As in my earlier posts about Wolf Toss - I'm going to push the normal boundaries of openness back a few degrees in a series of blog posts in order to share insights into one of the most active categories in social/mobile games right now - virtual casino games.
At Zipline, our studio team has been working on the casino title Slots Tycoon for the past 6 months, and the game now has a pretty reliable track record in the market. It's been shown to make predictable revenue numbers and consistently score in the 4-4.5 range for review averages from our earliest single-geography "beta" to its peak levels as a top 10 iOS / top 20 Android casino category game and well over 500,000 installs. At this point we've seen the results from players we acquired via incentivized CPI campaigns, a major app store feature, and organic traffic based on app store SEO and chart rankings.
In general, the games industry is incredibly sharing, supportive, and open. But revenue sources and numbers are an exception to this rule, and tend to be one of the more closely guarded secrets. It usually takes a pretty good friendship to get the inside scoop on what's working/not working for another developer in terms of actual dollars and cents. Well, my good friends, read on. :-)
Revenue per Platform:
Back when I wrote about Wolf Toss, one of the things I found to be interesting was that Android revenues were not that much lower than iOS revenues (maybe 20% lower), and I thought that this went against the conventional wisdom I'd heard and made a strong case that Android support is a no-brainer for independent game studios. Since then it's also become pretty well known that Kindle owners are an especially valuable bunch, that in many cases are more valuable per user than iOS users.
A few weeks ago, I had a different wake-up call with respect to revenue per platform. Slots Tycoon had posted a few weeks in which the gap between iOS and Android revenue narrowed to single digit percentages, and then it had a week where Android revenue per user was greater than iOS.
How about some numbers, Mike?
I sampled this month's Slots Tycoon revenue data for Android vs. iOS at three different dates, starting with the week in which Android revenue exceeded iOS revenue. Each sample in the table shows a comparison between the 7-day average ARPDAU (average daily revenue per daily active user) for each platform. The bottom line in this table is an average of these three samples, or essentially a 21-day average during October, 2012.
Net-net is that there's still a fair amount of weekly volatility in the Slots Tycoon revenue numbers, but each Android user is worth nearly as much as each iOS user - and in a game with very predictible monetization mechanics, the gap is even more narrow than we saw with Wolf Toss earlier this year.
How is the money made?
Here are side by side charts on how each revenue source in the game contributes to total revenue per platform:
There are week to week variances in the performance of these revenue sources too, but this 7-day average snapshot shows the overall trend that we've seen to date in Slots Tycoon: players are a little more willing to pay hard cash on iOS, but offerwalls perform vastly better on Android.
The smaller contribution due to video revenue on Android is partly attributable to different ad providers providing different eCPMs and maintaining different maximum video views per device, and it's partly due to the fact that offerwall offers are a way more compelling alternative to earn free in-game currency on Android than on iOS.
What about your games?
That's a wrap for insights related to Slots Tycoon this week. My question to readers, is "how does your mileage vary?"
Post your replies in the comments section - I'd like for this blog to be a place to share information more deeply and broadly than normal.