Space Ape Games Turns to Swrve To Optimize First-time User Experience And Boost Retention

Date: January 23rd, 2014

San Francisco, Calif. — January 22, 2014 – Swrve, the leader in relationship marketing for mobile apps, today announced it is working with mobile game pioneer, Space Ape Games to help improve player retention, loyalty and in-game revenue.

Space Ape Games, a London-based mobile game developer, uses Swrve to optimize the initial on-boarding experience of their competitive combat strategy game, Samurai Siege, resulting in a 5% increase in day one retention. The company also recently used Swrve to test targeted offers resulting in a 3x increase in conversions of non-paid users to spenders. Samurai Siege is now a Top 50 grossing title and a Top 3 strategy game in multiple countries with over 3 million players.

Initially, Space Ape created a prologue battle scene to function as a tutorial. The team was convinced this unique tutorial would increase conversion and day one retention. Using Swrve, the company set up an A/B test of four versions of the tutorial, tracking day one retention and the revenue accrued from each group, along with the average number of sessions associated with each variant. 

The Swrve A/B tests demonstrated that, contrary to expectations, the prologue didn’t produce the desired results. But, with Swrve, the Space Ape team was able to make changes and identify a variant of the prologue that successfully boosted retention and bottom line revenue, and then deploy that version immediately to the live environment.

“We spoke with lots of people during development, tested our theories and came up with an epic prologue we were very proud of,” said Simon Hade, Founder of Space Ape games. “However, when we ran the A/B tests using Swrve we discovered that it did not perform as well as more traditional onboarding. We discovered that it worked better for a very specific segment of users - who happened to look a lot like us, the developers - but for the majority of people it was 2-5% worse. Swrve helped us iterate quickly to optimize the in-game experience for our users, and succeed in mobile.”

“No company with a mobile app should ever be working in the dark,” said Hugh Reynolds, CEO of Swrve. “With Swrve, companies can quickly change content from within the dashboard, like copy and images, tutorial flow, IAP prices, store layout, starting position, etc. - anything that can be controlled in the app with data. And then they can test the results of the changes in real-time. Testing everything is the only way to know which decisions will lead to meeting business objectives and which are dead ends.”

Swrve’s platform is active, allowing companies to take action rather than simply gather data. With Swrve, the people closest to the problem make human decisions about what actions to take, and can deliver active, in-app marketing campaigns. This helps companies build relationships and maximize in-app retention, conversion, and long-term revenues.

About Space Ape Games

Space Ape Games is a Mobile / Social Gaming startup founded in 2012. It is a small, high-performing team of gaming industry veterans with a track record of creating repeat hits and big aspirations to make the highest quality and most successful games on your smart phone and tablet. Space Ape has raised $4.4 million from some of the most successful and experienced people in gaming including Accel Partners, Initial Capital, Northzone, Connect Ventures and Gigi Levy. The company is highly profitable and employs 32 people in their Central London studio.