eyes of attendees and renting a booth was not enough to have over 60,000 visitors notice our game. So that’s where paid advertising comes into play. When it comes to advertising, PAX offers various options. Options include everything from having your logo on the lanyard ($6000) to becoming the official bag sponsor ($10,000). Since money isn’t growing on our trees, we opted for an ad space in the official PAX pamphlet. We had two choices, a half page ad or a full-page ad that would fit within our ideal budget. A half page ad cost $1500 and a full-page ad cost $2000. We decided to go with the full-page ad so people are more likely see the ad while flipping through the booklet.

Cosplay Outfit

Three out of five members of our team (including me) will wear a purple cat onesie ($38.95 each), which were ordered through Cosplay Shopper. We originally wanted to have one of our fuCosplay outfitlly-grown bearded men dress up as a Japanese school girl outfit, but decided against it after talking to the organizers of the event saying that might violate their “no booth babe” policy.

The purple cat onesie outfits will sure turn anyone’s head when passing our booth. Not one, but three purple cats at our booth will allow us to bait unsuspecting prey to come to our booth.

Print outs

We could have stopped at the one-page ad and not spend any more money on marketing materials, but we didn’t. We wanted to make a presence at the show and felt that we needed some free swag so visitors will remember us afterwards. In my past experience at gaming conventions, the things I actually keep from shows are unique stuff that I collect. Those things are buttons and beautifully printed posters. When it comes to having things printed, early planning is key. Most organizers that handle events will have an early bird printing discount for various types of print jobs. We jumped in early on having our vinyl poster printed at $19 per sq. ft., which saved us from having to pay a standard price of $28.50 per sq. ft.

We also decide to print 200 A3 sized posters ($54.95) at a local print shop. We called a few places and the prices varied greatly. It pays to do some research first. For the postcard, we went to Vista Print. They were the cheapest place for postcards. For buttons, we ordered them through Wacky Buttons in two designs, 1000 each, for a total of $352.31.

Fluff Eater Buttons

Official Fluff Eaters Buttons PAX South

When all is said and done, we’re looking at around $4500 in total cost to setup our booth and prepare the necessary marketing materials. The cost maybe hard to swallow for an indie developer, but we believe it’s worth the initial investment for any indie game studio to show off their game. It’s also worth noting that travel and hotel cost has not been factored to the breakdown. In a sea of competitors vying for the attention of guest, it is utterly important that game studios reach as many people as possible while staying within their budget.

Cost Breakdown:

10’x10’ Booth: $1250

Full page PAX Ad: $2000

Purple Cat Outfits x 3: $116.85

Vinyl backdrop poster: 256.50

200 Posters: $54.95

5000 Postcard hand out: $335.98

2000 Buttons: $352.31

Renting one extra table and two chairs: $60

Snacks and drinks: $50

Miscellaneous (markers, duck tape, clips): $50

Grand Total: $4526.59

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Research

(1200x600) Mobile Game Analytics Comparison

As of July 2015 there were 1.6 million apps in the Google Play Store and 1.5 million in the Apple App Store. Both stores continue to grow at exponential rates yet there’s a continuous trend that there are only a handful of apps that make the top charts. Looking specifically at mobile games the top charts are populated with games from King, Supercell and the likes. For a mobile game developer they not only have to create a killer game, but also continually work on improving it.

In today’s mobile game world, it’s not a question to have analytics in a game, but what company to use. Studios must constantly be improving and adapting games to keep users engaged. With mobile analytics and marketing platforms studios can slice and dice their data, gain powerful insights and communicate directly with users.

Here’s a comprehensive list of the top mobile analytic platforms. We’ve excluded install tracking and attribution analytic platforms which are often categorized under analytic tools. We view them as analytic tools for very specific purposes of examining marketing channel effectivity and not necessarily measuring user behavior. These include Appsflyer, TUNE (Mobile App Tracking), Adjust, Apsalar, and Kochava.

Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

“You can’t go wrong”new-google-logo-2015

Gain valuable insights with Google Analytics for Mobile Apps. You’ll see analytics for the full cycle of your app. When you install GA you’ll automatically get analytics covering number of users/sessions, session duration, operating system, device models, and geography. Developers can also delve deeper into their analytics and look at specific user behavior and interact with the app.  

  • Founded: Built by Urchin which was acquired by Google in 2005
  • Platforms supported: iOS, Android, Unity (still in beta)
  • Pricing: Free up to 10M monthly events. If you go above the minimum, the price goes to approximately $150,000/year.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies, big studios, AAA studios

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 4.57.08 PM

Flurry

“Elder of the analytics tribe”Flurry_Logo_DarkGrey_NoBackground_LoRes

A mobile analytics solution that was acquired by Yahoo! in July 2014. Flurry provides analytics for businesses to monitor user behavior across multiple mobile applications. Flurry has one of the largest networks with more than 700,000 apps on over 1.8 billion devices. In five minutes you can see basic analytics from Flurry, but for more detailed analytics you must set up custom events. One major flaw is that it does not currently support Unity – for that you’ll need to purchase a dedicated plugin from the Unity Asset Store.

  • Founded: 2005
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, HTML5, JavaME, hybrid apps, mobile/web
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies, big studios, AAA studios

Flurry Dashboard

GameAnalytics

“Geared for gamers”GameAnalytics-Logo

A free analytics platform tailored for mobile games, providing insightful and actionable data. GameAnalytics supports the full life cycle of a game from acquisition to retention to monetization of a player. It’s platform is solely focused on mobile game specific KPIs. Some features in GameAnalytics’ dashboard include custom dashboards, benchmark analytics, and custom events.

