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Welcome back to season 5 of “App Talk with Upptic” – or, rather, “Games Growth with Upptic”! We kick off season 5 by talking about this rebrand before diving into several different topics with a couple of our own colleagues – Upptic Creative Director Ava Savitsky and Upptic Sr. Web3 Growth Manager Ian Brent.

Together, we discuss the state of games growth (which has seen some rough waters), user acquisition trends, creative insights, analytics learnings, and web3 takeaways. We end with some wildly speculative predictions. Think any will come true?

Ava Savitsky
Ian Brent

Full Podcast Summary

Current state of gaming

  • First on the list is about the current macroeconomic conditions
    • The job market is tight and stocks are way down from their highs
      • Top game developers and publishers are seeing stock prices significantly down from their recent highs over the past year – which has affected a lot of people working for the tech gaming industry and has resulted in layoffs.
      • Many forecasters are expecting either a recession or nominal growth over the next year or two.
  • Regulator stance in the tech Industry
    • Regulators within the U.S. are taking a much more aggressive stance towards tech and gaming. This has resulted in several big tech companies going to court – including Microsoft, Google, and Apple.
    • These regulations could be a good thing – helping to increase competition within the market and allow other companies to come in.
  • All About Crypto
    • Both Bitcoin and ETH are off 66% from their all time highs in 2021.
  • Crypto is Dead, Long Live Generative AI
    • ChatGPT, MidJourney, Dall-E and other generative AI programs for text and image generation have been all the rage recently across the world and multiple industries. It remains to be seen how it will affect people and labor-driven work.

Trends in user acquisition

  • Social media trends
    • Facebook (Meta) is still the leading channel out of all social platforms with its robust algorithm. For getting the desired outcome based on the given input, Meta is still unparalleled.
    • TikTok continues to be a powerhouse with a lot of features coming in for people to take advantage of this year.
    • In 2022, Snapchat proved to be a great rebound channel for Upptic clients. Though Snapchat has been de-prioritized or written off by a lot of performance buyers, it’s really working for certain games.
  • Other user acquisition trends
    • DSPs performed really well, but a good portion of traffic ended up being web publishers who were taking advantage of organic installs via methodology that isn’t easily flagged.

Creatives in 2022

  • Creative output really depends on what channel a creative will be published to and what genre it’s focused on.
  • Tiktok is a hungry machine for creative
  • There has been a real rise in user-generated content across all channels, and across all genres. These are often not as polished as other creatives produced in editing platforms.
  • There’s a split when it comes to creatives: People either want really raw user generated content that is natural and authentic, or, they’re willing to watch an ad, but they want it to be really polished and well done.

Analytics insights

  • One of the critical aspects of analytics is understanding how to model around privacy and privacy changes for the next several years.
    • Technology companies who are able to effectively adapt to privacy, and understand how to model in a privacy-centric environment are going to be the ones who dominate in user acquisition on mobile, PC/console, and web3 going forward.
    • The platforms are not going to solve your problems for you.
  • Companies are starting to try out performance marketing strategies that worked in the mobile world on PC and console gaming.

Web3 insights

  • The last 24 months were a bubble of funding and money pouring into web3. But now we’re seeing who has made it to the other side. Those are the ones who are releasing a functional product. These best-in-class teams have proof-of-concept. But the next obstacle is scaling and getting more users to play their games.
  • Web3 technology can allow people to make better games, build more intriguing gameplay pieces,and run better economies. But after creating a game, companies have to think on how they’ll do the soft launch and build their go-to-market plan.
  • Web3 gaming companies are now zooming in on running with a more traditional growth marketing playbook and best practices. Rather than being a crypto game, they’re looking at their games as simply being successful mass market games.
  • 2021 through the first half of 2022 is when a lot of these web3 studios got big money. A lot of them have already folded before they even got to market. But throughout 2022, web3-focused companies have shifted on how they work on a web3 game. AAA quality web3 games will come to market in the second half of this year.

Wildly speculative predictions

  • Xander: The U.S. government, Apple and/or Google, or some public/private hybrid makes a substantial effort to curb the reach of TikTok in the next year.
  • Ian: Apple and/or Google will begin allowing more web3 apps into their app stores and settle for levying their 30% fee on web3 creator / marketplace fees (as opposed to entire NFT sales).
  • Ava: 2023 will be very bullish on AI – especially for copy creation, image assets, and videos for campaigns.
  • Warren: Fundraising conditions, privacy limitations, measurement issues, and the need to cut all non-essential spend for gaming companies will simultaneously create gaming’s worst year of growth in the last decade, while facilitating generational opportunities for profitable UA growth.



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