App Chat with Samantha at Supersonic: Winning Strategies of a Hyper-Casual Hit Maker
Learn more about Supersonic's growth strategies, recent updates, and upcoming trends in the industry.2023-05-19
With over 2.5 billion global installs, Supersonic from Unity is widely considered one of the fastest-growing hyper-casual game publishers in the industry.
In this edition of App Chat, we interview Samantha Benjamin, Director of Growth at Supersonic from Unity, to learn more about the company's growth strategies, recent updates, and upcoming trends in the industry. Don't miss out on all the insights - read on!
Inside Supersonic's Success Story in Hyper-Casual
Mintegral: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us! Supersonic is one of the fastest-growing hyper-casual game publishers. Launched just over 3 years ago, what's the secret behind your incredibly rapid growth?
Samantha: Supersonic was formed by an incredibly strong team of industry experts who came together with the passion and determination to make this work. We have a super talented R&D team who has built very powerful solutions such as our Wisdom SDK, prototyping platform, and Livegames platform, allowing our developer partners to always maximize engagement and profitability for their games. In addition, and most importantly, our secret is the strong relationship we have with our partners. We follow a white-box approach to publishing that is all about transparency and giving developers access to data, insights, and knowledge, so that together we can turn great games into profitable businesses.
Mintegral: How does Supersonic evaluate the potential success of a new hyper-casual game before launching it? On the other hand, when and how do you know if a game is no longer feasible?
Samantha: The process involves many different stages - I’ll focus on how to assess if a game has potential. Supersonic has a unique marketability testing tool which checks a game’s marketability power across multiple UA channels with the goal of finding a prototype which shows strong potential and good early in-game metrics playtime/retention. At this early stage we’re focusing on games with simple gameplay, up to around 10 levels, as developers need to know if the core mechanics and gameplay can succeed before spending more time on a game that doesn’t have potential.
During this stage we work closely with our developer partners to improve the creative assets and diversify the video concepts, aiming to decrease the CPI based on our know-how and best practices. In the prototype stage, it’s critical to not get emotionally invested in an idea. If we don’t see improvements in the metrics, we need to quickly let go of the prototype and move onto the next idea.
For prototypes that show good initial KPIs, the next stage is to focus on improving in-game metrics and continuing to test if there is a strong enough LTV to convert the marketable game idea into a scalable and profitable business.
Working with Mintegral: Effective Strategies for Growth
Mintegral: What does an effective UA strategy look like for Supersonic? How do you balance topping the charts vs. lowering UA costs?
Samantha: We focus on creating a UA strategy with a healthy spread of spend across multiple channels, and optimizing towards maximum lifetime profitability. Also, our processes are very automated. Our data science team has built an automated LTV margin optimizer tool which looks at the granular details in a campaign, such as channel/geo/siteID and places bids, via an API, according to the specific margin goals of each game. We strongly believe that automations lead to efficiency and accuracy in the world of user acquisition.
Regarding your second question, we’re less focused on where a game is placed in the charts, as long as the game is profitable. Due to the nature of hyper-casual games, scale is something that often happens naturally because of their low CPIs, but the goal is to always optimize our UA towards maximum lifetime profitability.
Mintegral: As one of your UA partners, how has Mintegral helped in achieving your UA goals?
Samantha: Mintegral has been scaling nicely in our portfolio and I believe it helped us further diversify our UA channels with good quality users and decent scale for hyper-casual game advertising.
Mintegral: Can you share your thoughts on the impact of in-app bidding technology on your games' monetization performance? With the integration with the Mintegral SDK via Unity LevelPlay, how has Mintegral helped in this aspect, especially with the average win rate of around 15%?
Samantha: In-app bidding automates optimization, maximizing ad revenue and reducing a lot of operational efforts around CPM optimizations. This allows us to focus more strategically on a game’s overall performance as opposed to dealing with operational CPM set-ups. Mintegral’s bidder was easy to implement and works really well for Supersonic.
Mintegral: Since Supersonic has achieved global success, has working with Mintegral helped you expand your global market?
Samantha: Certainly, especially in countries like China where Mintegral has a strong presence.
Mintegral: What do you think sets Mintegral apart from others in the market?
Samantha: Mintegral is a good channel for hyper-casual games, and helps us find a nice balance between scale and quality of users.
Emerging Trends: AIGC and Hybrid-Casual Games
Mintegral: ChatGPT is one of the hottest topics recently. How do you see the combination of AIGC impacting the hyper-casual gaming industry in the future?
Samantha: I believe that AI will have a huge impact in automating the mobile game creation process, reducing development costs and time, and leading to a wider variety of games available in the market. Unity recently announced that we’re building an AI marketplace to put AI-powered game-development tools in the hands of millions of creators.
Mintegral: What do you think the hyper-casual market will look like in 2023? Any particular trends you think will emerge this year?
Samantha: The hyper-casual space is evolving to include more advanced, hybrid games. These games still offer a simple gameplay that can be played by the mass audience but include a deeper economy or content that leads to longer retention. We see this in hyper-idle, hyper-merge and more sub-genres and I believe this trend will keep on growing during 2023.
We also see a large potential with AI technologies that can help in the ideation process and early stage prototyping for the hyper-casual market and beyond.
What's Next for Supersonic
Mintegral: What does 2023 look like for Supersonic? Can you share any exciting new projects or initiatives that Supersonic has in the works for 2023?
Samantha: Over the past 3 years we built Supersonic to be the go-to publisher for hyper-casual game developers. All of our games are published with external and independent developers.
We are looking at several new and exciting opportunities for 2023, while remaining focused on hyper-casual game publishing, and increasing our share of voice even further.
In February this year, we already launched a huge update to our technology stack including a level analytics tool, a crash center to check the health of a game, a sophisticated marketability prediction tool and more. Beyond hyper-casual, we recently published several hybrid-casual games, such as My Mini Mart, Merge Miner, and Traffic Jam Fever, which were based on the simplicity and mass appeal of hyper-casual games, yet with more depth in the gameplay, and the addition of IAP monetization along with ads monetization.
We had a great time talking to the Supersonic team and we’d love to talk about your successes too. Contact the Mintegral team today! Our team is ready to guide you on the path to success!