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Retargeting Triumph in Hypercasual Gaming: How TapNation's Thief Puzzle Leveraged Appier to Achieve KPI Goals


TapNation, a top mobile gaming publisher, partnered with Appier to enhance user lifetime despite iOS privacy restrictions. By leveraging Appier’s CrossX Retargeting Solution, TapNation activated its high-quality user base and targeted high-LTV players. The collaboration used dynamic video ads to optimize CPC and CVR, focusing on CPA to achieve ROAS. Within 10 days of a 1.5-month learning period, TapNation achieved a 130% ROAS. Continuous optimization of the high-ROI user model ensured sustained and stable ROAS, significantly shortening the investment recoup period compared to classic SDK networks.

About TapNation

Ranked among the top 14 fastest-growing companies in Europe by the Financial Times, TapNation is a mobile gaming publisher that helps developers elevate their games. In 2023, TapNation was selected for the French Tech 120 program and released over 40 games, generating over 1 billion downloads. According to Statista, they ranked as the number 1 company in the Media and Entertainment categories, highlighting their significant success and ambition to lead the high-growth hypercasual gaming market.

  • Industry: Mobile game
  • Company Size: Enterprise (50-200 employees)
  • Location: France
  • Goal: (1) Activate their existing high-quality user base to overcome the challenges posed by iOS privacy restrictions (2) Target high-LTV players to achieve 100% ROAS and sustain growth in the competitive mobile gaming market

Products Used:

  • CrossX | High LTV User Acquisition & Engagement Platform

TapNation and Appier's retargeting success in hyper casual games 

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In the competitive landscape of mobile gaming, TapNation sought innovative solutions to enhance user acquisition and retention amid the challenges posed by iOS privacy restrictions. TapNation turned to Appier’s CrossX Retargeting solution to activate their existing high-quality user base, targeting higher-LTV (Lifetime Value) users to sustain its rapid growth. This partnership set a new benchmark for the effectiveness of retargeting campaigns in the hypercasual gaming industry.

Developed high-ROI user model for IAA-oriented hyper casual games

Appier built a customized, high-ROI user model for TapNation's IAA-oriented (In-App Advertising) hypercasual games. This was achieved using Appier’s existing user segmentation model to identify users with higher LTV.

  • Data collection and model training

The initial stage involved collecting comprehensive data on existing players, including player in-app events data and MMP (Mobile Measurement Partner) events. Critical data points included age group, gender, click times within a day, impression, and IAA events, which bring in ad revenue.

Unlike other retargeting service providers, Appier developed different model features to train IAA game data in response to its different player behaviors compared with IAP games. These IAA-specific features included tracking in-app ad views and IAA events within an hour to train the retargeting model with high precision.

  • Targeting high-LTV users

The trained model was used to predict and identify high-ROI users within the player pool. Appier’s AI technology then prioritized these users for retargeting, setting different materials and exposure frequencies for various player segments. The goal was to find users with high value and high LTV, meaning they would stay in the game for longer than 7 days after being activated by retargeting ads.

  • Adopting deep link from Day 1

Deep links were key in affecting Real-Time Bidding (RTB) advertising performance. During ad exposure, deep links ensured the target user was directed to the app, greatly improving the landing rate. On Android, deep links bypass the Play Store and open the app, while on iOS, they prompt a pop-up asking for permission and then seamlessly open it. Enabling deep link matching is also necessary to receive open attribution. This feature enhanced TapNation's ability to engage users effectively, significantly impacting their retargeting success since day 1 working with Appier

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Achieved a remarkable 130% ROAS in exceptionally short recoup periods

In addition to data modeling, Appier also leveraged dynamic video ads to optimize CPC and CVR during the data collection stage. In the model training and feature engineering stage, we shift focus on CPA to hit the ROAS goal.

Once the 1.5-month learning period concluded, TapNation began to see impressive results. Within just 10 days, TapNation achieved a 130% ROAS, significantly shortening the investment recoup period compared to classic SDK networks.

Through continuous optimization of the high-ROI model, we consistently focused resources on players with higher LTV, improving user engagement and retention to sustain stable ROAS.

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Pioneering future success with AI-driven solutions 

TapNation's collaboration with Appier exemplifies the power of leveraging advanced AI-driven retargeting solutions to overcome the challenges posed by privacy restrictions. By effectively activating the existing high-quality user base and targeting high-LTV players, TapNation sustained and accelerated its growth in the competitive mobile gaming market.

“Appier has become our 3rd Biggest UA Channel on IOS following the success in scale we have seen with CrossX. Our partnership has brought tangible success to our Thief Puzzle game, elevating user value. We're genuinely satisfied and eagerly anticipate further triumphs as we continue collaborating with CrossX.” said Jatin, Head of User Acquisition at TapNation.

Appier's CrossX Retargeting Solution has transformed user acquisition and retention strategies and set a new standard for success in hypercasual games.

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