Goodgame Studios Builds an Empire of High Value Players

Goodgame Studios is one of Germany’s biggest online game companies. Founded in Hamburg in 2009, the studio focuses on free-to-play titles like browser-based medieval strategy game, "Goodgame Empire" and its hugely popular mobile version, "Empire: Four Kingdoms", which has 60M registered players. The company offers 12 games in 26 languages and it has over 300M registered players worldwide.

While Goodgame Studios already successfully used Facebook as its go-to platform for marketing campaigns, the developer was looking for ways to drive even more people to play and stay engaged.

Available on: iOS, Android

Requesting the best players

Goodgame Studios aims to make games with thriving, active communities of high-quality players. The team also knew that its most engaged players track their progress across various devices. Facebook Login provided a familiar and convenient way for players to register for games and to sync their progress across mobile devices. Players who logged in with Facebook offered 3X better retention than those who didn’t, and were 6X more likely to become paying players.

In the case of "Empire: Four Kingdoms", Facebook Login formed the backbone of a powerful and effective strategy to incentivize players by leveraging Facebook's Game Requests. The game's "refer-a-friend" feature, promoted via quests and graphical objects like the monument of friendship, is always visible next to a player's castle. Successful invites immediately reward the host with the app’s dedicated currency, with further bonuses received as invitees progress through the game. The players obtained via Game Requests stayed with the game for up to 5X longer than those brought in via other channels and they were up to 8X more likely to spend money in-game at some point.

The studio also leveraged the power of Facebook’s re-engagement tool, App-to-User (A2U) notifications to bring back users who'd stopped engaging with the game. To maintain the minimum threshold of 17% CTR, the team switched to the newly launched Auto-targeting feature that automatically delivers notifications to people who are most likely to engage with the game. The feature not only prevented the notifications CTRs from falling below the minimum mandatory threshold but also increased the re-activation notifications CTR by 2X.

“Building with Facebook was an easy decision for us, as people can play with their own friends instead of anonymous users. The target group is already active on the platform, and therefore has a lower entry threshold. We implemented features for four products within a year and saw immediate positive results.” - Benjamin Constantine, Senior Manager Business Operations

Loads more conversions

While launching a new game, the team noted that they were losing a large portion of its players post-install. By adding custom App Events to track registration completion and game loading, the team realized the loading time was too long and caused churn. By optimizing their loading time, they saw an immediate 45% increase in conversion from install to the game being completely loaded.

Analyze to hit KPIs

Facebook Analytics for Apps also proved vital to Goodgame’s player acquisition strategy. Using custom audiences based on App Events, Goodgame created lookalike audiences that not only drove better in-game KPIs but also showed a better conversion funnel, leading to new scaling opportunities.

Goodgame Studios’ core indicator of user quality is to see how far players advance in a game from registration to a certain level, that differs from one game to another. Based on this success metric, Facebook helped acquire some of Goodgame’s most valuable players, performing about 30% better than other paid channels.

Results

  • 3X
    higher retention of players logged in via Facebook
  • 30%
    higher engagement of players acquired via Facebook Mobile App Ads
  • 8X
    higher tendency to spend money in-game from people obtained from Game Requests
  • 2X
    increase in re-activation notifications CTR through A2U Notifications