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Release Diary: TrainStation

04-02-2015, 09:00 AM
#1
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 139
Release Diary: TrainStation

Hi guys,

two weeks ago we released our game called TrainStation on iPads. Android tablet will be available next week and we're working hard on smartphone versions as the game is really complex and we need to tweak the UI. Later I'll produce a full diary of the release cycle on my blog AppFreak.Net.
Till then, I'll be sharing some information with you here. Feel free to ask any questions.

iTunes: TrainStation - The Game on Rails
Video trailer: YouTube

04-02-2015, 09:01 AM
#2
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 139
We softlaunched in AU, NZ, CA, CZ and SK to tweak some issues and test the marketing. In the soft-launch version, we forced people to register either via email or their Facebook account after completing the tutorial. Obviously, it didn't work out since only 30% of people completed the registration after tutorial. Seven out of ten registrations were done via email. New users can now play without the registration and our old players from the web can sync their progress via Facebook or email.

We released TrainStation globally on Thursday, March 19 and started slowly with marketing. During the first weekened, we ran several campaigns mostly on Facebook in DE, NL, DK, BE, NO aimed for acquiring new users, as well as several other countries for re-eangagment. Our testing budget was 3000 EUR / day during the first weekened, we also ran some small campaigns on StartApp and Chartboost. However, we had a problem with tracking since AD-X wasn't working properly (and still isn't - they're actually shutting down the service and we're switching to AppsFlyer right now) so we turned off the campaigns after the weekend.

Previous weekend we just did the same thing and tried few campaigns on Facebook for 1000 EUR / day, just to test few creatives and banners. Our video trailer is actually performing the best. Below is a chart showing DAU during the soft-launch phase and initial campaign efforts. Today we started new campaigns aimed for DE, NL and FR, each country has a budget of 3000 EUR a day.



We also ran re-engagment campaigns for app installs. We have over 15M players on the web and Facebook platform, so we created Custom Audiences for our engaged players in the last two years and showed them a message about TrainStation being available on iPads - ads were obviously targeted only on iPad users.

We did a segmentation of our players based on level, last activity and country and sent them localized newsletters about the iPad version. Size of the audience was smaller since we only wanted engaged players who actually plays the game on higher levels. Below you can see newsletter data for Germany and the US. CTR was really low, but it's still something.



On the launch day we used a promoted post on Facebook aimed on our engaged players (1.2M fans on our Facebook page), you can see the results below. We spent 1000 EUR on it. We also did some smaller announcments in our community groups all over the world.

All these activities were mostly about testing the platform and few marketing channels. After releasing the Android tablet version and smartphones in the future, we're going for a full marketing push, which means various performance marketing networks (Facebook, Chartboost, Playhaven, StartApp), affiliate agencies (AppLift, iQU, Glispa) and media advertising (TouchArcade, PocketGamer, Twitch, etc.). I also wanted try some YouTube, Instagram or Vine infulencers - however for now I gave up the idea since the game is kinda niche and not suitable for a wide audience.

Right now, we also need to tweak some metrics before going the full marketing, most importantly our retention. D1 Retention is 27-29% and D7 is about 15%, I want D1 above 30%, ideally 35%. We need to implement few more PUSH notifications.
04-02-2015, 09:15 AM
#3
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 139
On more point regarding countries I've chosen for the initial marketing efforts. These are all strong countries in terms of monetization and iPad audience, plus we have a decent player base there.

I combined data from AppAnnie Intelligence, Chartboost, Facebook and our own stats to compare our player base (daily active players/new daily registrations/ARPDAU) in all TIER1 countries with the size of the iPad audience and number of downloads required to enter TOP charts in those respective countries, including CPI and current competition in terms of burst campaigns. DK, NL and BE acted as a sweet spot to test our marketing with significant impact in those countries.

Here is the result:


During the weekend we also hit #1 Games in few other countries.

We didn't spent much money, but we spent them wise. The synergy effect of performance marketing, re-engagement, newsletter and social media push worked out. I always recommend to start your marketing efforts in smaller countries to fine-tune everything.

Last edited by R3v; 04-02-2015 at 09:18 AM.