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AI + Buying = Cost Reduction? The sea track was the first to roll up

Game Spinning Top 2024/07/10 10:36

In recent years, with the fierce competition in the domestic game market, going overseas has become a compulsory course for game manufacturers. However, the overseas market after the dividend fades is not an easy problem to solve. In particular, in recent years, the involution of mature markets and the implementation of iOS privacy policies have driven the cost of buying volume to continue to rise, and many game manufacturers are facing growth problems.

According to the "Research Report on Chinese Games Going Overseas" released by Gamma Data at the beginning of the year, the sales revenue of China's self-developed games in overseas markets in 2023 will be 16.366 billion US dollars, a year-on-year decrease of 5.65%. Sensor Tower data also shows that the total revenue of China's top 30 overseas mobile games is 7.8 billion US dollars, which has declined for two consecutive years.

Obviously, the game manufacturer's overseas journey has entered the "hard mode". However, the law of development has always been one of crisis and opportunity. This year, the continued popularity of AI has given overseas game manufacturers some vitality.

Especially in the game marketing track, AI has shown good potential and brought unexpected marketing effects. So how can AI help overseas manufacturers solve their growth problems? Before discussing this, we may first study the current growth difficulties of overseas game manufacturers.

Game top, AI + buy volume = cost reduction? The sea track was the first to roll up

What is the difficulty in going overseas to grow?

For game manufacturers, going overseas today is like opening an adventure game, and after a short period of "newbie benefits", you will find that the difficulty of the game has escalated, and you have to face countless new problems every time you break through. Among them, the most headache for manufacturers is:

The first is users, including how to find new traffic pools, have low-cost and high-quality users, and how to accurately locate users and achieve high conversions; The second is localization, how to break through cultural barriers, customize different marketing strategies according to the tastes of players in different countries and market demand, and deliver them accurately; The third is to reduce costs and increase efficiency, how to obtain customers at low cost and high efficiency, and how to use automated processes to reduce human resource investment.

For the above difficulties, overseas game manufacturers are targeting the blue ocean market on the one hand, such as the Middle East and North Africa. This year, iDreamSky, NetDragon, and Childtown Technology all mentioned entering the Middle East and North Africa market in their financial reports and performance meetings. On the other hand, it is to find allies in mature markets, customize localized operation strategies through platforms, and achieve efficient volume acquisition, such as cooperating with third-party platform Meta.

Meta has nearly 3.24 billion daily active users worldwide and multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. In the past two years, Guangzhou Feifan Information, Glacier Network, 4399, Hutch Games and other manufacturers have cooperated with the company, with the help of the company's digital tools and advertising solutions to deal with game localization and acquisition problems.

In terms of reducing costs and increasing efficiency, overseas manufacturers will strictly control expenses while ensuring the quality of games in the R&D stage. In the launch stage, it is no longer blindly used to play high and high, but to pursue cost performance. However, compared with the methods that are easier said than done in the past, the most effective way to solve the cost problem is AI, that is, with the help of AI's automation and intelligence, reduce repetitive work, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

Last year, games such as "Wukong M: Journey to the West", "X-HERO" and "Hero" all achieved high installation, low cost and high return through AI. Among them, the game "Wukong M: Journey to the West" has automated the entire ad creation, setting and management through one of Meta's AI-empowered advertising products (Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns, referred to as A+SC), and has a higher pre-registration rate compared to manual marketing settings.

Game top, AI + buy volume = cost reduction? The sea track was the first to roll up

According to Fei Fan Information, the overseas mobile game distribution platform of "Wukong M: Journey to the West International Service", the company conducted some research when promoting new games in the United States, and finally selected Meta's latest AI-empowered advertising product A+SC for pre-registration promotion and marketing. That's because it combines proven automation and machine learning best practices to help vendors reduce costs and increase efficiency by simplifying campaign setup and management. In the end, through A+SC advertising, "Wukong M: Journey to the West International Service" achieved a 1.5-fold increase in return on ad spend, a 45% reduction in the cost of a single purchase, and a 7% reduction in the cost of a single customer acquisition.

Similarly, Glacier Network's product X-HERO game also achieved a 566% increase in daily advertising service revenue, a 100% increase in campaign click-to-install rate, and a 50% decrease in CPM with the help of content localization strategy and Meta's other AI-enabled app advertising (A+AC) app advertising. It is reported that Glacier Network uses the creative exploration algorithm of A+AC advertising to automatically test and deliver the best combination of materials, and finally achieve the best conversion of delivery.

In the eyes of these vendors, Meta's Advanced Enablement App Advertising (A+AC) can help increase the conversion of game app installs. Machine learning models trained for extended reach give advanced app ads more impressions, giving them more flexibility to reach a wider audience beyond their core audience than manual app ads.

Meta also revealed that a meta-analysis of 21 A/B tests (regular ads vs. A+AC) across a wide range of industries in APAC showed that A+AC can reduce the cost per event by 26% and the cost per install by 12% compared to regular ads.

