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User Acquisition in a Crowded Mobile Gaming Market

User Acquisition in a Crowded Mobile Game Market

In the highly competitive mobile gaming sector, developers face the challenge of distinguishing their games amid a flood of new releases. The mobile game industry’s projected growth to $173.60 billion in 2023 and an expected increase to $222.7 billion by 2027 underscores its significance. Given the vast array of mobile gaming options available to players, capturing attention and acquiring new players in this crowded market remains a significant challenge.
The increasing popularity of mobile gaming highlights the importance of integrating mobile marketing into overall marketing strategies. As more people engage in mobile gaming, businesses must seamlessly incorporate marketing efforts within these games to enhance user acquisition.

Mobile Gaming’s User Acquisition Journey

To effectively address these challenges, gaining a deep understanding of mobile game players is crucial. We’ve narrowed down the essential stages, emphasizing their significance and the strategies involved, which mobile game developers should prioritize in their user acquisition journey within a mobile environment, down to three key focal points:
Phase 1: Identifying Target Mobile Game Players
– Significance
In today’s bustling mobile gaming market, where as of Q3 in 2022 the Google Play Store boasts an impressive 490,267 gaming apps, and the Apple App Store isn’t far behind with approximately 208,360 gaming apps. The competition is fierce, with millions of players worldwide, navigating this saturated landscape is highly challenging for mobile game developers. To thrive in this environment, it is absolutely essential for developers to accurately identify their target audience right from the early stages of game development. Taking the approach of assuming everyone as a potential customer is not only unproductive but can also lead to a misallocation of precious time, energy, and financial resources. Such mismanagement can ultimately result in an unsatisfactory Return on Investment (ROI).
The identification of the right mobile game players holds the power to influence various critical aspects of your game, including the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, the features of your mobile app, and, perhaps most importantly, your marketing and cost strategies. It can also significantly impact the speed at which your app scales its user base.
– Strategy
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) Prediction. This metric does not merely focus on the immediate value of a mobile game player; rather, it estimates their total long-term impact, accounting for repeat purchases, loyalty, and word-of-mouth referrals.
Mobile game developers employ two main approaches for calculating or predicting CLV:
  • Curve-Fitting: This method employs mathematical functions to accurately model and predict trends in historical data, offering insights into user patterns of mobile game players.
  • Machine Learning: Machine Learning utilizes algorithms that learn from data and make predictions, allowing for adaptive and more precise forecasting of mobile game players’ patterns and relationships.
Phase 2: Driving User Engagement in Mobile Game Marketing
– Significance
This stage is absolutely pivotal, as it’s where potential mobile game players make the crucial decision to give a game a try, and continue to play the game in the long run. The ability to harness interactive and engaging content to pique the interest of mobile gamers is vital for developers aiming to raise awareness and entice players to dive into their games. It can potentially increase a game’s visibility and keep players engaged, thus fostering a sense of loyalty and increasing player retention.
– Strategy
User-generated Content: One such approach can be through encouraging user-generated content (UGC). UGC is a powerful tool for game developers and marketers to acquire users. It has the potential to go viral and can help build awareness, authenticity, and trust among players. It can take place in various forms, but more often associated with trending social media platforms where users can easily create viral content on. UGC can be done in a few ways:
  • Utilizing hashtag challenges to highlight key gaming elements
  • Encouraging players to create UGC for incentives like in-game rewards
  • Promoting players who created UGC to give them attention and recognition
Interactive Content: Another approach could be done through interactive content. Crafting compelling content such as videos, infographics, and leveraging current trends like Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) to captivate and educate potential players about your game.
Mobile game developers can leverage immersive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to enhance engagement. In an Infosys article, we can see that the VR gaming revenue is projected to reach $2.4 billion by 2024, and the global AR gaming market is expected to grow from $8.4 billion in 2022 to $43.1 billion by 2028, showcasing a 30.2% CAGR during 2023-2028. These immersive technologies offer highly interactive and engaging user experiences, fostering deep connections and higher engagement rates.
Phase 3: Driving Conversion with Cost Efficiency
– Significance
Recently, mobile games have gained immense popularity due to their accessibility and shorter play sessions. Consequently, the mobile gaming industry is largely dominated by hyper-casual games, given their inherent characteristics. With the surge in mobile gaming’s popularity, attracting millions of global players and yielding substantial revenue, the foremost goal for hyper-casual game developers has become achieving the lowest possible marketing costs, along with the highest possible impact.
– Strategy
Short Form Videos & Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing is driving sales and revenue for various industries through social media platforms, and this does not exclude the mobile game industry. Global game influencers such as PewDiePie dominate YouTube’s gaming content and have a strong and loyal following. This provides mobile game developers a large audience to reach out to and make an impact. Studies have shown that showing that gaming influencers have 53% more loyal audiences than the average and 17% more loyal audiences compared to brands. Allowing them to provide substantial game marketing impact. Mobile game developers like Supercell creatively leveraged mobile influencer marketing during their launch of Brawl Stars to achieve 5 million registrations following the announcement of the release date and the debut of the initial video.
Here at Nativex, we start by having a deep grasp of the client’s business and their precise target mobile game players, the Nativex team strategically combines diverse marketing methods, such as cutting-edge short-form video strategies, and harnesses the potential of influencer marketing. By leveraging the credibility and reach of influencers in relevant niches, as well as the viral nature of short-form videos, this comprehensive approach enhances client ROI and cultivates a more effective and engaging marketing environment.
Localised Marketing: The ultimate objective is to enhance the mobile game player’s experience, creating a sense for the player that the product is custom-tailored to their preferences and requirements.
The absence of localization can lead to confusion or offense among your customers due to images or text in your mobile video games. Consequently, there is a high probability that they will uninstall the game from their devices.
However, localizing game marketing content for different markets can be difficult without local knowledge. At Nativex, we do this through TopWorks, our creative studio. TopWorks links businesses with over 200 global creative studios, so clients struggling to scale their marketing efforts for events can now localize their creative content and expand their range of ideas. This empowers them to optimize mobile campaign performance and leverage precise user data for future endeavors, ultimately boosting conversion rates and drove over a 111% increase in Key Performance Indicator (KPI) achievements.


In summary, understanding the mobile game user journey is vital for long-term success. By implementing the strategies above, mobile game developers can navigate challenges and secure lasting success in a competitive industry, ensuring not only short-term gains but also sustained growth and profitability.
Get in touch with Nativex today and let our experts assist you in crafting a winning marketing campaign strategy. Your success starts now.