  • Founded: December 2011
  • Platforms supported: iOS, Android, Unity, REST API, Xamarin
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, indies, small studios

GameAnalytics

SOOMLA

“God-Mode – see analytics of your users in similar games”image001

GROW, a zero integration analytics platform, brings user behavior and revenue analytics with one-step integration from all the tools you use – mobile SDKs, in-app purchase plugins, and ad networks. A unique feature in the dashboard is God Mode Analytics which shows you the analytics of games similar to yours. You can leverage cross-game intelligence to build a better game.

  • Founded: August 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Unity, Cocos2d-x
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, indies, small studios (big studios – Audiences dashboard)

SOOMLA dashboard

Unity Analytics

“No need to leave the Unity Editor”$logo-titled

Unity Analytics is part of the larger Unity family which provides a variety of game development tools. Unity offers a standard dashboard with basic KPIs, heatmaps, and market data. Unity Analytics is extremely accessible and can easily be installed in Unity games therefore boosting its popularity amongst mobile game developers.

  • Started: 2015
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Store 8.1, Windows, Mac, Linux/Steam OS, Web, and WebGL
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, indies, big studios

Unity dashboard

deltaDNAdeltadna_www@1x

“Comprehensive, enterprise grade analytics”

deltaDNA provides detailed game analytics and real-time marketing for mobile games. deltaDNA provides a vast amount of analytic tools and various metrics for larger studios to analyze their data. You can track how players interact with your game and adapt your game accordingly. deltaDNA also offers custom dashboards, so you can personalize the analytics you review. With deltaDNA you can understand your game balance and how it affects different player groups.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Unity, GameMaker, Rest API
  • Pricing: Free up to 10k MAU. From $150/month per extra 10K MAU. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Big studios and AAA studios

deltaDNA

App Annie

“A bird’s eye view of the mobile app stores”App-Annie-Logo

App Annie, a leading intelligence platform has over 700,000 mobile apps. Gain key metrics such as downloads and revenue for all your apps. You can break down your data by store, app, country, in-app purchases, and date range. You can track your app’s rankings hour by hour and closely monitor how it’s doing. While App Annie provides some very valuable macro-market analytics, it does not show specific in-game analytics.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Store Platforms Supported: Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, Windows Phone Store
  • Pricing: Free for developers who connect their app store dashboards. For larger companies interested in competitive business intelligence prices start at $59 per app/month up to $599/month for app download and revenue or demographic estimate. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Indies, big studios, AAA studios (App Annie Intelligence)
App Annie dashboard

Image: https://support.appannie.com/hc/en-us/articles/204763554-How-to-Connect-Your-Google-Analytics-Account

Crashlytics (part of Fabric)

“Not just crash reporting”crashlytics-logo

Acquired by Twitter in January 2013, Crashlytics provides crash reporting for iOS and Android. Crashlytics is built into Fabric which gives you detailed analytics about your game. It allows you to keep track of your user behavior and track any crashes.

  • Founded: 2011
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, tvOS, Android
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies, big studios
Crashlytics

Image: https://www.crashlytics.com/blog/introducing-crashlytics-for-tvos

Branch Metrics

“Deep linking analytics”Branch_Metrics_low_res_logo

Branch helps mobile apps delve into their analytics with deep links. Branch provides open source, drop-in SDKs that help generate deep links that pass data from app installs. Their analytics dashboard tracks conversions, user behavior, virality, campaign performance, and LTVs.

  • Founded: 2014
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Web, Xamarin, Cordova/Ionic, Unity, Adobe AIR, Titanium, HTTP API
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, big teams, big brands
branch metrics

Image: http://onlinemarketingandseo.com/branch-metrics-convert-grow-and-track-mobile-app-adoption/

Ninja Metrics

“Find your social whales”logo-2015-ninja-metrics

A social analytics platform that offers a cloud computing-based social platform. It enables developers to measure social influence and adjust their game’s social features accordingly. It shows developers the value of social contributions and detailed projections of future social actions from users. Other services offered by Ninja Metrics include basic analytics such as DAU, monetization, and KPI metrics.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Supported Platforms: JavaScript, Java, PHP, iOS, Android, Unreal
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: Game developers, big studios, AAA studios
Ninja Metrics

Image: https://help.tune.com/marketing-console/ninja-metrics-integration/

Swrve

“Get personal at scale”4eaba4afb2986248f01b16ff5a54705b

A marketing automation platform that believes part of making a great app is nurturing the relationship with the users. With more engaged users, come more installs. Swrve offers in app campaigns, A/B testing, push notifications, and segmentation. Swrve also offers a traditional analytics dashboard which shows key metrics, accurate revenue, cohort analysis, and funnels.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, and Unity
  • Pricing: Free trial. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, big studios, mobile marketers
Swrve dashboard

Image: https://www.swrve.com/product

Upsight

“Enterprise grade analytics for top charts mobile apps”url

Formerly Kontagent+PlayHaven, Upsight is one of the largest mobile analytics and marketing platforms. Their goal is to help transform the world’s data into valuable actions. Upsight offers a variety of customized solutions for more tailored analytics. Upsight offers custom dashboards and business KPIs as well as a variety of marketing tools such as in- and out-of-app engagement, A/B testing, and user segmentation.

  • Founded: 2007
  • Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, Unity, tvOS
  • Pricing: Free trial. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Game developers, big studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Upsight dashboard

Image: http://www.upsight.com/analytics/

Mixpanel

“All-around, flexible analytics for any purpose”mixpanel_500X1891

Mixpanel, based in San Francisco, is an advanced analytics platform for mobile and web. It helps companies understand their user behavior and explore conversion rates and user retention. Their dashboard includes funnel analysis, retention, mobile A/B testing, and marketing automation.