Meta launched its intelligent ad delivery portfolio, Meta Advantage, in 2022. In the past two years, AI technology has taken the world by storm, and Meta has continued to optimize and upgrade it, and last year Meta launched the first generative AI ad creative feature in its Ads Manager. In May, Meta launched enhanced generative AI capabilities such as full image and text generation and more tools and services, as well as new generative AI capabilities integrated into Advantage+ Creative products. This series of advertising product portfolios and generative AI tools is undoubtedly a major marketing tool for overseas game manufacturers.

AI marketing helps overseas manufacturers reduce costs and increase revenue

There is no doubt that the explosion of AI technology will eventually benefit everyone, just like the industrial revolution and the information technology revolution. The gaming industry is in the midst of a technological wave, and companies are bound to benefit from it. In addition to the technology giants that have been deeply engaged in basic research and development in the field of AI and made breakthroughs, there are also manufacturers who dare to try and take the lead in using AI technology to optimize their business processes and realize commercial monetization.

Obviously, the above-mentioned manufacturers, including Guangzhou Feifan Information, Glacier Network, Hutch Games and other game manufacturers, have taken the lead in eating this wave of dividends of AI. Earlier, Hutch Games also used A+AC advertising to target its three games, "Formula 1 Manager", "Rebel Racing" and "Top Drives". The final data shows that in these three games, the use of Meta Advanced Enabled App Ad A+AC delivery increased the number of installs by 20%, the cost per install by 20%, and the return on ad spend by 30% compared with the use of manual App campaigns.

Observing the AI marketing cases of many of the above-mentioned overseas games, we believe that the actual combat results of AI game marketing are quite significant, and they have obvious advantages:

First, it can accurately locate target users and provide localized and intelligent decision-making support. AI technology collects and organizes user behavior data and preferences, conducts deep learning and pattern recognition, helps game manufacturers understand the local market and players' preferences, formulate corresponding marketing strategies, provide personalized services, and achieve accurate push and user retention.

For example, both Glacier Network and Hutch use Meta's game market insights and data analysis capabilities to understand the characteristics of different markets, and then use Meta's advanced enabling series of AI solutions to quickly enter new markets.

In their view, Meta's range of AI solutions, Advanced Enablement, offers a clear range of benefits, including machine learning to streamline the process of creating ads and improve efficiency, as well as more flexible and automated allocation of placement, creative and campaign budgets, while also helping manufacturers expand their reach and increase their reach.

The second is to reduce costs and increase efficiency, and realize process automation and efficiency improvement. At present, the overall development trend of the domestic and foreign game market is slightly difficult, and many game teams have reduced staff or reduced expenses to ensure sufficient cash flow. In this context, the value of AI is being magnified infinitely. In the game marketing stage, AI is used to automate tedious marketing tasks, such as data analysis and advertising, to improve work efficiency and save human resource costs.

Game top, AI + buy volume = cost reduction? The sea track was the first to roll up

SuperEra's new role-playing game launched last year added Meta Advantage to the regular marketing campaign, and successfully solved the problem of difficult to judge the effectiveness of advertising in the promotion of mobile app game products by integrating A+SC ads with Meta's Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) and Apple's function CPP (Custom Product Page).

According to Max Yang, CEO of SuperEra's parent company, Yueyou Technology, between September 2 and 11, 2023, the pre-registration conversion rate of A+SC ad units was 6% higher than that of regular campaigns, and the number of pre-registrations was 26% higher than that of regular campaigns. He believes that "A+SC has shown the advantages of reducing costs and increasing efficiency during the pre-registration period of the game. With Apple's CPP, we were able to gain deeper insights and validate the effectiveness of our A+SC ads. ”

The third is to further solve the problems of material production and creativity. The creativity of overseas distribution is very volatile, and the game materials are released and updated quickly, and the efficiency is low. Meta's current generative AI ad creative features such as text overlays and expanded images target this pain point. These features enable the creation of a wide range of creative content in a short period of time to help improve the effectiveness of your ads.

Advertisers have revealed that they have tested Meta's generative AI background generation feature and found a 13% increase in return on ad spend. We have also found that some game manufacturers have used AI technology to generate a variety of complete creative images based on the original ad creative, and expand and adjust the images to meet the needs of different advertising platforms. You can see the potential of generative AI advertising creative features.


In recent years, it has been difficult to go to sea, and the industry has become a consensus. In this case, instead of getting involved in the race of unlimited investment, it is better to explore new business models, including the use of new advertising methods and delivery tools to achieve twice the result with half the effort.

A number of current game cases have proved that with the assistance of Meta and its AI solutions, game user acquisition, advertising creativity, content production and marketing strategies are simpler and more convenient than traditional forms of user acquisition and delivery. Therefore, we believe that in the future, the game competition in the industry will transition from the stage of traffic competition to the stage of technology competition, and the barriers to competition will also change from creativity and traffic to technology and tools. At present, game manufacturers need to transform traditional processes through new AI technologies and revitalize business models based on marketing in order to seize the opportunity in the next stage.

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