Mobile games publisher ‘Tamalaki‘ has been one of the most successful participants in FGL’s mobile platform and recently hit a big milestone. We caught up with Martine Spaans to chat about tech, monetization and what’s hot on mobile right now.
FGL_Brian: Before we get started, I wanted to congratulate you! You’ve hit several big milestones recently as a mobile publisher, including $10,000+ monthly mobile earnings last month. Is that $10,000 the total of what all your developers made last month?
Tamalaki: Thanks! That’s Tamalaki’s share only. Typically we take 10-20% depending on how many games a developer publishes with us. That means the developers we work with made nearly $50,000 last month.
FGL: That’s huge. You’ve also had two different games (Rory’s Restaurant and Blackstone) make it into the Google Play top 10. Do you attribute those successes to anything new that you’ve been trying recently?
Tamalaki: We’re always trying out new marketing partners and advertising partners in search for the best results. In order to succeed in this market you constantly need to reinvent your business since the ecosystem of the app stores changes so quickly. Thanks to the strong cross-promotion of all games that use the FGL Mobile Services we were able to build up a big following of Hidden Object fans over the last few months. We learned how to effectively release our marketing actions at the right moment to hit that sweet spot up in the top lists.
FGL helps us out with pretty much everything in that regard. Ad mediation layer, discovery and retention tools, QA, a complete and easy to use tracking dashboard, tech support, SDK support, distribution. All these services really free us to focus on the game and strategy of the monetization vs. all the technical requirements. On top of that, user acquisition is the HARDEST thing to achieve on mobile and FGL has lots of solutions in place to solve that. I know that if we can get the metrics right in a game then FGL can bring 100,000s of players to it.
FGL: Hidden Object games must have been hot for you last month. What kinds of games are you looking for these days?
Tamalaki: Since I started publishing in 2013 I specialized in Hidden Object games. I did try out some other kinds of games, but only the types of games that really resonate with my audience make sense for me to publish. So next to Hidden Object games I also put out Match-3 games, Point&Click Adventures, Puzzle games, Time Management, etc.
FGL: You’ve had a lot of experience with the ‘free-to-play’ game model. Any tips or advice you can pass along to the FGL developer community?
Tamalaki: Focus on your core game loop. Most F2P games are eventually about letting the player “grind” (play the same content over and over again) for more coins/points. If that becomes a boring repetition, you will lose your players.
Also, your meta-gameplay should be interesting enough, because that is where people will eventually spend some money.
FGL: Do you feel like your hits monetized appropriately in this manner?
Tamalaki: Blackstone Mysteries is a great example. The Hidden Object levels are fun to play, since they offer many different gameplay modes, level mastery challenges, a highscore list, etc. And every time it’s a surprise what reward you will get for completing a level.
Next to that the quests you get in the game are not the only meta-game system. There is also a Collections-system where you can earn Awards for completing item-collections. Check it out HERE and see what I mean
Tamalaki: Well, before we tried F2P we were mainly publishing Free games with Advertising revenue, and an ad-free premium version for 0.99USD. That worked well, but those games mainly had a beginning and an end. Once the user reaches that end, they will no longer see ads, so they will no longer monetize. This will limit the lifetime value of a player. The maximum lifetime value was 99 cents when they would buy that upgrade.
By making a game endless, you will have endless opportunities to show a player ads. That’s something we mainly discovered through the release of Home Makeover 1 & 2. Our first Hidden Object game without an ending. At some point people started emailing me “I’m at level 275. When will this game end?” At that moment we realized that people love to play on and on as long as the game allows it. And that opens up a whole new range of advertising opportunities, like showing people a video ad in exchange for some coins or extra energy.
FGL: You ended up experimenting with a Reward Video in Rory’s Restaurant, correct?
Tamalaki: Like I said in the beginning, we’re always looking for additional marketing and advertising partners to increase the benefits for the developers we work with. When we started working with an ad provider that specialized in Rewarded Videos we were happily surprised with the great results. Our players love to watch a 20-second video or to answer a few questions in order to get more playtime or some extra coins in the game. We first tried this out with Rory’s Restaurant and it really boosted the game revenue significantly. We even got complaints from players who upgraded to the premium version of the game that they were missing out on these ads now, so we actually had to update the premium version too to show these rewarded videos (which will only open when the player agrees.)
FGL: That sounds like a lot of work. How do you know which company to use? Do the videos have a consistent fill rate?
Tamalaki: Again, that is the great part about working with FGL. They handle all the technical needs, sourcing many different providers, monitoring the inventory, etc. This lets me focus on the developer and on the strategy of the monetization. Of course we’re closely in contact with FGL about all the new things and partners we can try out together.
FGL: Thanks for taking the time to share this with the community today, Martine. Is there a good way for developers to get in touch with you?
I’d like to thank Martine and the Tamalaki crew for answering our questions and sharing these stories with us. If you have any questions for Tamalaki, post them in the comments below! Know someone who would be a good candidate for the Community Spotlight? Leave a comment below, send a PM to FGL_Brian or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.