  • Founded: 2009
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Java, Javascript, Rest API, all popular server side languages
  • Pricing: Free up to 25,000 data points. Or up to 20m data points for $2,000/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers

Mixpanel dashboard

Amplitude

“The new kid on the Mixpanel block”Amplitude-logo

San Francisco based, Amplitude is an analytics platform that helps fuel app growth. Amplitude shows you microscopic views into any data point. You can zoom in and explore behavioral data and even create specific cohorts. Amplitude also gives you direct access to your raw SQL data. This allows developers to answer their most complex questions and delve into their data.

  • Founded: 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, JavaScript, Unity
  • Pricing: Free up to 10M monthly events. $995 for 0-100M monthly events. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Ampltude dashboard

Image: https://amplitude.com/blog/2015/01/09/team-sharing-custom-dashboards-amplitude/

Apple App Analytics

“Back to Basics”Apple_Logo_Png_02

Apple introduced their analytics platform in mid 2015. It shows Apple developers their sales, usage, and monetization and does not require any code. Apple recently released that their analytics platform supports tvOS apps. It shows app store views, how users interact with your app on Apple TV, and IAP statistics.

  • Founded: 2015
  • Platforms Supported: tvOS and iOS
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers
Apple dashboard

Image: http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/06/apple-app-analytics-screenshots/itunes-app-analytics-05/

Facebook Analytics for Apps

“Analytics that work well with Facebook campaigns”facebook-logoimage-facebook-logopng-moshi-monsters-wiki-dmua0wep1

Facebook Analytics provides developers with insights about their app’s customer base, engagement, user behavior, and campaign performance. Developers can track users across multiple devices and see if a user in an app went and made a purchase on the website. Facebook Analytics also offers the basic dashboard features such as events, segmentation, cohorts, and funnels.  

  • Founded: 2015
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, JavaScript, PHP, Unity
  • Pricing: Free
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, AAA studios, mobile marketers

FB dashboard

Countly

“Open source for the rest of us”countly_logo_color

Countly is a real-time mobile analytics platform that provides data on application usage and user behavior. It has over 3000 apps and more than 2000 running servers worldwide. Countly is an open source framework for developers that want to build their own analytics solution, however they also offer Countly Enterprise Edition for larger companies.

  • Founded: 2013
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Javascript, Mac OS X, Unity 3D, Flash
  • Pricing: From free to $800/month for 10M sessions/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, indies
countly-dashboard

Image: http://www.apptamin.com/blog/app-analytics-tools/

Localytics

“Mobile marketing mission controlLocalytics_official_logo

Based in Boston, Localytics is one of the leading analytics platforms and has more than 37,000 apps on more than 2.7 billion devices. It is an analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps. You can use their insights to personalize your engagement with users through push, in-app, email or remarketing campaigns which allows for more direct and smarter targeting. Some benefits of the Localytics’ dashboard are LTV measuring, custom dashboards, A/B testing, and real-time analytics.  

  • Founded: 2008
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and HTML 5
  • Pricing: from free to tracking 100k MAU for $1,200/month (for analytics and marketing). Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: Game developers, big studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Localytics dashboard

Image: https://help.tune.com/marketing-console/localytics-integration/

Appsee

“Analytics, Visualized”logo_height_100

Appsee, a Tel Aviv based company, is a SaaS platform to help optimize mobile apps. Appsee’s analytics help show the reasons behind the data and focuses on the user behavior. Focused on user experience, Appsee provides user recordings so you can watch user sessions and see the direct interaction. Appsee also offers real-time analytics, heat maps, and crash videos (to see where and how the app is crashing).

  • Founded: 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS and Android
  • Pricing: Free 14-day trial. Regular pricing is not disclosed, but have special rates for startups. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, big studios
Appsee Dashboard

Image: http://www.apptamin.com/blog/app-analytics-tools/

Segment

“One Analytics API to rule them all”segment-logo-black_(1)

San Francisco based, Segment allows developers to collect data from wherever it’s generated with one API. It tracks customer data across multiple devices and then sends it to third party integrations. Segment has over 160 integrations and collects 50 billion API calls a month.  

  • Founded: 2012
  • Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Android Wear, Xamarin
  • Pricing: Free 14-day trial. Up to 25M API calls for $449/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, big studios, big brands
segment-warehouses

Image: https://segment.com/

Heap

“Modern analytics for web and iOS.”heap

Heap captures every user action in your app and lets you measure it from swipes and taps to form submissions and page views. With Heap’s dashboard you can see all key metrics, funnels of where and when users are dropping off, and retention rates. 

  • Founded: 2013
  • Platforms: Web and iOS
  • Pricing: Free (up to 5,000 sessions/month) up to $599 for 150,000 sessions/month. Contact for Enterprise level.
  • Good for: App developers, game developers, small studios, AAA studios, mobile marketers
Heap dashboard

Image: http://blog.heapanalytics.com/a-heap-of-new-features/

You now know the top analytics platforms and you just have to decide which one is right for you. You might even end up picking a few which will only enrich your analytics and data. Depending if you’re only working on apps or games will also be a huge factor in which platform you choose. If you’re a game developer, SOOMLA’s dashboard offers a variety of features from God Mode Analytics to segmenting hidden whales. Check it out here!

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Game Reviews

SpartaniaLogo150Available on Google PlayAvailable on iTunesSpartania: The Spartan War is the Angry Birds version of Clash of Clans, meaning cartoon-ish characters in a free strategy mobile game that aims to appeal not only to die hard fans of strategy games but to casual gamers as well.

