Increased Monthly Revenue +30% ($300k) & Retention +30% for Iron Throne: The Firstborn in 6 Months

The reason we work with GamerSpeak is in its name already. Any developer, especially mobile game developers, should be interested to hear what users have to say about their game, what they feel about it, all kinds of users, all power levels, different backgrounds, spending levels. The voices of all these diverse players is important to know for any game developer.

GamerSpeak’s insights into our users contributes about 30% ($300k/mo) of our revenue  and retention.

We are a Korean company, and we can guess what our North American users feel, but it’s better to hear it first hand. GamerSpeak’s community insights are very different from the insights we gather. The perspective they deliver with their sentiment reporting allows us to know what our players are really thinking and that is very important to us.

There is a huge difference between internal and external sentiment reports. When we look at sentiment we look at it through the eyes of users and developers and it’s always different in some way from the POV of a developer and user. It is important for us as developers to look at the game through the eyes of users - someone else who is not us. GamerSpeak’s reporting gives us that authentic user perspective, so we have a complete picture.

One of the biggest benefits of working with GamerSpeak is the community hub website and chat room they create and maintain for our game. The guides on the website help the players a lot and the sentiment reports GamerSpeak sends us from the chat room improve our game.

Our game design team uses GamerSpeak’s sentiment reports for certain events, game mechanics, and the interface. It saves us a lot of time on testing. For example, if we are considering some change, GamerSpeak will tell us how the community will react to that - and we might end up saying “Oh, well then we probably won’t do that” and we will save a lot of time that could have been spent on an idea. GamerSpeak bug reports also save us time because they send them very quickly and have the exact information we need, including screenshots a lot of times, that make it so we don’t have to do all the testing and searching ourselves to fix the bug.

Finally, because GamerSpeak’s work helps meet our business goals, it directly affects my personal job satisfaction and personal happiness.

Youngjun Hong

Producer, Netmarble F&C

Challenge
  • Limited knowledge of what top players are interested in.
  • Conflicting internal opinions from different departments.
  • Unreliable quality and short-term results from third-party service providers
  • Players are unsure how much of the game works, and are not confident with their purchases. No existing strategy guides.
Result
  • Players insights that led to better game design and accounts for 15-30% ($150k-$300k+/mo) of Revenue  and 30% Retention
  • 2.5+ year life-cycle support with consistently high-quality results
  • 50+ strategy guides that cover all verticals of the game and are updated monthly
  • An average of 8 GamerSpeak actionable recommendations are implemented each month for an estimated savings of $12,920/month, $155,050/year in engineering and developer costs.
Time Frame
4-6 Months
Site: Iron Throne Elite
Game: Iron Throne: The Firstborn
Client: Netmarble F&C

We attribute around 15-20% ($150k-$200k/mo) of our revenue to GamerSpeak’s customer feedback loop and community insights. 

In addition to contributing to our revenue, GamerSpeak reliably delivers results, which is really important for us. Many services deliver strong performance during the first one or two months, but their quality always drops off. Games like ours are very long term with a 1-3+ year life cycle and change a lot. We need stable and high-quality results that stick because that stabilizes our revenue and ARPDAU. GamerSpeak’s insights are a significant reason we see those stable revenue and ARPDAU numbers and that is why we keep working with them.

GamerSpeak also really knows our players. We have different kinds of players - top players, middle players, and entry-level players and it’s hard to get authentic insights from all of them. The GamerSpeak reports and comments cover all of those players, especially the middle and top players. We can reliably gather information and user sentiment from GamerSpeak for our weekly, monthly, and yearly plans.

Jihyun Seo

Head of Global Business Strategy, Netmarble F&C

 

Iron Throne: The Firstborn is a 4x mobile game that has maintained steady retention and revenue in a very competitive hardcore genre. The game launched globally on June 7th, 2018.

As of August 2020, the game maintains 60,000 DAU and daily revenue of $33,000, with 15-30% of that revenue and ARPDAU attributed to GamerSpeak’s services.

