In the ever-evolving world of gaming, understanding and managing player interactions through technology is becoming increasingly critical. Host Devin Becker sits down with Solomon-Ruiz Lichter, Senior Director of Global Gaming at CleverTap, to delve into segmenting players, crafting personalized offers, and fostering a more engaging gaming environment. We explore the importance of live ops in maintaining a dynamic relationship with players and discuss the future of this practice, emphasizing the potential for AI and machine learning to revolutionize the way developers understand and improve player interactions. 

Solomon shares insights on customizing offers for various player types, including 'whales', and strategies for converting non-spenders into spenders through targeted, personalized approaches. We also dig into the integration of AI and ML in live ops content creation, highlighting how these technologies can enhance productivity and tailor content more closely to player preferences. The potential for user-generated content (UGC) in shaping the gaming landscape is also discussed, alongside strategies for balancing the retention of long-term players with the acquisition of new ones. This episode promises a thorough exploration of how cutting-edge technology and strategic management can together sculpt the future of gaming.


We’d also like to thank Nexus for making this episode possible! Nexus’s creator program in-a-box makes it easy for game devs to build and manage a world-class creator program, driving significant growth in conversion, ARPPU, retention, and LTV. To learn more, go to

This transcript is machine-generated, and we apologize for any errors.

Devin: Hello everyone, I'm your host Devin Becker and today I'm delighted to be joined by Solomon Ruiz Lichter, the Senior Director of Global Gaming at Clevertap, a platform for player engagement and in game monetization.

Today we're going to explore what live service means specifically from a player engagement standpoint. So Solomon, could you start by going over your background, the origin of Clevertap, and what Clevertap does today?

Solomon: Yeah, of course. Devin, happy to. So I've been in the enterprise software, go to market and go to market leadership roles for about 16 years now.

I'm a bit long in the tooth, even predate SAS a little, but I've mostly worked in MarTech software and SAS. I've spent some time in professional services as well, and I've been in the mobile space for the bulk of my career. So to tell the story of CleverTap, in my role here, you actually have to tell the story of a couple of companies.

There's one. Lean Plum. Where I joined back in 2019 and I basically built the gaming book of business in North America, Lean Plum focused pretty heavily. , and intensely and supporting live ops and game management for a number of game publishers and studios in North America and Europe. And in May of 2022, we are required by CleverTap.

CleverTap is a big MarTech SaaS company in the CRM data and analytics space. They had a very large footprint in Asia and a lot of the other mobile first kind of growth markets. So today I lead the CleverTap gaming business unit, which is the consolidated solution of lean plum and clever tap. It's clever tap gaming.

So to put it in context, you have all this purpose built live ops and game management functionality from lean plum re engineered on top of this hyper scalable data segmentation analytics platform. And that's really clever tap gaming.

Devin: Okay, cool. It definitely sounds like it's had a little bit of history there.

Can you give us some successful use case examples for CleverTap in gaming specifically?

Solomon: Sure. We add value across quite a few LiveOps and LiveServices use case. For example, Tilting Point used us to effectively remove their engineering bottleneck and double their LiveOps event production rate.

EA used us to cut their limited time events, production time and execution time down from a couple of weeks to just about a couple hours mobility where, for example, use us to move from a mostly add monetized set of casual games to a more balanced in that purchase driven model and basically enabled an intern to run all their in game offers.

And this is a non technical business user. So in this market, we enable studios to execute faster. And make more money with less resources, which is a huge efficiency play. And as we all know, we're in an efficiency driven market.

Devin: So in terms of efficiency, one thing that Clevertap helps with that I find interesting and would like to know a little bit more about is why it's actually important to do a lot of things in terms of segmentation of players and offers and things like that, to actually better address specific players or specific player demographics.

Solomon: That's a good question. So I'm an old, again, MarTech veteran, and this concept of personalization has been around for a very long time. It really started with like ad tech and ad creative and then basically matriculated into e commerce on the web where it really went mainstream. But in gaming, it's really no different.

It's just more dynamic and more complex. Games are much more complex, obviously, on an order of magnitude than other mobile apps. And the flip side of that is that it's a massive opportunity to drive deeper relationships with your players. So that all starts with the relevance of offers, in my opinion, and experiences that you give them using their in game behavioral events, historical attributes, cross creating like a cross section of those as a guide for how you segment and group them.

