“A companion app for Apple Watch has increased Mirrors of Albion’s ARPDAU and quadrupled the number of game sessions played by Apple Watch users” told Andrey Ivashentsev, Innovation Director at Game Insight, at the White Nights Moscow 2016 conference.
Hi! In your report at White Nights, you mentioned that you saw a profound increase in the metrics of Mirrors of Albion, your hidden object game set in London and featuring kitties. Could you elaborate on how your company managed to achieve that?
For starters, we have been experimenting with new functionality options offered by Apple as of late. Recently, we released the first companion application for our game based on Apple Watch. It’s called Alice in the Mirrors of Albion, and it’s part of the newest “Through the Looking Glass” update.
After some time, we saw that daily retention among Apple Watch users had increased four-fold. This app notifies players when their energy has refilled and allows to collect more energy chests. It turns out that those who have it installed “on their wrist” return to the game 4 times more frequently. It can mean 4 times higher income per each user.
Mirrors of Albion
Moreover, according to our statistics, 25% of Apple Watch owners are paying players. This device is an indicator that a person has some extra money to spend on amusement, and is willing to do it.
So, if you target an audience of Apple Watch owners, you already know that quarter of them are your paying players. You can make exclusive offers for them, develop motivational programs and exciting mini-games, etc. Thus your target audience will include a high percentage of “whales”.
The question is, how many of such users are there?
Obviously, their number is in direct proportion to the total number of users in your game. If it is an industry giant with thousands of players, there will be many Apple Watch owners. However, if it is a small indie title, a more viable option will be a mini-game instead of a companion app. If you go for the latter, a stable audience is a critical success factor as loyal players will be highly motivated to install an app and receive bonuses that enhance and facilitate gameplay.
Companion app functionality
Could you tell us how many downloads you have got?
I won’t reveal the numbers now. The update is in its early stages, and only 40% of players have installed it by today. Of them, 40% have an iPhone 6 or newer models.
How many Apple Watch owners among Mirrors of Albion players have installed the companion app?
About 30%. The rest have not yet installed it, despite having the device. There are many reasons why, the major one being that the “Automatically install applications” option in the Apple Watch companion is turned off. Currently, we are planning to put more effort in reminding our players that they have the unique opportunity to upload the companion app. Our present goal is to increase download rate to 50% of the number of Apple Watch users.
Impact of the companion application on game metrics (among the group of players with Apple Watch)