Gameplay

The storyline takes place in a made-up Spartan city, Spartania, where an army of Spartans re-group on account of war and their burning need for glory. The Spartan soldiers, led by their commander (the gamer) engage in war with various enemies in order to become the strongest army that ever was. The gamer must plan a defense strategy for the home base as well as an offense strategy in an offense camp. Basically, playing this game allows you to swap between camp types, build and upgrade many cool defense buildings, train different kinds of troops and battle your way up the game’s world leaders chart.

The game encourages you to play and battle against other players, attack their base camps and take all their available loot. The real challenge is – you only get 45 seconds for every battle, so it’s best to stay alert. Spartania also features cool perks like usingphoto_2016-01-19_14-25-23 your Facebook friend’s commander for help in battle, playing against gamers worldwide and occasional bonuses in the shape of green Ambrosia bottles (according to the game, warriors often leave them behind after late night parties…). Spartonix, the game’s creators, implanted many hidden jokes along the way which, combined with the amiable animation style, are sure to raise an occasional smile.

One must carefully plan a strategy in Spartania – you are often faced with the dilemma of either strengthening your offense, winning battles and gaining resources or strengthening your defense, ensuring no one steals your resources from you and upgrading your mines and food collectors (Spartans’ training requires a whole lot of food). Add the fact that the game will occasionally send barbarians after your homebase and you’re in for some hard-core battles and strategy. A small game tip for you – notice the order you send your soldiers into battle. I can say that sending my archers and mages in first proved quite rewarding…

Visuals and audio

Spartania managed to create a unique style when it comes to the popular strategy games currently out there. The characters in Spartania have no arms or legs but floating hands, hooves and feet, Rayman style. Seasons often change in Spartania, so perfectly bright skies in the morning could result in heavy snow in the evening and there is constant movement on screen (clouds and leaves passing by, soldiers marching in the background…). The game’s characters try to look tough but actually end up looking kinda cute with their greek-chic outfits and funny war cries.

Spartania is a lot to take in at first, with buttons and information on all four corners of the screen, which makes the tutorial quite useful (and surprisingly entertaining). The game takes time to advance in – training soldiers and upgrading buildings will take time but can also happen immediately if you spend your Ambrosia bottles. These are occasionally granted free by the game but if you wish to advance faster you’ll have to purchase them in the game’s in-app store.image_2015-12-14_15-49-58

Try it out

To sum it up, Spartania is definitely fun to play and rather easy to figure out. It might be a strategy game but it’s clear to see the game’s designers wanted to make sure it appeals to anyone, and I believe it does. It’s the kind of strategy game that both an Angry Birds fan and a Clash of Clans fan would enjoy. The player can choose between a male or a female commander, the animation is relatable and the game does require the right amount of strategy planning without making it too complicated or dreary. So yeah, I say it’s well worth you checking it out, I know I enjoyed it!

 

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Research

(1200x600) Top 20 Ad Networks

If you want your mobile game, or any other app for that matter, to earn you money (and I’m guessing you do), then you have most likely already considered an advertising network.

A short description of an ad network is that it’s a company which connects advertisers to game developers and publishers so that the former have an easier time finding ad space, and latter earning cash.

Ad networks are an important link in the mobile game industry chain – simply sending an ad to a game is not enough. There are many parameters that need to be handled for the advertisers to be pleased with the feedback, and game developers with monetization.

That’s why you need a solid mobile ad network – one which will offer various models, flexible features, quality integration and detailed analytics and reports.

And just before you go about saying “well yeah, but all these mobile ad networks are basically the same, offering same services and just hiding behind different names”, allow me to point you towards AppsFlyer’s Ad Network & Media Partners Performance Index – a report with a detailed review of mobile ad platforms’ performance. Not only does the report confirm how different ad networks are, it also expands by showing how games, being varied and different, affect the performance of the ads.

Google’s AdMob instantly comes to mind, and it’s no wonder – the tech giant’s network is huge and ticks all the right boxes. But there are other mobile ad networks out there worthy of your attention, and in this article we’re going to introduce them to you.

Below you will find a list of the top 20 ad networks for monetizing mobile games in 2016, as well as a short description of what each network can offer.

admob
#1 AdMob

Supported ad formats: Interstitial, Native, Trueview, Banner, Lightbox, Video

One of the most popular mobile ad networks out there is Google’s AdMob. The network was acquired by Google back in 2010, and has since been re-designed to better fit Google’s ad network.

Among its strongest features is its fill rate, great eCPMs and cross-platform monetization support. Users should be able to reach a 100 percent fill rate quite fast, and with a good number of advertisers, great eCPMs should always be at hand’s reach. It supports cross-platform monetization which includes Android, iOS and Windows 8, however there is still no word on Windows 10.

Among the biggest issues users have reported are the fact that you’re required to register at AdSense, and that it limits the amount of ads per static page to one. However, the latter being for web and not mobile, it can’t be seen as a setback here.

uads_logo1 (1)#2 Unity Ads

Supported ad formats: Rewarded and Non-Rewarded Video

Formerly known as Applifier, Unity Ads is also an extremely popular mobile ad network. It owes its popularity partially to the fact that it allows devs to monetize whole player bases through ads native to Unity-built games – according to the network’s website,  if you’re using the Unity Engine, no SDK is required.

In terms of formats, they offer video interstitials, both non-rewarded and rewarded; the latter of which provides the user with a reward for viewing, most usually an in-game currency or similar.

On the other hand, users mostly complain about the low fill rate Unity Ads provides, which sometimes goes down to 35 or 40 percent.