Devin: With all that being said, what do you see as the future, the near term and the longer term future of live ops in terms of establishing that relationship with players or just driving further engagement with them.

Solomon: I kind of alluded to it already, but the future is a place where game studios and publishers get to know their players on a much deeper level than ever before.

You didn't have to do that before. But with privacy now really at the forefront, gone are the days where you can simply go out and just purchase whales via user acquisition. It's the classic kind of cheaper to keeper analogy. So that's going to require a lot of studios. In my opinion, of all sizes to be more mindful of how they mind and manage their first party data their player first party data in this market.

That's gold, right? So how you optimize and evolve game experiences for players over time. Live Ops is more of a journey than a destination. You never stop testing. It's about understanding how your players are adapting and changing over time so you can help them find their fun, regardless of what's going on in their lives.

A really smart friend of mine, a guy named Chong on who was the product leader at EA and mythical games and a bunch of other spots use this term ritualized players. That's always really stuck with me, right? So better and better live ops and game management executions put the ritualized player, which is the Holy grail segment, I think, if you will, within reach.

So you become a part of that player's daily routine in life.

Devin: Cool. Obviously if you could nail down that engagement, it becomes a lot easier to do things around monetization, but like, how should games lean into actually customizing offers for different types of players?

Whether that be like, the low spender, the dolphin, the whale, those kinds of things.

Solomon: This is a tough thing, right? But there's a huge opportunity here. I think if you look closely at battle passes, they've been really effective in targeting and converting these kind of these types of players who are maybe fairly active but are reticent to spend.

So by making the battle pass super value and quality driven around packaged offers of cosmetics, power up special access, maybe like prestige based rewards, then time boxing it all. Folks are really learning how to crack that code with the more frugal players who are hesitant to spend. And then you can obviously do the same and invert it with whales by making the package more premium for longer periods of time.

More value, more access.

Devin: You mentioned using the battle pass to help convert non spenders and spinners outside of the battle pass, which I think has become everyone's easy go to. What are some other ways? Especially with the, the kinds of tools that you guys provide to be able to help customize offers or like tweak things to potentially convert non spenders into spenders, because we're in a period where that's starting to seem a little more important.

Solomon: I think it's how you configure the battle pass, right? So maybe initially. A lot of game studios and game makers had maybe one specific battle pass based on a hypothesis about one particular player that was reticent to spend. But you don't need to have that, right? You could be powering this battle pass based on behavioral events to configure in real time, depending on a whole multitude of player events and segments that, a player could potentially fall into.

So I am going back to the battle pass again, but the battle pass is basically a packaged up offering. That can be personalized in a whole multitude of ways. And so I think it's pushing beyond maybe your first couple configurations of that battle pass and making the battle pass something that's evolving and growing over time, depending on who the player is and how they're engaging at that particular moment in the game.

Devin: So are you suggesting actually tailoring the battle pass Potentially on a, at least per player segment basis where they're actually getting different offers.

Solomon: I am. Yeah. I think battle passes live services, powering battle passes is the future. There's a few folks already doing this quite well.

It takes a lot of data. It takes some effort to set up obviously. But it's a huge opportunity.

Devin: Well, I mean, You're talking about working with a lot of data, especially for the games that have a much bigger scale and having to sift through like a lot of, even just within the free players different types of behaviors, where do you see AI and ML stuff fitting into this in terms of like both understanding, but also help improving either monetization or engagement with these players?

Solomon: So obviously this is everyone's talking about this right now, generative AI and different types of ML. It promises major improvements specifically in LiveOps. We just had an event during GDC and we had a panel. It was all focused on how LiveOps is going to or AI rather is going to reshape the future of LiveOps.

So continued investments in ML are going to be huge. in creating, say, trained models that can learn and improve over time and how studios and publishers interact with players, whether it's like a specific curated packs or battle passes or offers or access to personalized content. Humans are by nature fallible, right?

So I think ML models can ensure that game makers can provide, more of an increasingly contextual relevant experience and offer that to players over time, which is, I think it's just going to help. Build deeper and deeper relationships with players as opposed to, doing this stuff on the fly or doing it with, increased manual automate automation where you may do something that could actually turn off your player base.

Here's an opportunity to put an ML model that's going to that's going to self learn and self heal over time that drives more and more relevant. So I think it's going to be a huge opportunity. For folks.

