Marketing expert Eric Seufert spoke about five trends that will manifest themselves in the mobile games market in 2022. The analyst believes that Apple and Google will oppose titles with the play-to-earn model, and developers will begin to actively optimize their projects and advertising strategies for Android.There will be no games with the play-to-earn model in mobile stores

Seifert is convinced that in 2022, platform holders will not let titles based entirely on the “play to earn” model into their stores.

Usually they mean blockchain games or projects containing NFT.

The main reason is that the concept of Web3 (decentralized Internet) is a “curse for mobile stores”. These platforms are fully centralized and vertically integrated into the businesses of Google, Apple and other operators.

The problem of games with the “play to earn” model is especially acute for Apple. If she allows similar projects in the App Store, she will begin to lose control over purchases and favorite other transactions.

Seifert is confident that such a model will not become dominant in the mobile games market. However, the potential appearance of such games on iOS may set a precedent for the emergence and development of off-platform transactions. Apple is unlikely to volunteer for this.

Switching attention from mobile stores as the only source of monetizationThis point is partly related to the previous one.

Apple is still adamant about any ways to circumvent the App Store commission. Seifert believes that the company’s special program for small businesses (developers with an income of less than $1 million a year will be able to count on a commission reduction of up to 15%) was only a PR move, albeit a genius one.

At the same time, last year the court issued a verdict in the case of Apple and Epic Games. He ordered the Cupertino company to allow developers to leave links to alternative payment methods outside the App Store. However, the decision was eventually suspended indefinitely.

Interestingly, at the same time, Google is reluctant to speak out about the future of web payments on its platform. Now such payment options are still officially banned on Android.

Seifert still believes that this year Apple will be forced to agree with this verdict. Many developers will surely take advantage of the opportunity to add links to applications. However, the analyst is convinced that the new payment methods will not have a significant impact on the revenue dynamics of the mobile market. If it was worth fighting with platform commissions, it should have been done much earlier.

At the same time, Seifert notes that in 2022 more companies will look for new monetization opportunities outside of stores. As an example, he cites Meta, which launched the Pac-Man Community game on the Facebook Gaming platform, bypassing other sites. The company also has a Stars Store where users can buy stars (gifts/donations for streamers) in the Facebook app without paying a commission to Apple or Google.

Game portfolio management and network development for cross-promotionSo far, very few major mobile developers have implemented promotion systems between games from their catalog.

There are many reasons for this, including the large size of the portfolio needed to cover potential costs, and the difficulties associated with redirecting active users between games.

According to Seyfert, the situation will change this year.

Firstly, in the second half of 2021, there was a trend towards operational convergence of companies engaged in advertising and directly developing mobile games. Thus, when a developer company buys an advertising network/platform (or vice versa), its main goal is to develop cross-promotion and profit from this model.

Secondly, due to changes in the mobile advertising market, cross-promo between games from its portfolio is becoming one of the few outlets for developers. After the introduction of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, attracting users to iOS has become less effective. Cross-promotion allows you to calculate LTV for several games at once and use data for UA.

The return of the IP licensing trendSeifert believes that the appearance of ATT will cause a new surge of interest in IP licensing in the mobile games market.

In particular, this is due to the fact that some large companies began to rely on brand marketing after changes in the iOS market.

It is important to understand that for any studio, the approach to buying franchise licenses should be a fully developed strategy. By itself, a popular brand is not a panacea, since it will not necessarily increase the findability of games in the store and does not guarantee a big discussion in the media field.

According to Seifert, gaming companies should consider IP licensing as a tool to increase the effectiveness of performance marketing. To do this, you need to answer a number of questions. For example, is a certain brand combined with the chosen game mechanics? How suitable is this or that IP for the target audience? How much money should be spent to attract users to the game for a certain franchise?

At the same time, most companies still believe that a large brand by itself will generate a high level of discussion and organic traffic. This approach, according to Seyfert, is erroneous.

Choosing Android as a priority development platformSeifert believes that Android will ultimately benefit from the introduction of ATT, which has created problems with the distribution of games on iOS.

If some developers do not choose Android as the main platform, they will start using separate strategies for this platform.

On the one hand, Google will certainly continue to create advertising tools that will help developers extract more benefits from the difficulties that have developed in the iOS market. This will further widen the gap between the platforms.

On the other hand, Google is also preparing to introduce new privacy rules. However, so far they look much less rigid compared to Apple (Seifert calls them “ATT Lite”).

For this reason, developers may wonder which platform they want to optimize their games and advertising strategies for. On iOS, attracting an audience has become much more difficult and expensive than a year ago. But there are chances that advertising opportunities on Android will become more effective over time.

Another reason is the proliferation of Android devices in developing countries. For many developers, regions like India, Brazil and Nigeria are becoming much more attractive and promising. In these countries, Android devices are in a dominant position, and the share of iOS is falling.