Chartboost2#3 Chartboost

Supported ad formats: Interstitial, Video, Native Ad

For mobile game developers, Chartboost should always be very high on the list, as the network focuses primarily on gamers. It works as a cross-promotion network, which was quite a big deal back when it was first unveiled. It allows game developers to sell their advertising space to other game developers directly, which allows them to set their own business terms. Some people said Chartboost earned them more money than other networks combined, basically.

Its other big selling point is on the analytics side, as it offers a huge earnings table, as well as installs and impressions data. It goes into the tiniest of details, which can be a double-edged sword – this network offers lots and lots of data. The platform supports both Android and iOS.

On the other hand, the majority of its advertisers are not what you would consider “premium” – sometimes the network allows very cheap bids per install, leaving peanuts for the developer.

Applovin_Logo_Final_Blue_Horizontal_RGB#4 AppLovin

Supported ad formats: Video, Native, Interstitial, Banner, Video

If you’re interested in seeing where your players come from, you can consider AppLovin, as that’s one of its features that isn’t seen that often. Besides allowing to track the fill rate and eCPM by country, AppLovin has a couple of other interesting features, including full-screen ads, which apparently make more money than banner ads. It also allows for very low payment thresholds ($20 for PayPal), and pays up on the 15th of the month, which appears to be both awesome and rare.

vungle#5 Vungle

Supported ad formats: Video

Vungle also has a few trump cards of its own, helping the young company stand out from the bunch. One of the main features is the recently introduced Premium – a marketplace where video advertisers can find the best-performing apps and games and target them with their ads.

Another feature worth mentioning is called Vungle Creative Labs, a London-based studio of designers, artists and filmmakers that help people make great ads for their game. An SDK for Windows 10 appears to be the icing on the cake here.

It’s not without issues, though – there have been people complaining of extremely low ad revenue.

mobileCore#6 mobileCore

Supported ad formats: Interstitial, Video, Native

As part of ironSource, the founder of hugely popular installCore, mobileCore is a good solution mostly for Android game developers. Its key feature is called AppWalls – a sort of interstitials that don’t exactly cover the entire page but, as the company puts it, “appear seamlessly in the app”. It says that with such an approach, quadrupling your eCPM is not far away, but take that with a grain of salt. Some mobile game developers have praised this network, for its minimal data consumption, while others claim you cannot use it with other mobile ad networks in the game, as it will crash it.

AdColony#7 AdColony

Supported ad formats: Video

AdColony is a mobile video advertising platform – emphasis on ‘video’. Having said that, one would expect the company is best at serving video ads, and according to a couple of user reviews – it does its job very good. The network’s strongest selling point is in the fact that it can serve high-definition instant mobile pre-roll videos, no matter the internet speed or the quality of the device in use.

On the other hand, it has a few drawbacks worth mentioning – users have complained the network forces users to watch a 30-second ad before exiting, while others say the network pays only 0.5 eCPM per completed view. If users have watched a few videos without downloading something, it can even go down to 0. The network was acquired by Opera Mediaworks in 2014, a deal reportedly worth $350 million.

Supersonic_Logo#8 Supersonic

Supported ad formats: Banner, Offerwall, Video

Supersonic is a great place for advertisers looking for some ‘serious’ games – apparently the company has some high-profile clients, including EA, Hasbro and Disney. It offers mobile video, video ad mediation, interstitial ads and offerwall, which monetizes non-paying users by offering valuable offers for virtual currency. Being an ad mediation platform it, besides serving ads from its own network, serves ads from other networks as well.

It had recently merged with another giant in the mobile monetization world, the Israeli company IronSource. With more than 550 employees and revenues of more than $300 million a year – IronSource complements Supersonic, a company with 250 employees of its own, greatly.

Its biggest weakness seems to be customer support – users sometimes claim their problems aren’t heeded, unsurprising when you have 500 million global users.

Fyber Official Logo#9 Fyber

Supported ad formats: Video, Offerwall, Interstitial

Fyber was founded in Berlin 2009 as SponsorPay, and rebranded after transforming from ad revenue sources optimization company, to a one-stop shop for developers to monetize their products. One of the features it’s mostly proud of is the Auto Pilot which, as the company says itself, “automatically optimizes ad revenue sources”. With the auto-pilot feature, the developer doesn’t need to manually control the priority of ad networks, the platform does it for them.  

On the other hand, it seems to be having a lot of trouble with customer support, with users reporting frequent issues, which in many cases go unresolved. Fyber was also recently acquired by the German RNTS Media for $190 million which is interesting in that Fyber is actually the bigger company here. It won’t affect the firm’s business, though.

inmobi_logo.JPG#10 InMobi

Supported ad formats: Banner, Interstitial, Video

InMobi seems to be one of the world’s largest mobile ad networks. It’s an Indian company that has drawn most attention to itself through MIIP – an ad discovery platform. What it does is it creates something it calls “discovery zones” within apps, where advertising content is curated, and users can interact with the content to better tailor future offers to their liking. Their approach seems to be working – tech giants such as Google and Alibaba have both shown interest in investing into the company, although no deal was yet reached. According to Crunchbase, the company has more than 800 million unique visitors in more than 200 countries.

tapjoy#11 Tapjoy

Supported ad formats: Content Lock, Interstitial, Offerwall, Video

Tapjoy is above all a CPI (Cost per install) network – it rewards its users for installing games and apps that it promotes through that network. It is a popular network among advertisers as it allows fairly low bids which go as low as $0.20 per install for advertisers, and $1 per install for bigger app studios. It also allows for the customization of ads, to a certain degree. Backgrounds and text cannot be changed, obviously, but transitioning of TapJoy views for ads can. It has acquired two start-ups so far, the analytics and marketing automation firm 5Rocks, and the global social game distribution platform Viximo. It has recently hit a billion installs.