Devin: So outside of like actually tailoring things like tailoring offers, stuff like that what potential do you see?

And obviously this is the big topic you alluded to in terms of actually tailoring content itself, meaning like customized content or generative content from AI or ML stuff in terms of like live ops content creation. Like, you know, This battle pass customized per player. Could some of that content at that battle pass then also be customized on a per player basis or created on a per segment basis?

Solomon: So from a productivity perspective, generative AI and large language models, I think, have the potential to drive big efficiencies really on an order of magnitude or the sort of kind of production busy work that has slowed studios down for many years. I think a lot of the big publishers. Almost moved in advance of this with some of their recent optimizations and riffs.

We all saw that there's been a lot of stories about that. I see generative large language models really as a productivity booster for internal automation to everyone thinks about how it can help you, serve up very relevant or like dynamically generated. Content and offers, but at the same time, think about how that could benefit and make a product manager or a live ops manager more productive, right?

More efficient, which is really what we're talking about. So imagine if an onboarding live ops manager at a new company could have inputs like game genre player segments, maybe retention rates and receive back generative on the type of events and offers to run. That's the promise I think of tech of this technology and it's all being developed right now.

People are all conceptualizing this. It's just a major efficiency booster. And again, we're in a market of efficiency. So I think a lot of folks are going to exploit this.

Devin: I guess my only concern with some of this stuff is like the potential for, with players, talking to each other through discord or Reddit or whatever, sharing that I got this offer and you didn't get that offer and things like that, where maybe, Whales are getting better offers or some of the free players that haven't converted are getting better offers to get them to spend for the first time.

Have you seen or foresee any problems with this sort of like maybe over customization in terms of players, like comparing with each other or seeing things as unfair due to that sort of like artificial equity?

Solomon: That's already been happening for years. So I don't see how that's any different from stuff that happened with Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes when they were AB testing something maybe years ago.

And then, someone who'd sunk in thousands of dollars and hours didn't get an offer that someone who didn't sink as much time in did, cause they were trying to be predictive about the specific segment. So they go to Reddit and they flame the company and all those sorts of things. That stuff's been happening forever.

So yeah, could it happen more? Given the fact that we got these generative models and an ML kind of automating all this stuff and getting smarter and smarter over time. Yes. But at the same time, in theory these things are less fallible, right? We'll say than humans. So as long as the model is good, In theory, it should cut down on those types of things, those types of those men, those types of manual or qualitative errors that happen that have dogged a lot of, makers of more core games.

Devin: Awesome. Yeah, definitely going to be interesting to see how that if that backfires or if people are like, that's cool. Yeah. People are gaming the system, playing a certain way to get certain results and stuff. And then the ML becomes itself another metagame to play. We'll see if it gets to that point, right?

Where we're all, we're all gaming Skynet

Solomon: See what we can do. Exactly. Again, like it, this stuff has been going on for a long time anyway. I don't really see it as like a, as a new risk. It's just, it creates, it's, it creates, more of these kinds of challenges at scale.

Devin: We'll change the direction slightly, just, but still related to this topic in the sense of how do you see all this fitting in with UGC, which is the other big topic right now, in terms of both players as either content creators or players as in full on developers within platforms.

Solomon: I, we don't do a lot of stuff with UGC, but I look at companies like Overwolf who are at the forefront of the movement.

It, I think it opens up a ton of opportunities. There's also a lot of risks and challenges too, right? You were alluding to a bunch of the ones on the AI side, as folks fully open up their games to UGC and even switch to models that are dependent on the community for content asset and content pipelines.

I think it introduces really tough challenges like moderation of content. And community administration, we were talking about this at our event as well. This kind of explosion of productivity, I think it brings a lot of possibilities, but there's also new risks and challenges that shouldn't be underestimated, right?

Cause I think UGC has been here for quite a while. But as it becomes more automated and it becomes layered with AI, it becomes like a serious moderation challenge.

Devin: Hopefully hopefully some of the AI and ML stuff can actually help solve that instead of just create new problems with it.

But I guess we'll see how good that is in terms of getting people gaming it. We've seen how people try and get around things like chat sensors and stuff with just creative use of asterisks or misspellings. We've seen people do all kinds of weird stuff with UGC to get around like the good old TTP problem with clever angles and things like that.

