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#1: An Update on Coin Master’s Performance

Coin Master
Source: Coin Master

A couple of weeks ago we went through Moon Active's acquisition of Zen Match and briefly analyzed Moon Active's current portfolio. One thing that caught our attention at the time was Moon Active’s flagship app, Coin Master (a PvP social casino game), and its attention-grabbing performance.

Like many games, Coin Master experienced a surge of downloads and a significant revenue increase over 2020 (during COVID), but it failed to keep installs at the same level when lockdown restrictions ended and ATT restrictions began. However, despite a serious decline in downloads and a decline in the overall market, Coin Master has managed to maintain its revenue. Graph

In the short-term, this would be expected from an app with good retention rates (Coin Master's D90 is around 9.5%). Nevertheless, more than 20 months have passed since the installment decline began, and revenue has not only maintained but has actually been rising steadily over 2022, getting close to its COVID-level all-time highs again. 

The trend, however, differs when looking at different platforms, as we can see in the revenue split charts below: Graph

As you can see, revenue growth comes mainly from Android users (the blue section). Revenue from iOS (the purple section), on the other hand, has declined, especially after the implementation of new privacy regulations. Downloads have been relatively steady for both platforms, leading us to believe that lower-quality acquired iOS users are behind the market disparity. Graph

Nonetheless, RPD has grown in both platforms, albeit at a lower rate in iOS, with Android's RPD going up 25% from 2021 to 2022, and iOS's RPD going up 14%. It’s also worth noting that the long-term retention rates on Android are higher than iOS (iOS is around 5% lower for D7 and 20% lower for D90), which can also have an impact on RPD differences. 

That said, we can’t see many changes in Coin Master's UA data during this time, which leads us to believe that the broader monetization increase likely came from structural changes in the app, but what could they be? We’ll dig into recent app updates, but before we do that let's quickly set some context on what Coin Master's feature roadmap strategy has been in the past. 

As an app with a simple core gameplay experience, Coin Master has always relied on several interconnected events and features to raise engagement and monetization, which is also the go-to strategy for less casual casino apps. It has taken inspiration from casual games, particularly puzzle, match, and simulation, for its live-ops events, social features, and mechanics. The app has also borrowed must-have mechanics from casino, such as collectibles albums (a Playtika staple). The combination of those resulted in an app with several layers of short-, mid-, and long-term goals boosting most of the features and events present in casual and casino games, such as teams, minigames, collections, lootboxes, missions, tournament, piggy bank, and many others. 

Coin Master's most recent updates follow a similar pattern, and our research leads us to the following chart:


Another inspiration from casual games is the implementation of monetization features like a battle pass, hard currency, and social features like leagues — all within the past 6 months! Coin Master also follows lessons from slot's best-in-class collectibles mechanics, adding extra layers of seasonal goals and rarity to the collection. All are paired with distinct new live-ops events. 

It is hard to pinpoint what exactly is behind Coin Master's growth, although all the recent additions certainly add up. Given the critical importance of collectibles in slots monetization and the impact of battle pass offers in other genres, it is likely that those changes positively affected the app. Can Coin Master keep up with the growth in monetization in the near future? It will likely manage in the next few months, but we should expect the app to struggle soon thereafter. 

Given the impact of IDFA on the game's revenue in iOS, it is likely that Google's Privacy Sandbox coming to Android will also hurt Coin Master. Considering that Android is now a significant contributor to the app’s revenue growth, this is likely not great news. 

Additionally, there are plenty of new competitors on the market. For now, Coin Master holds a significant advantage, and it will likely be difficult for new entrants to steal users from the top-grossing title. However, new apps that bring enough differentiation and gamification to the core gameplay could pose an eventual threat and chip away market share. 

Finally, Coin Master has implemented most, if not all, of the engagement and monetization features present in casual and casino games, leaving it with little obvious improvements to add in the long-term. Nevertheless, considering the game's unique social component, there might still be room for growth in terms of multiplayer features, such as synchronous PvP. It will be up to Moon Active to figure out how to translate those mechanics to a heavily casual non-skill-based app. 

Game Launch Radar

#1: Subway Surfers Blast 

Source: Youtube
  • Publisher: Sybo
  • State: Soft Launch 
  • Territories: Philippines, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, UK
  • Classification:  Puzzle - Match-3/Blast 
  • Quick thoughts:
    • Subway Surfers Blast features a blast gameplay with a very light renovation meta:
      • Similar to other puzzle & decorate titles, players blast through levels to earn stars, which are then used to complete renovation tasks. The renovation meta is very light, similar to Merge Mansion, and players don’t have any choices when it comes to decoration. 
      • The game stands out because it soft-launched with some layers of social features like teams and leaderboards. 
      • Additionally, it also brings a feature from Candy Crush Friends Saga: characters with different abilities that help players complete the levels. 
      • You can watch a video of the gameplay here
    • This is not Sybo’s first attempt at the puzzle genre. The company released a match-3 title, Subway Surfers Match, less than a year ago. So far, the game has struggled to scale and monetize. The company’s new attempt at the genre shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor, like portrait mode gameplay, social features, and light renovation meta.
    • The main differentiator is its blast gameplay, which could be Sybo’s strategy of putting eggs in different baskets. 
    • However, given that the blast & decorate subgenre is less saturated than the match-3 one and that Sybo seems to have put more work into polishing its newest app, this could be a sign that the company learned some hard lessons with the launch of its first puzzle app. 