heyzap#12 Heyzap

Supported ad formats: Interstitial, Video, Banner

For some people, like the developers on this link, HeyZap is the best ad mediation platform for Android, providing very high traffic, paying great CPM, and ultimately earning the devs serious greens. Crossy Road is another good example – apparently its ad revenue jumped 94 percent thanks to HeyZap’s ad mediation. The company has also recently updated its cross promotion tools with new features which have, according to its users, made the network more powerful. An app’s default settings, including the icon, title and description can be overridden, but most importantly – you can also change the call to action. Just like Fyber, Heyzap was also recently acquired by RNTS Media for $45 million, effectively being acquired by Fyber itself. According to the press announcements and website banners, one can predict that Heyzap will eventually be merged into the Fyber brand.

startapp#13 Startapp

Supported ad formats: Exit ad, Slider, Interstitial, Banner, Native, Video

What makes Startapp somewhat special is the fact that it’s mobile-only. Its key features include interstitial ads, 3D walls, splash and slider ads. It serves ads to more than 35 million users, and works with more than 170,000 apps. It pays per application downloaded and, according to a PostZippy report, pays $50 for each 1000 app downloads.

The network has some downsides, too – their interstitials loaded one by one, for “two-three-four times at a time”, which some developers have described as ‘annoying’. Its SDK sometimes has issues with Google Play compliance, which could leave the developers hurting.

revmob#14 Revmob

Supported ad formats: Banner, Interstitial, Video, Native Button

Back in the day, Revmob was hailed as the holy grail of mobile ad networks – the hidden gem. People were pulling insane eCPMs and earning tons of money. Since then, new and (to some, better) networks have emerged, but Revmob still remains among the best of the very best. You can pull eCPMs anywhere from $1-$50, and you can get an extra boost by adding their unique native buttons as a complementary revenue source to the classic interstitial. Revmob now supports video interstitials and allows you to add a scrolling feature to show additional products. There are also rewarded video campaigns for increasing user engagement with your game.

flurry#15 Flurry Ads

Supported ad formats: Banner, Interstitial, Video

For years now, Flurry Ads has been among the top mobile ad networks available. Launched in 2005, at first it was primarily an analytics platform, but later added its own ad network. What developers seem to be particularly enjoying is the fact that it offers Ad Spaces directly in its SDK – meaning it pre-defines areas in your mobile game where the ads will be shown. Another great feature is the depth to which ad customization is possible – devs can customize how ads are served even when the campaign is live. It is a pretty big network, with more than 250 million consumers.

On the other hand, some developers say having a lot of apps clogs the analytics side: “With a portfolio that is usually between 50 and 100 apps across iOS and Android – it is incredibly difficult to keep track of how specific changes in apps affect retention and other super important metrics,” Elaine Heney of The Chocolate Lab Apps wrote.

inneractive#16 Inneractive

Supported ad formats: Banner, Video

Inneractive is a Tel Aviv-based mobile ad network that focuses primarily on native and video ads. It covers over 200 countries, and has five offices – in San Francisco, New York, London, Tel Aviv and Beijing. It supports all the major platforms, including Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8. It offers various advertising models, including CPC, CPD (cost per download), CPI and CPM, however this being a somewhat smaller network (compared to the best players in the industry), you can expect weaker eCPMs. Still, if you’re looking for ease of use, you might want to give Inneractive a try – some developers have said it’s a breeze.

NativeX_Logo#17 Native-X

Supported ad formats: Native, App Wall, Banner, Incentive, Interstitial, Rich Media, Video

Native-X is one of those companies that started as mobile ad network for apps and then switched to games, probably realizing that mobile games are awesome and everyone plays them. Its business plan is ‘hidden’ in the company name – the mobile game ads should not be intrusive – that way the chances of user interaction are higher, they believe. Such an approach has made the media praise the company, and some older case studies have shown how games using Native-X achieved impressive results. Its key features include native advertising (ads are appearing at certain points during the game, and at certain places, making it seem less intrusive and ad-driven, and more natural), advanced analytics and an all-in-one SDK.

millennial#18 Millennial Media

Supported ad formats: Banner, Interstitial, Video

Some will call Millennial Media an intrusive mobile ad network, others will call them successful. The truth is somewhere in the middle, or should I say – both realities are true. Millennial Media does not offer tons of ad formats – it goes for banners, interstitials and video and for some, that’s a problem as those types of ads (especially interstitials and videos) take over the screen and hurt the UX. Others will say Millennial Media is a successful network as these types of ads provide highest revenues possible. The network is easy to integrate and offers real-time reporting and analytics to both advertisers and developers. In September 2015 the network was acquired by AOL for $238 million. According to a report by Tech Crunch, AOL has paid $1.75/share.

leadbolt#19 Leadbolt

Supported ad formats: Audio, Video, Banner, Interstitial, Offerwall

Going into 2015 with 5 billion ads a month served, through 65,000 apps and spanning over 150 countries, it’s safe to say that Leadbolt is one of the big guys in the mobile ad networks business. It offers different types of ads, including interstitial, in-app alerts and floating ads. It has also only recently (less than a year ago) introduced video ads, as well. Its biggest advantage is having a nice, clean and user-friendly interface. Groupon, Pepsi and Walmart are among its biggest clients, and according to mMarketing, the company has an ‘above average support’.

kiip#20 Kiip

Supported ad formats: Rewards

Everyone on one side, Kiip on the other. That’s how different Kiip (pronounced: Keep) is from everyone else. Some four, five years ago, when Kiip first left stealth mode, it sent ripples through the advertising world – it called itself a ‘Rewards Network’ rather than an ad network because, as the name suggests – it doesn’t simply deliver ads – it delivers rewards. Real life rewards, too. When players achieve something in-game (level up or complete a task), they’re the happiest at that moment – and most likely to interact with a brand, they say. At that moment Kiip, through its network of clients, rewards players with things like vouchers, samples and other promotional material. Yes, real-life stuff.  