Solomon: So hopefully it'll help. Some folks on our panel actually brought up the same thing. They actually, they brought this up first and foremost as an AI use case. Because of UGC, right? So basically using AI to moderate and police UGC, but again it's not an easy thing to do.

Devin: In terms of uh, hard problems to solve, I, I got another one here, which is the try to find that balance between Serving like the long term players that have been around for a while, like the sort of veterans versus spending time and specifically focusing on onboarding and user acquisition of new players, especially as you know, that becomes more of a difficult thing on this market.

Just any general thoughts or approaches that you've seen, maybe work well or ideas.

Solomon: Yeah, I don't think there's a silver bullet, right? I'm not a game maker, but I've talked to a lot of, product, very seasoned product managers about this problem. And so my, what my friend Hunter Buckley ever at 1047 games likes to call it the PM's dilemma.

I keep pressing the smartest PMs I know for answers to this question, but the most senior folks shut it down by like saying, Hey, there's no answer. Sorry. Like it's just not that simple. It's a game design problem, right? It's a content treadmill problem. It's a growth retention and UA problem.

It's fundamentally the problem, I think. And so one of the cooler things I've seen some of our customers do just anecdotally is to, for example, use our pipeline to effectively hack the content treadmill. So you pipe in dynamic content into the game itself. So imagine a mini game that you can configure on the fly where you can engage newer, less committed, more casual players, while at the same time servicing the bigger kind of narrative meta content that the elder players are playing.

Probably looking for. So that's one example I've seen before. Ultimately there's no easy answers. It's really situational. And you need smart people who are, who can break things, experiment quickly, optimize and iterate and refine experiences. And that's where, shameless plug. That's where platforms like clever tab come into the picture.

We're a piece to the puzzle, small piece to the puzzle. But it's a big one. That's dynamically and constantly changing

Devin: With all the effort that people are tending to put into really trying to tweak onboarding and improve the first time user experience and things like that. Have you seen some good value in terms of even segmenting that player base or looking at ways to dynamically just so that you don't lose a player?

Like, you know, Ways to identify maybe potential churn and the early phase and then adjust something to be able to try and retain them.

Solomon: Yeah, again, it all comes down to. To the events that you're capturing with the player. So that's what makes what we do interesting because generally what we do is like two or three disparate solutions, right?

There's a CRM solution, which is a very mature, market, very kind of red ocean market that's been there for quite some times. Typically there's somebody, a game studio is running an internal offer system of some kind of game backend to manage more game configuration type stuff with a unified solution like us, you can actually.

In real time meaningfully intervene with those players when they're sharp, when they're starting to show those signs of disengaging, right? And then you can manipulate both the in game experience and the offers that you give the player in context with where that player is sitting in the overall, lifecycle, right?

Cause it's not a linear lifecycle. It's a feedback loop, right? It's a virtuous feedback loop. It's like, did the player make it through the fatui successfully? Did they make it through the fatui successfully? And then. Play a bunch, but never spend anything. Did they fall out of the fatui?

Did they play a bunch and spend a bunch, but then started to show signs of disengaging? I think of disengagement, I think being able to intervene and read those signals at those crucial moments is critical. And again we're a piece to the puzzle there, but it comes down to understanding your players, understanding.

What their events mean in the context of your game and your game design, and then having the tools automation in order to gracefully intervene.

Devin: Have you seen any situations in where there's potential for multiple events running at the same time, and then it's selected for, Hey, this is a new player.

So he's going to be exposed to this event. And then this other player might be exposed to this event because they're more veteran player. And actually, and I realized that's a much bigger load on live ops, right? But you're talking about the potential for. Productivity enhancements that unlocks the potential for maybe more generative or customized events.

Is there is there, have you seen that actually as a thing where they're offering that at the same time, then like showing it to the different demographics?

Solomon: Yes. There's a feature that we have in our platform designed just to, to deal with this. And it was actually brought to us by engineers.

We have customers the way they typically work or, product managers and studio in studios typically want to configure a whole bunch of behavioral triggers, right? So basically any permutation of different behavioral events Will trigger a relevant offer of some kind right in game, depending on where the player is in the overall loop and the progression state that they're experiencing.

So it's maybe it's like on the fifth race with a specific type of car, they get a specific type of power up or booster or if the player's grinding and, getting to a certain point but not able to get over the hump, you give 'em a pack to, to get 'em over that. Now that's all the kind of configured triggered stuff that I think where a lot of the money is made.

