LTV will help you to earn millions of dollars on free mobile games

How to keep making money from games after release

Just recently, we told you about how to promote video games (read it here), and today, we want to tell you about another important aspect in the life support of your game – activities that increase LTV and Retention. First, let's try to find out what this incomprehensible acronym means, and what kind of “retention” we're talking about.

LTV (Lifetime Value) – a numeric value of the “life” of the player for the period in which you work with him. Roughly speaking, it is the average amount of money earned from one player during his “life” in your game.

Obviously, LTV directly affects the income of your game, because the more a player spends for his time in the game (or the more he renews his subscription from month to month), the higher your commercial success and the higher his LTV.

Most often, direct revenue comes from:

- The game/app purchase itself;

- In-game microtransactions;

- Registration of paid subscriptions.

Knowing the LTV of a client is necessary to understand the payback on the engagement and the overall business activity of the game. After all, if the LTV does not cover the cost of attracting a player, the economy of the game will be unprofitable.

One way or another, in-game purchases can be found in almost any game, and the creators have resorted to one battle pass from time to time due to its availability and easy adaptation into an already finished product, without rewriting the primary game code (you can read about the battle pass here).

Due to the high LTV revenue, many games generate tens of millions of dollars in net income, as you can see from the data published by “Logrus IT” in cooperation with “AppMagiс”.

If their statistics are to be believed, the top three mobile games with the highest LTV looks something like this:

1) A Japanese RPG for mobile devices, “Fate/Grand Order”, has an LTV of $435.

Naturally, the game is a true phenomenon in its home country, which is why a large portion of players (49%) live in Japan, while continuing to financially support “their” product with great alacrity.

In April 2022 alone, the game generated a net profit of $44 million, not bad for a game designed for mobile devices, right?

2) LTV of $324.97 and the honorable second place goes to “Lineage M”, the native line with its now iconic stories about players who spent the last money in the game at the beginning of the new millennium.

Now, the series Lineage no longer has the cult status that it had in the early noughties, but it does not prevent the series to remain popular, and financially successful game.

3) LTV of $231.54 (and revenue $11 million in May) belongs to the closing three winners “Romancing SaGa Re;universe”. A free, retro role-playing video game that, despite its accessibility (I repeat, it's free!), brings its creators a tidy multi-million dollar check every month.

As you can see, it is possible to earn millions of dollars on free mobile games. The main thing is to build the right activities that will affect LTV of your project.

Before we move on to ways to increase the LTV of your product, let's talk about what affects it directly!

What affects the LTV of your product and player?

As we said above, LTV is a numeric value of the “life” of the player for the period in which you work with him. So, if you want your product to continue generating high revenues for years to come, you just need to pay attention to the metrics that affect LTV the most.

These metrics include:

1) the longevity of the game itself (i.e. current content, daily events, publisher and community activity, and other engaging game mechanics);

2) average revenue per user of your game (ARPU);

3) revenue per paying user (ARPPU);

4) the share of users who continue to use your product, even after N number of days after the first visit. That is Retention.

These are the main levers of pressure on LTV of your product. You can increase and total LTV by increasing the values of these metrics.

So, how do you increase LTV through activity?

Don't let all the above terminology scare you. Increasing LTV is more than doable!

In order to make your player's paying capacity as high as possible during his lifetime in the game, you need to surprise and interest your player again and again.

You need to follow their feedback, paying attention to their wishes and criticism, adding new content to the game at the same time, as well as organizing in-game events.

How can you improve Retention?

Retention is the percentage of players who return to your game after the first launch!

So, how do you get them to come back again and again?

Again, it is interactive work and constant in-game challenges!

Social media promotions, newsletters, notifications, seasonal operations in games - all these activities affect player retention, which in turn directly affects the average LTV.

A check for $10 billion a year brings Fortnite into Epic Games' money box. Do you think they could have achieved those numbers if the game was still running the first season of the first chapter?

A Fortnite season lasts 7 to 17 weeks, just long enough for the gamer to get bored with the new content and the story campaign, Epic Games, in order not to lose the player, are constantly updating the game, rewriting the story and finding exciting new features and integrations that will keep them coming back for more, day after day at school!

So, what's the secret to high LTV?

The secret is a simple work with an audience that you have to constantly listen to.

Performance-integration with influencers and full-fledged in-game events will help improve Retention of the product, and therefore help raise its LTV.

Among other things, the service solution from Beyond Industries will help you build and run an in-game performance integration with the influencer without changing the game code or hiring additional staff. Each influencer has a full database of up to 50 metrics, allowing you to choose the most effective influencers even before investing in a marketing campaign.

In our experience, in-game activities not only attract new users, but also retain existing users and increase your LTV by 40%.

You'll be able to launch a full-fledged in-game activity with influencers and streamers in a single click, without rewriting and changing the primary game code. Want to know more about it?

Then go here.