Founded in 2009, and headquartered in Victoria, BC, KIXEYE develops and publishes massively multiplayer online real-time strategy games (MMORTS) for computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Following a reorganization, Kixeye was left without an internal team with deep growth marketing expertise. They found themselves reliant on an external agency that could not deliver the results demanded by stakeholders. Hyper was hired to transition Kixeye off their agency dependence and overhaul their performance marketing execution by becoming their internal growth team.
Our first task was to salvage performance for Rise of Firstborn, a mature game that Kixeye had acquired from Netmarble. Hyper was tasked with the following mission:
For Hyper, any agency transition first begins with analysis. While it was understood Kixeye's existing agency was not driving the impact needed, Hyper needed to dig a bit deeper to understand exactly why. After reverse engineering the agency's current strategy, campaign inputs, and cohort data, we discovered two material factors that were inhibiting Kixeye from hitting its goals: Campaign Strategy & Customer Segmentation.
The campaign setup deployed by the existing agency was entirely reliant on Meta Advantage+ app campaigns (automated app ads), optimizing exclusively for ROAS. While this campaign type can produce significant results, in this case, the primary benefit was to the existing agency, as these campaign types require virtually zero maintenance and are extremely simple to set up. As a best practice, Hyper users AAA ROAS campaigns layered into a broader mix and never as the sole traffic source.
Rise of Firstborn's existing paid campaigns were concentrated to ~3 countries despite having a global footprint of organic usage. The existing agency's strategy failed to account for the fact that, as a 4x game, a high rate of CCU was essential to convert and retain paying users. By diving deep into the game's core progression events, Hyper used probabilistic modeling to add 79 countries to targeting and segmented 82 countries into 3 separate tiers.
Hyper was ready to reignite Kixeye's growth by launching new campaigns focused on optimizing specific app events in the new segmentation tiers. The new campaign setup looked something like this:
Focused on campaigns optimizing to the bottom of the funnel. This served as the primary driver of the broader cohort’s revenue and lifted the overall ROAS.
Focused on campaigns optimizing for mid-funnel. This tier had a lower absolute contribution to revenue as a whole, but also proportionally lower CPIs, so it served as a driving force of CCU & DAU.
Focused on campaigns that balance install volume & retention. We think about Tier 3 as a necessary loss-lead to drive CCU. In short, Tier 3 cohorts keep Tiers 1 & 2 happy.
Over the course of 3 months, Hyper delivered impressive results for Kixeye. By leveraging a diversified campaign setup focused on specific app events in segmented by country, Hyper was able to generate a massive improvement in D180 ROAS and the time to break even for performance marketing spend.
From starting points of 86% for iOS and 165% for Android 180-day ROAS, Hyper was able to significantly lift ROAS while scaling and turning iOS campaigns profitable for the first time within Kixeye's target window of 180 days.
Not only did Hyper significantly lift ROAS, but we also helped Kixeye to find cashflow efficiency in their performance marketing spend. From a base time to break-even point of 231 days on iOS and 148 days on Android, we were able to reduce this to 29 and 24 days, respectively. By helping Kixeye realize marketing breakeven 86% faster, Hyper enabled them to scale faster and with renewed confidence.
By going deep into the product data, Hyper was able to align a bespoke campaign strategy that aligned with the demands of Kixeye's stakeholders. We helped to break down the relationship between CCU and ROAS into actionable segments by leveraging our data-driven approach. This allowed for a break from an ineffective agency and laid the groundwork for Kixeye to reestablish an internal growth practice chaired by Hyper.
Hyper outperformed Kixeye's initial expectations and enabled them to scale with renewed confidence in the future. Kixeye was impressed with the results provided by the Hyper team and expanded our relationship across all existing titles to revitalize and extend scaled growth for their legacy titles.