But we had a situation where these kind of limited time events that are tied to very specific, maybe IP partnerships or whatever they may be, or something going on out in the world, like the World Cup or whatever it is. These they were getting because there's so many events firing at one time. These triggered events were firing.

They were actually interrupting these very curated, limited time events that that the studio was trying to push. And so actually the developers came to us and said, Hey, we need like a set of guardrails, basically a toggle, like an SDK level that can prioritize what offer. , what offer gets actually shown depending on who that player is and so basically prioritizing the limited time event, which, a ton of effort and time and money and thought goes into as opposed to the kind of like bread and butter triggered events that are, firing at all times during the game based on, Preconceived behavioral patterns.

Devin: Perfect. I definitely would love to see like, it's one of those things where you can't see as a player very easily, right? Unless they're sharing it, you almost have to see that a bit behind the scenes. But, on that topic, and you alluded to this a little bit, and I realize this might be a little bit of a controversial question, but have you seen situations where this sort of segmentation and targeting has been used to tweak loot box results, for example?

Because obviously it's not traditional gambling, not subject to traditional gambling laws, But like manipulating loot box results, maybe at different phases or different things to either retain engagement or increase monetization, especially with stuff like, gotcha style loot boxes and other ones where it does probably favor doing certain things like that.

Solomon: I haven't seen players that have, through regular player behavior kind of game to the system. We've have seen we have some customers who have just some straight up, players that have tried to hack the client, right? And so that's a thing that happens in some of these games where the virtual economy is worth a lot of money and it could crash your economy and it really cost you, A meaningful amount of money.

And so there's different things that you can do. There's different features that we've implemented to basic, for example, do like a client to server encryption key that, that provides like a handshake to ensure that whoever that player is on the client really does indeed qualify for that specific gotcha, a box or loot crate or whatever it may be.

Because I think, in these games That are incredibly competitive and more core, you're always going to have folks trying to, game the system somehow. As live ops become more and more sophisticated, and I think that's going to happen over the next few years because of what's going on in the overall kind of U.

A. Market. You're probably going to see more features like this from providers like us because, we're ultimately helping our customers protect their revenues.

Devin: I'm also wondering about this from the developer perspective, meaning like, you know, you're talking about players gaming system, but I'm also wondering about developers gaming the system where they're altering the results of loot boxes or gotchas specifically to try and keep a player around or to get them to monetize, whether that be giving them worse results or better results, because that's a pretty common thing to at least manipulate some of the early things that you get and pity timers, like also are a well known way to more transparently manipulate.

The results. But I mean, are you seeing like some of the backend tooling being used to maybe get a little trickier with it and keep people around hopefully in a way that's maybe light touch?

Solomon: I haven't seen much of that. I know that there are things that certain, game makers and studios and publishers do that are maybe on the line in terms of coming up with ways to motivate players and players have issues with that in terms of, player fairness.

 And I think ethics right at the studio level, ultimately you have to be very careful, right? And again with the caveat that I'm not a game maker, I think there's a fine line, right? New players, studios are looking to monetize any way they can. Right now the UA environment is pretty tough.

So you may be, you may say, you may see things like this more and more. We obviously know that there's countries that have outlawed, loot boxes altogether, right? Enough players came together to complain to, to force, a big legal change in their respective country. I think that's the Netherlands in the U.

S. market, I feel like it's a little bit more, it's a little bit more open and, these types of monetization tactics while, Not loved by everyone are accepted as just, ways that these studios and publishers and game makers need to make a living.

Devin: Yeah. I've noticed that on poker games specifically, because there's so much pushback on the randomness, supposedly not being fair that they, many of them have like an RG certified logo on the, on Loading screens where they've like been certified by an outside thing, even though they're not under a gambling law, they still end up having to do that to prove or establish player trust, really, but you mentioned a user acquisition be a problem lately, and I think everyone pretty much knows at this point that Apple's ATT policy is, has had a bit of a long term effects and hasn't seemed to been completely figured out just yet in terms of how to address this.

And obviously iOS is still generally the better monetizing platform and needs to be figured out. With all that being said, what do you see as the future of getting new players or like scaling successful games, whether that be on, after you've gotten them into the Fatui or, Even prior to that, where you're doing targeting or segmentation learning that, that affects your ability to like market to players.