#2: Pucca Puzzle Adventure 

Pucca Puzzle Adventure
Source: Pocket Gamer 
  • Publisher: TakeOne Company 
  • State: Global Launch 
  • Territories: Worldwide 
  • Classification:  RPG - Puzzle RPG 
  • Quick thoughts:
    • Pucca Puzzle Adventure brings a puzzle RPG gameplay featuring the Pucca IP and cartoon art style:
      • As with other puzzle RPG games, players play match-3 levels to destroy NPC enemies and charge the special abilities of their assembled team of heroes. 
      • The game uses the characters from the Pucca IP as heroes to be collected. Additionally, TakeOne Company also uses characters from BTS World — another IP game developed by the team.
      • You can watch a video of the gameplay here.
    • The choice of IPs and the complexity of features and live-ops systems suggest that East Asia will be a target market for the game. However, as with the BTS IP, Pucca has experienced popularity in the West during its early days, and given that the game’s UI is not as cumbersome as expected in East Asian games, Pucca Puzzle Adventure might also perform well in the Western market. 
    • Males represent a clear majority of players in the puzzle RPG subgenre. Pucca Puzzle Adventure, however, brings an IP and art style that could easily cater to the female audience, which could either lead to the game struggling to target its main audience or prove to be a differentiator to attract new players to the segment. 

Other Game Announcements

  • Supercell reveals IP mash-up, Squad Busters. Link
  • From January 30th, Fortnite will be 18+ on iOS and Google Play. Link
  • Flexion to publish Hill Climb Racing on alternative app stores. Link
  • Square Enix to shutter Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai: A Hero's Bond. Link
  • Tennis Clash named the official mobile game of Roland-Garros. Link
  • Nexon to discontinue Argent Twilight development as it fails to meet quality standards. Link
  • Devolver Tumble Time is released globally. Link
  • Avatar Generations launches globally on iOS and Android. Link
  •, Loaded, creators team up for streamer-led racing game. Link

Company Announcements

  • Supercell’s Everdale set to be resurrected at Merge Mansion maker Metacore. Link
  • Snowprint Studios hires ex-Miniclip talent as new CMO. Link
  • UK mobile dev Kwalee hits 1B total installs. Link
  • Google veteran Tian Lim appointed Roblox’s vice president of product for the Creator Group. Link
  • MGVC begins 2023 investments by investing in two European studios. Link
  • Voldex announces new funding round for its user-generated content. Link

Ecosystem Announcements

Walmart Land
Source: Techcrunch
  • Grilla raises $3M for skill-based gaming tournament platform. Link
  • CoreWeave buys Conductor Technologies for cloud-based GPUs for media and entertainment. Link
  • Android has a 71% share of all ads traffic. Link
  • Unity and Google expand partnership to boost game development. Link
  • Consumer advocacy groups want Walmart’s Roblox game audited for ‘stealth marketing’ to kids. Link
  • Adjoe plans to open up new markets as it hires fresh management team. Link
  • Bidstack launches dedicated Sports Division and partnership with SimWin Sports. Link
  • No women are among the 400 highest-earning esports players. Link

Content Worth Consuming

  • The Mobile Games Industry In the Year 2023 (Deconstructor of Fun): “Welcome to our annual, highly anticipated prediction series. Unlike the years before, we decided to really leverage our fantastic community of senior games industry folks to present you with trends that will shape our industry during the year. And we spiced things up by voting on the likelihood of each prediction.” Link
  • Performance-Driven Mobile Ad Trends (AppLovin): “Take a closer look at trends that drive the highest ROI for your creative strategy and identify opportunities through our analytics and performance data to elevate your campaigns. We drill down into the top creative concepts — along with add-on variables — to optimize your creative strategy in advertising.” Link
  • Episode 42: Marveling at Marvel Snap (Game Refinery Podcast): “What makes Marvel Snap such a hit? In this episode of the Mobile GameDev Playbook, we review Marvel Snap’s success, key features, and the first major update. We also discuss the game’s monetization, thoughts on its future, and the overall CCG genre.” Link
  • Mobile Games Industry Trends 2023: Revenue models (Pocket Gamer): “MobileGroove's Peggy Anne Salz looks at the hottest new ways to monetize games, from subscription models to independent game stores.” Link
  • Where are people going to advertise games in 2023? ( “Gamesight CEO Adam Lieb and CMO Nicole Yang share their views on trends across platforms from TikTok to Twitter to Reddit.” Link

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