Apple’s new policy and the release of iOS 14.5 have already had a big impact on the mobile market. They affected not only advertising, but also affected game design and monetization. Joel Julkunen, Vice President of game analytics at GameRefinery, spoke about these trends.State of Survival

Crossing hardcore and casual games

Traditionally, casual and hardcore titles attracted different audiences and differed from each other both in their approach to storytelling and in a long game session.

  • Now iOS developers are forced to implement hybrid mechanics to attract a wide audience.Yulkunen gives an example of mobile strategies in which elements from other genres appear.
  • This happened with the State of Survival from KingsGroup — it added faster battles and the ability to develop individual heroes. This approach adds an additional level of gameplay to the genre that is attractive to casual users.Hybridization occurs not only at the level of mechanics, but also at the level of visual.
  • We are used to the fact that midcore and hardcore games are made in a more “adult” and realistic style. However, in projects like Rise of Kingdoms and Top War, cartoon and more casual art began to appear. This helps attract a less hardcore audience.Balance between in-game purchases and advertising

After the release of iOS 14.5, many users began to prohibit applications from tracking their data.

  • Because of this, they are no longer shown personalized advertising, which leads to a decrease in developer revenue.Publishers focused on embedded advertising have begun to increase the amount of advertising in their games.
  • In this way they hope to compensate for the loss of revenue. However, too many banners and commercials can alienate players.Now such companies are trying to find the optimal amount of advertising that would not lead to an outflow of users.
  • According to Yulkunen, this is an extremely difficult task.Other developers and publishers have set their sights on finding new ways to monetize their games.
  • The best option is cosmetic items that allow players to express themselves, but do not affect the gameplay. Another popular way is combat passes, which are increasingly appearing in casual games like Royal Match, Pop! Slots and Dragon City Mobile.Increased attention to LiveOps

After changing the rules regarding IDFA, companies can no longer easily retarget users and return them to their games.

  • That is why the most important task is to retain the already attracted players.According to Yulkunen, companies today should pay as much attention as possible to LiveOps and CRM systems, as well as look for new ways to automate marketing.
  • This is especially important for casual game publishers.Now it has become much more difficult to retain users by simply adding new levels to the game.
  • Developers should provide players with special offers and special content that will make them come back to the game again and again.Other changes

With the new IDFA policy, the time window during which marketers can evaluate the effectiveness of an advertising campaign has also been reduced.

  • When using SKAdNetwork, they only have 24 hours to track all user interactions with the game after installation.This means that developers need to involve new users in their games in this small window.
  • To do this, some companies are now trying to speed up the process of training new players and immerse them in the main gameplay as quickly as possible.Yulkunen notes that the industry has yet to feel all the consequences of the policy changes regarding IDFA.
  • However, we can say for sure that the most flexible and creative developers who are not afraid to experiment and look for new ways to adapt to the new realities of the market will achieve success.