Solomon: Listen, I think UA is going to stay what it is, right? That, that ship has sailed and the days of whale hunting and buying cheap spinners is over, right? Apple kind of they ushered that kind of new era in and now we see, Google following with sandbox, years later.

So I think it's safe to say that the, that, that era. Is over and publishers and indie studios need to think about UA and the player funnel as a holistic journey, right? So in many ways, this is going to be good. I think for more balanced and better thought out game design because in order to grow your business, you can't focus on just the top 3 percent of your player base, right?

That's spending all the money. So I think for UA organic influencer based Partnership driven player acquisition will need to be a core focus. Tick tocks, obviously been a mainstay for a lot of publishers if they could find the right influencer and audience. But again, we need to watch the tick tock situation pretty closely.

You can't put too many eggs in that basket. But ultimately, I think it's, folks are going to have to branch out and think of more creative ways that are more expensive to acquire players.

Devin: In terms of the user acquisition, right? Like it's obviously not really changing or being less problematic to get players in, but have the privacy changes had any implications or cause any hiccups in actually doing things with the players with segmenting and things like that after they're already in the game?

Solomon: Not that I've seen. And the reason for that, I think, is that when you're dealing with players that have been acquired that are actually actively playing the game, you're dealing with first party data. And I think that there's an implicit kind of agreement there that the player understands as long as they're in the game.

And if you're segmenting them, based on that behavior that they're exhibiting and how they're performing in the game. I think that's acceptable, right? Obviously, there's a limit to everything. You alluded to some of the shenanigans that some, game designers and game makers used to keep players for longer, keep them grinding longer.

So you got to watch it there ethically. But ultimately, I think that The beauty of retention is that these are, again, it goes, it's back to the cheaper to keeper metaphor, right? That is an owned player. As long as you can keep that player engaged. And as long as you, as the game maker fulfill your end of the bargain by delivering, good content, that's engaging and new offers that are relevant and personalized and you keep the game fun.

I think there's a lot you can do there. And that's why I think ultimately, These next couple of years are going to be all about retention. It's all about shoring up UA investments because it's getting more and more expensive.

Devin: Cool. Definitely. It definitely is something that's problematic on that side of things.

And also it sounds like monetization of those users that you retain as well. Like obviously. know, if you're retaining them, but they're not spending anything that doesn't really help you attend. And actually like a quick question on that, have you seen people doing things where they're more dynamically switching between which type of monetization they're doing in the players based off their spend?

Meaning like if they're not spending any money on IAP, it's dynamically switching over to, okay, we're going to show them more ads.

Solomon: Yeah. Big time. I think that's probably the go to when you have a player that, based on your behavioral analytics, whatever that threshold is in terms of when a player is very likely to not spend when spending is very improbable.

At that point, you want to find a way to, to monetize the player. And so maybe you give them an ad or something like that or a specific rewarded video that's targeted in some way where you could capitalize that and make sure at least that you're not in the negative with that particular player.

So we see that a whole lot. I think that's a very relevant approach because ultimately, there, you have to find a way to monetize, every player. And, ads is still, a great tool if you can find a way to do it. That's, not overly intrusive or jarring to the overall player experience.

Devin: Cool. Definitely a lot of good thoughts on kind of where we're going in this just broader realm of retention and monetization. Where do you see in just in general, the most untapped opportunity in the space for game developers and any related services?

Solomon: If we could figure out the unit economics, I'd say don't sleep on the tier two and quote unquote, tier three markets.

Remember these are mobile first markets, right? And they're going to be an explosion mode as smartphones get cheaper and cheaper. And so I'd look at markets like the Philippines and Southeast Asia as time progresses. And of course, India, where the largest concentration of people on earth Africa. Is a major growth market that's hyper mobile first.

So I think we need to look at these markets, take them very seriously. And just because, the ARPU numbers don't look great today. We can't get discouraged by that. We need to extrapolate and have the vision for where games are headed and realize that everyone loves to play games. And so we just have to crack that code.

So I'm most excited about those types of markets that are just really coming online with mobile games. And I know there's a lot of naysayers out there about the unit economics of investing and targeting those markets. But I think all of this is going to sort itself out in the next few years.

Devin: So I would stay tuned. Have you seen some progress in that area? Meaning whether that be with CleverTap or whatever solution, people actually finding ways to, Hey, we can actually increase the monetization here. So it wasn't just really expensive to acquire these users for very little payback.

