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Why Publish with TapNation: From Mobile Game Ideation to Publishing

Shweta Pakhare –July 9, 2024

Introduction

The role of a mobile game publisher revolves around various facets. Ideation, Game Development and Design, Tech, Marketing, UA, Monetization, QA, etc. Indeed the most important one must be the most obvious one: Publishing. At the heart of this creative process is the main goal of the publisher: to take the best mobile game and make it a hit in the top charts. 

This is one such question that developers and studios around the world find the most interesting: What is the publishing process? 

The production power of the publisher primarily consists of the blueprint it follows, the team, and its support (both during and after the game is published). TapNation has a team of 6 publishing managers who work with 80 studios from all over the world. Our approach is to ensure that we build long-term partnerships with experienced studios. This allows us to blend their expertise in making hit games with our own creative and data-driven approach to make the game a certified success. Moreover, what’s important is that we are equally involved in the ideation process. With over 150 prototypes per month, we’re proud to announce that more than 80% of our games’ portfolio comes from internal ideas. Especially since our venture into the hypercasual market, we have successfully published 50+ games so far. Thereby, garnering 60+ MAUs and 1,3+ billion mobile game downloads! 

The TapNation Mobile Game Blueprint

The publishing blueprint we follow at TapNation is as follows: Ideation, Sourcing, Testing & Scaling, Improving UA and Monetization, Automation, and AI. We repeat the process in the end, as the plan ensures reusability for all types of apps. To put this process in more detail:

1. Ideation and Sourcing: 

Firstly, this includes analyzing market trends, finding or conceptualizing winning games, and finally creating the mobile game concepts/pitches. With a strong market vision, we brainstorm marketable game concepts internally and collaborate with studios on pitches. Secondly, our experienced acquisition/publishing managers leverage their global reach and market knowledge to identify and connect with key studios. 

This would be the first touchpoint with connecting with new studios or developers. In this regard, we offer several types of contracts: (i) paid partnership per prototype; (ii) monthly fees; and (iii) monthly fees to cover all production costs (“burn rate”). Some contracts can be free as well. For a paid partnership contract, the average cost is around 2 / 3.5k$ per prototype.

2. Testing and Scaling:

We test using multiple platforms, including Facebook, TikTok, gaming networks, etc. There is a proprietary AB testing platform in place and the testing is cost effective. Analysis of various game metrics and KPIs such as CPI, LTV, Retention, PT, ADS per type, Playtime, etc.

The buying strategy is automatically fed by the LTV calculation. We also have automated revenue forecasting along with our scaling platform. The process involves coordinating various parties to ensure efficient testing and scaling if the product shows potential.

This includes developers integrating SDKs, adapters, tools, and trackers; setting up user acquisition campaigns on target networks and geos; configuring the monetization waterfall; and preparing creatives for the right networks. All elements must work in sync to create an optimal test and scale environment. This will ultimately allow user engagement and let game depth determine success.

3. Improve and Monetize:

We enhance user acquisition (UA) and monetization through intensive A/B testing and continuous optimization of metrics and the gaming experience. Our proprietary remote configuration and LTV optimization ensure long-term value.

Monetization strategies include in-house ROAS optimization, automated waterfall optimization, and testing new partners to maximize game profitability. Our data-driven approach and automatic monetization strategies streamline processes, making our plan adaptable for all app types. By harnessing the power of AI, we automate tasks, sharpen forecasting, guide strategic decisions, and enrich the gaming experience.

 

Proven Mobile Game Expertise

 

“Thief Puzzle,” one of our most successful games with over 270 million downloads to date, continues to improve and engage its vast audience through meticulous fine-tuning. We’ve reorganized the game’s flow, added a shop featuring rewarded videos, which boosted video ad engagement by 21%, and introduced a completion percentage to entice users to finish specific levels, increasing level completion by 15%.