It has received $19 million in total funding to date, according to Crunchbase.

If you’re monetizing with ads it’s important to keep track of your revenue. We’ll soon be introducing unified revenue reporting which will show you in-app purchase and ad revenue.

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These are the top 20 mobile ad networks for monetizing mobile games we could find, but that doesn’t mean you should stick to them, especially if you already found one that suits your needs just fine. As a matter of fact, many developers will tell you the same thing: don’t get married to a network! You can utilize multiple networks for your mobile games, depending on what type of ads you want, and what type of mobile game you have.

Try out different combinations and play with various settings until you find something to your liking.

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Research

This post is part of a new series that explores the top mobile games created in a country. Here are the top mobile games in FinlandJapanIndiaIndonesiaBrazilChina and South Korea

(1200x600) Top 10 Israel

As we move around the globe, looking for best mobile games in different countries, the road takes us to a place some might find unusual – Israel.

Unusual, perhaps, as Israel is a tiny Middle Eastern state, compared to gaming powerstates like China or Brazil. But this country of slightly more than eight million people is home to more than 200 game companies and countless tech businesses and start-ups (including yours truly!). Its business is worth more than a billion dollars.

Some media say it ranks number one in start-ups outside the Silicon Valley, and is number one in countries per capital venture capital investment. You might compare it to Finland, also a tiny country, but at least Israel has better weather!

These figures show that the country is a big player in the industry, which is why it wasn’t that hard to find the best mobile games made in Israel. So without further ado, here’s the list:

*Interesting SDKs are courtesy of logo

kaz#10 Kazooloo

Android | iOS

Developer: Nordau Creative

The company was founded in 2012 by Andy Schwartz, and employs between 10 and 50 people. It specializes in making mobile games, and focuses on children’s games. Its most popular product is Kazooloo, an augmented reality mobile game.

Release Date: 2013
Genre: Adventure
About the game: Even though the game doesn’t have countless millions of downloads, it was praised for its innovative gameplay and the use of new technologies. Kazooloo is an augmented-reality game in which players fight dragons and other mythical creatures that appear, through the smartphone’s camera, on their desk or similar surface.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Unity  SOOMLA 

hunger#9 The Hunger Games Adventures

Android | iOS

Developer: Funtactix

The studio was founded in 2006, and has offices in Tel Aviv, New York and Los Angeles. Besides building games under its own name, the studio is also for hire, building games for other clients. It is best known for its award-winning game The Hunger Games Adventures.

Release Date: 2012
Genre: Adventure
About the game: Hunger Games Adventures is a mobile adventure game built by Funtactics, and based on the novels and movies of the same name. However, unlike the other media, this game does not show the brutal killing of children – instead it is created as a strategy / adventure game, depicting the life in District 13.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Tapjoy 
 Tune  AdColony 
 Fyber  TrialPay 

slotomania#8 Slotomania – Free Casino Slots

Android | iOS

Developer: Playtika

Playtika was such a huge success that it was acquired by Caesars Entertainment Casino Group some eight months into its existence. Allegedly, the deal was worth almost $90 million. This Israeli powerhouse also recently acquired gaming venture company Big Blue Parrot. Facebook has listed a Playtika game on its top 8 games list for 2015.

Release Date: 2011
Genre: Betting
About the game: Slotomania is a betting game with all the usual betting machines you can find in a casino. Even though it focuses mostly on slots, it also features various mini-games, like the Wheel of Fortune. The game also has a social aspect, allowing players to team up with their Facebook friends.
Interesting SDKs: 

 AppsFlyer  OrmLite 

romans#7 Romans from Mars

Android | iOS

Developer: Sidekick

Sidekick is an Israeli game development studio founded in 2010. It focuses on building games using new technologies, which is why it creates games for virtual reality headsets, Xbox’s Kinect, motion-controlled PCs and so on.

Release Date: 2013
Genre: RPG
About the game: Romans from Mars is an action / RPG game in which the player is tasked with stopping countless waves of Martians from invading Earth. Aimed with nothing but a crossbow (and a couple of spells), the player must defend his base. The game has gotten great reviews all over the Web and has been praised for its use of new technologies – it works great with virtual reality headsets.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Applifier 
 prime[31]  PlayHaven 
 Apsalar  TrialPay 

noogra#6 Noogra Nuts

Android | iOS

Developer: Bengigi

Bengigi is an indie developer studio that doesn’t build just games – it has other products as well. Even though it has made the list thanks to its addicting Noogra Nuts series, it was also praised by big media publications such as Wired, Lifehacker and CNET for creating other useful apps.

Release Date: 2012
Genre: Adventure
About the game: Noogra Nuts is an arcade game in which the player is tasked with cracking nuts using the (poor) squirrel’s head. The game employs the device’s gyroscope and features a cute little character that slightly reminds me of the squirrel from Ice Age.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  StartApp 
 Parse  AppLovin 
 mobileCore 

storm#5 Stormfall: Rise of Balur

Android | iOS

Developer: Plarium

Plarium was founded in 2009 as a developer of hardcore games for social media networks like Facebook or vKontakte. It has since expanded to mobile platforms, including iOS and Android. It employs more than 1000 people worldwide, has offices all over the world and more than 150 million registered users.