Solomon: Yeah, I think it's on the, all the innovation that I've seen have been on the game maker side in experimenting with with IAP values that are sub 1.

If you can do that and do it at scale and figure out ways to target those particular players in a way that's does not break the bank for their respective region and and the kind of economics of that region and the cost of living of that region and all those sorts of things.

I've, I've seen some interesting stuff. There's been a lot of talk at recent conferences about folks who have had success doing that. And I think, more folks need to be more adventurous and look to these markets. It's also a really great place to run experiments and learn about player behaviors, right?

It's not just monetization through what you can, how much ARPU you can drive or LTV you could drive through specific players. It's learning about your game at scale, right? There's a reason that a lot of these large publishers do soft launch in a lot of these markets. And I look to these markets as a great opportunity.

And as soon as we get the unit economics figured out and more folks come online with smart devices, I think you're going to see a big focus here.

Devin: Outside of monetization, have you seen, there'd be like a lot of differences in behavior, engagement, whatever, across countries so that it's relevant, when you're talking about this testing, or is it like everyone plays the same regardless?

Solomon: Oh no. I think, localization and, And that like contextual localization is a huge piece. And that's a big, piece that I think people overlook when it comes to live services and live ops, at our event during GDC, we're talking to Travis who is the CEO over at carbonated and Travis basically used AI to automate.

Automate localization in different markets. No one thought of doing that that I know of outside of Travis. And I think he did it because it's a hairy beast, right? It's a challenging problem to solve. And so if you can automate that process with localized content, that's relevant to the player base in that region, relevant to their general kind of behavioral patterns and the things you understand about them and the holiday schedule in that country.

I think you can make good things happen.

Devin: Cool. That sounds like that's already helping crack the code a little bit, right? Is that localization and both from a currency standpoint and from a demographic and appeal standpoint, right? Because I know localization was a big deal when we were talking about China originally, but I feel like outside of trying to push into those specific markets, it wasn't a huge deal.

So it definitely seems pretty useful.

Solomon: It’s so easy to, cause I'm not a game maker. It's so easy to overlook how hard localization is, right? We get a lot of questions about this from different PMs and different publishers. And I'm like, how do you handle this? And the reality is we can. We can automate the way that the content is served.

We can automate the journeys and the triggers and the way the experience is modified on the fly, but the actual localization that's a manual thing, right? That requires human intervention that requires. I'd say nuanced context for what's going on in that particular region.

Think about AI right in how AI can get smarter over time. Think about how AI could drive and enable that process. I think it's a huge opportunity. And that's why Travis is exploring it because it's just not something that humans should have to do, ultimately, or at least if we could take maybe 70 percent of the lift out of that.

I think that's a huge opportunity for a lot of game makers. Particularly ones who want to break into these other markets.

Devin: It definitely seems like the language translation could probably use a big lift there, right? But it's, it can be a lot of work if there's a lot of text in the game to translate that over, make sure that's accurate.

And maybe the process can shift from someone doing it manually to just someone proofreading what the AI does to make sure that it's good at the end and maybe speed up, like spreading out to more geos faster basis when you're trying to scale.

Solomon: Totally. I, this is the whole reason that, these large translation or localization companies exist.

This is a really tricky problem that requires a lot of services. I think, that's one space that's going to get heavily disrupted and the folks who embrace AI and that in that world are, I think, going to do some good things.

Devin: Cool. Well, I definitely wanted to thank you for the conversation today.

A lot of good insights, a lot of, I think, potential still being in the middle of being tapped on this stuff, definitely a lot of ways to go, especially with. The rise of AI and ML stuff in terms of actual productivity. So definitely look forward to a lot of that hopefully coming true, because it sounds like we kind of need it to from a financial standpoint at this point.

So very excited about that. But thanks again for for joining me for this conversation. Thanks everyone for listening. And if anyone wants to reach out to you or CleverTap where would you suggest they go to contact?

Solomon: Yeah, just drop me a note. It's a long name, but it's solomon.lichter I didn't put my hyphenated name in there. It's too much, but yeah, [email protected] or hit me up on LinkedIn. I'm easy to find. I'm getting, more and more active there as time goes by and thank you Devin and to the whole Naavik team for hosting me. Really appreciate it.

Devin: Awesome. Thanks again. And I hope you guys enjoyed the interview and we'll catch you guys next time.

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