Accordingly, we’ve overhauled the game’s monetization strategy, incorporating audio ads and native ads to enhance revenue while maintaining an enjoyable player experience. These enhancements ensure “Thief Puzzle remains a top choice for players and a benchmark for success in the mobile gaming industry,” says Kinsey Dardanus, our Chief Product Officer.

Production Power Exemplified

 

TapNation’s publishing managers are a highly experienced team dedicated to maximizing any studio’s capabilities. Our strong project managers guide studios throughout the process of creating hit games. This includes providing clear roadmaps for an iteration, specific concepts matching the studio’s skills, and robust project guidance.

Above all, we value long-lasting partnerships, fostering synergies between companies and individuals for optimal collaboration and successful game releases. Our result-oriented approach makes sure studios consistently deliver top-quality prototypes and projects.

With 34% of our studio collaborations being hit makers, we ensure each partnership will lead to numerous profitable titles!

Meet Our Team:

Kinsey DARDANUS: As the Chief Product Officer (CPO) of TapNation, Kinsey brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the team, driving product innovation and strategy forward.

Laetitia BELKHAMSA: As a Senior Product Manager, she collaborates with both the Internal Production team and external partners to build and release hybrid games.

Mertcan DOĞRUCAN: As a Senior Publishing Manager, Mertcan sources studios globally and assists developers in creating and publishing profitable titles. He provides essential data and design assets, helping manage studios to ensure the success of their games

Sarthak JOSHI: Senior Game Acquisition and Publishing Manager, sources studios, conducts audits on UA, monetization, and product performance, and handles price and contract negotiations. Also, he tests and iterates live products to enhance their market success.

Yang YANG: Senior Game Acquisition and Publishing Manager, identifies high-potential games, initiates contact with developers, and onboards them. He collects game data, analyzes it with the internal team, and handles proposals and negotiations. After securing a deal, he presents it to the board for approval and finalizes the agreement.

Herlinda GARCIA: Sourcing leads for acquisition and publishing, leading negotiations and closing agreements, ensuring the most optimum transfer process during all its stages. Ensuring the best communication and coordination of the whole acquisition process among all the teams.

Mobile Game Tech Powerhouse

 

TapNation boasts a suite of internally developed tech assets, enhancing game development and optimization. Our SDK offers custom tracking, analytics, AB testing, remote configuration, mediation, in-game ads, GDPR compliance, and cross-promotion functionalities. Designed for easy integration, our SDK provides modular solutions and in-house data management for independence and compliance. Our independent AB test pipeline supports all stages of the game launch, with future development aimed at speeding up the development process and enabling real-time game optimization.

The TapNation platform provides developers with tools to create, test, and launch games. It also helps conduct AB tests, analyze results, gain market insights, and manage internal game portfolios. It offers a one-stop shop for developers and internal teams. Our platform streamlines game production, communication, and test pipelines, continuously improving product skills with market insights. Future developments include funnel AB testing and performance reviews to enhance studio and publishing efforts.

Our tech tools include UA Optimizer, an AI-powered UA tool predicting LTV per source and optimizing bidding strategies, and Waterfall Optimizer, featuring custom metrics, dashboards, and ML models to optimize waterfalls. Correspondently, our cross-promotion strategy and Test Campaign Automation streamline marketing efforts, ensuring efficient and effective campaign launches across various channels.

Conclusion

TapNation’s mobile game publishing process stands out for its developer-centric approach. Because our profit-based model aims to empower studios and devs compared to most revenue-based business models. By providing guidance and support at every stage, from ideation to continuous improvement, TapNation propels studios to create successful games that people can enjoy. 

The emphasis on long-term partnerships ensures that each project receives personalized attention from our PMs and benefits from shared expertise. Additionally, our internally developed tech assets such as SDK and TapNation platform, offer developers innovative solutions for game development, testing, and optimization. Data-driven strategies and AI-powered tools enable developers to maximize game profitability and player engagement. Conclusively, TapNation emerges as a trusted partner for studios worldwide who wish to navigate the mobile game market with unshakeable confidence.

Submit your game and level up your game with us!