Netmarble F&C (formerly “4PLAT Inc.”) came to GamerSpeak two months before they were going to launch their first 4x title, Iron Throne: The Firstborn. They were coming in late to an extremely competitive market of 4x games from the likes of MZ, Funplus, Tap4Fun, and Elex.

To make sure they could get an edge on all those other games, they hired GamerSpeak one and half years before global launch to write up extensive breakdowns for all other top 4x games in the market. We highlighted the latest and greatest features from each game that monetized successfully, as well as the core elements that made the most successful 4x games fun.

Then, when the game was in soft launch, GamerSpeak recruited 15 influential VIP players from various 4x games who were interested in playing the first 3-dimensional 4x game to come on the market. The playtest lasted two weeks, with an average playtime of 40 hours per player, and included an extensive survey that covered every vertical and monetization feature in the game. Based on the recommendations of those VIPs, NM F&C implemented over 15 major changes into Iron Throne. One of the most successful implementations was the recommendation to incorporate layers of VIP customer support that were very clear to the player how they could earn it. This differentiation retained many VIP players who came from other games that were unclear about how to get high-quality customer support or didn’t offer it altogether.

Finally, as a late entrant into the genre, Netmarble F&C knew they needed a solid community to stand out amongst their peers. Their only competition that had up-to-date strategy guides and a very active third-party community was MZ. As such, they partnered with GamerSpeak to provide all of the same services.

Iron Throne developers were able to carve out a strong niche within the genre by being incredibly talented, creative, and fearless with their game design.

 Services Requested

  1. A GamerSpeak community hub website
  2. Engaging strategy guides
  3. Line App superuser community
  4. Detailed authentic sentiment reports
  5. Urgent bug and urgent sentiment reporting

Solution

  • Deliver accurate and filtered general sentiment from the community to all departments at Netmarble F&C
  • Deliver actionable recommendations and specific improvements to existing gameplay
  • Assist the Netmarble F&C team to proactively avoid negative sentiment by vetting new features before launch
  • Strategy guides covering general info on ALL the components of the game: all heroes, troops, gameplay styles, buildings, PVP, PvE, equipment, etc
  • Teach players the value and effect of new content, to increase the pace of adoption and thus monetization

Results

Currently, the Iron Throne Producer attributes 15- 30% of their revenue and 30% of their retention to GamerSpeak services.

At the beginning of the project, GamerSpeak GamerSpeak launched a custom community website with 16 beginner to intermediate level strategy guides for Iron Throne: The Firstborn in four weeks. Within one month, the website was generating 500 page views/day, and after 2 years the site has had over 150,000 page views.

Additionally, GamerSpeak built up a massive Line room with 500 Superuser players looking to improve their game by using the latest strategies and new features. Many of those 500 are VIP players spending over $1,000/mo. At the time of this case study, GamerSpeak manages two Line rooms with 750 daily active users.

From the authentic conversation in those rooms, GamerSpeak’s team of Gamefluencers (top players in the game who help us run the community) take detailed notes of player sentiment. They often promote deep conversations on certain topics to provide maximum fidelity to the developer and to uncover actionable recommendations the developers can use to make future improvements.

At the time of this case study (April 2021), an average of 8 GamerSpeak actionable recommendations are implemented each month for an estimated savings of $12,920/month, $155,050/year in engineering and developer costs.

Conclusion

Detailed authentic sentiment reporting and high-quality recommendations from GamerSpeak meaningfully increased revenue and retention by 30%, and stabilized LTV and engagement for “Iron Throne: The Firstborn”. This was possible because of the insights from our deep understanding of Iron Throne’s player’s at all levels, and our services to create strategy guides, a community hub, and a feedback loop.

GamerSpeak can increase revenue and retention up to 30% in 6 months or less for your game. Book a consultation to get started.

 

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GamerSpeak Recommendations Implemented