A month ago we spoke to David Lane of Fat Fish Games as the first part of an ongoing series looking at the evolution of a mobile title, and how Swrve in particular helps at each stage in that process. Back then, things were very much in the initial launch phase - but over the past month plenty has changed!

First the good news: Bubble Heroes has now been downloaded over 170 thousand times, and all off the back of only limited paid user acquisition via Facebook in the UK. That’s a testament to the quality of the game and the word-of-mouth that has been successfully generated by the title.

But of course acquisition, as any Swrve customer knows, is only the beginning of the story. In founder David Lane’s own words:

“Obviously we’re delighted to already be dealing with significant player numbers before any significant acquisition push, but at this early stage what’s most important for us is ensuring the numbers work. The great thing about having that audience is that we can run meaningful A/B tests on game balancing and other aspects of the title that help us move the needle on retention in particular”

It’s important to ensure retention is right because the worst possible scenario for any mobile business is investing big in what is a ‘leaky bucket’: paying good money for users who fail to stick around and (hopefully) monetize. 

Fortunately for FatFish, Swrve was there to help! David again:

“Whenever you launch a new title, the monetization model is usually not much more than a set of ‘educated guesses’. The real skill is in analysing the game quickly and being able to react to what you see. That’s where Swrve really helps us. We were initially interested in improving retention rate, and set ourselves initial targets for the usual Day 1, 7 and 30 retention rates. Our initial analysis suggested we were coming in a little short of those targets. In addition we used Swrve’s cohort analysis to identify that most users were spending most of their money in the first 7 days: which made improving the D7 retention rate even more important. With that in mind we used Swrve to run a series of A/B tests relating to the amount of currency the user starts with and the difficulty of certain levels. As expected, making some of the levels slightly easier allowed users to progress further and improved our retention rates - in some instances by 3 or 4 percentage points.”

Based on these adjustments, the latest update of Bubble Heroes, due this month, will deliver a significantly less leaky bucket - and will be ready for a real acquisition push!