Release Date: 2015
Genre: Strategy
About the game: Stormfall: Rise of Balur is a standalone mobile strategy game. ‘Standalone’ is important here, as the game’s servers are separated from those for the Web and social media sites. It is an MMO game built for Android and iOS and features a large medieval fantasy world and state-of-the-art graphics. Players can recruit giant armies, forge alliances and enter player-versus-player battles.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Tune  Chartboost 
 Adjust 

doctor#4 Dentist Mania: Doctor X Clinic

Android | iOS

Developer: TabTale

TabTale is an Israeli game development studio with offices all around the world, including China, USA, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Ukraine. It focuses on creating mobile games for the whole family, and prides itself on having more than 850 million downloads across all its products.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: Casual
About the game: Dentist Mania: Doctor X Clinic is a children’s casual game in which kids are tasked with being “the best dentist at a crazy office”. Players get to choose their patients and fix their teeth, which includes pulling out bad ones, brushing, styling with braces and building their own toothpaste.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 AppsFlyer  InMobi 
AdColony  AppLovin 

trial#3 Trial Xtreme 3

Android | iOS

Developer: Deemedya

Deemedya is an extremely popular Israeli mobile game publisher which is most known by its racing series, Trial Xtreme. This entire list could have been made completely out of Deemedya games, as this team produced almost a dozen globally popular games.

Release Date: 2013
Genre: Racing
About the game: Trial Xtreme 3 is the third part of the series, and even though there have been newer iterations, this one has made it to the list as the best-rated and most downloaded one of the bunch. With over 50 million downloads on Android alone, it stands as one of the best Israeli mobile games ever made.
Interesting SDKs: 

 AppLovin  Chartboost 
 Applifier  prime[31] 
 Vungle 

pirate#2 Pirate Kings

Android | iOS

Developer: Jelly Button Games

Jelly Button Games is a specific mobile games studio – it was founded by five friends who have been working together for more than 10 years, and have been good friends for 20. The studio was founded in 2011, and has since then grown into an influential industry competitor.

Release Date: 2015
Genre: Casual
About the game: Pirate Kings is a combination of luck and skill, in which players are tasked with discovering, building and upgrading their pirate islands, while plundering and pillaging other players. They can do so by spinning a wheel of fortune, which then assigns them different tasks, including attacking, defending and earning in-game money.
Interesting SDKs: 

AppsFlyer  prime[31] 
Supersonic 

wosp#1 World Series of Poker – WSOP

Android | iOS

Developer: Playtika
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Card game
About the game: The WOSP is one of the best poker games out there. It features various types of poker, including Texas Hold’Em and Omaha. It also has multi-level tournaments, and players can also earn WSOP rings to climb the leaderboard. Besides, registration is not required in order to play – players can enter the game anonymously, as well.
Interesting SDKs: 

AppsFlyer 
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Announcement, Unity

(1200x600) GROWAnalytics

With 2016 come new SOOMLA dashboard features. We’re excited to release our God Mode Analytics plus two new integrations with Facebook and UnityIAP.

God Mode Analytics

Our newest feature in the dashboard lets you discover analytics of other games in the GROW network! You can search for games that are similar to yours and actually see their metrics and overlapping user behavior.God Mode

You can see other game’s analytics in ranges, however, the game itself remains anonymous.  Finding games is easy using our tag-based search.  Just start typing in the search bar and select the tags you’d like to search for.  You can see the full list of tags in our tags dictionary.

God Mode Tags

Mutual Discovery

An important part of God Mode Analytics is keeping games anonymous.  If, however, you find a game that you are particularly interested in, you can send that game a “Reveal” request.  The developer of that game can then approve your request.  Once the connection is made, fellow developers can see each others’ studio name, game name and game icon, as well as precise numbers instead of ranges in each others’ analytics.  Mutual discovery is time limited, allowing you to explore your friend’s game (given their approval) for one week, one month or a full year.

God Mode Analytics coupled with Mutual Discovery opens a whole new opportunity for data-driven game design.  With knowledge of what’s working for others, and what your users particularly do in other games, you can enhance and optimize your current game, or build the next one with new insights.

You can also find games that are super successful and decide that your new game will be similar, it’s always good to develop something you know people will like.

God Mode - Reveal Game

Integrations

GROW for Facebook

If you’re already working with the Facebook SDK for Unity in your game and want to add GROW to start collecting analytics about social events, all you have to do is import the GROW Facebook integration from the Integrations page.Integrations

You’ll be directed to a page with the integration steps:
1. Download the package.

Integration_Facebook_step1
2. Import it to your Unity project.Import GROW FB
3. Open the GROW settings.FB GrowSettingsMenu


4. Now copy & paste the Game and Environment Keys from the integration page to your project.Integration_Facebook_step25. Add the prefabs simply by clicking the button in the panel.

And you’re done, just build and run your app to start working with GROW Analytics!

GROW for UnityIAP

If you want to add GROW to your project and you’re already working with UnityIAP the integration is super simple – just like the Facebook integration. Go to the dashboard integrations page and import the UnityIAP for GROW package. From here the steps are exactly like the Facebook integration – fast and simple, enjoy!

As always, if you have any comments, ideas or questions I’d love to hear about them, just drop me a line – my inbox is always open :-)

Wanna see it before you try it? Check out our demo video to learn more about GROW and God Mode Analytics.

Watch Video

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