Community Spotlight: Raftur Games’ Malize Evans

Community Spotlight: Raftur Games’ Malize Evans image
By Mariam Ahmad 4 June 2024

Welcome to the first edition of our Community Spotlight series, where we shine a light on the brightest and best within the mobile games industry, covering everything from UA, Ad Mon, creative strategies, insider advice, and more.

Today, we set our sights on Raftur Games, a video games advisor for both PC and mobile, making waves in the industry. Raftur Games emerged from a shared concern among AAA and indie game developers about industry layoffs. These discussions focused on the paradox of major studios downsizing despite financial success and critical acclaim for their games - developers felt a lack of control over their careers in this situation. Raftur Games tackles a common pain point for game developers: balancing business development with creative focus. They offer a suite of solutions to address this very issue. Studios can access help with scaling their team through recruitment assistance, or seek guidance on business strategies to optimize their projects. Importantly, Raftur Games distinguishes itself from traditional publishers. They prioritize building collaborative partnerships with studios, offering support and expertise without dictating creative direction. This allows developers to retain full creative control over their games. Known for their innovative approach and captivating storytelling, Raftur Games has quickly risen to prominence in the gaming industry, delivering unforgettable experiences that push the boundaries of what games can be.

We sit down with Malize Evans, Co-founder, Co-CEO, and CMO, at Raftur Games, the driving force behind this dynamic company, to take a look at her approach to user acquisition and monetization in the mobile gaming space, where the creator economy thrives.

What are the most effective user acquisition strategies you've implemented at Raftur Games, and how have they evolved with industry trends?

Raftur Games sits right where game development meets the creator economy, that's where we created our company and where our techniques live. We've got some unique ways to make waves on social media and use the latest technologies like AI and Blockchain to boost IP awareness. But, our secret sauce is what makes us unique, so we’re keeping those tricks under wraps.

What are the biggest challenges you've faced with ad monetization in your mobile games, and how have you addressed them?

Platforms such as Apple have tight control over everything within their ecosystem, which boils down to a monetization issue. The revenue sharing model for distribution, where developers pay a significant percentage of their earnings, has prompted many to explore alternatives like web3 to avoid losing 30% of their revenue. Personally, I'm hopeful that Epic Games succeeds in their battle for fairer monetization with Apple, as it would offer relief to countless developers. Many in the mobile world do what they can with what they have, but sometimes the best option is to be unconventional and look for the alternative no one is looking for. 

How do you balance maximizing ad revenue with maintaining a positive user experience in your mobile games?

It is important to make sure that any monetization effort inside the game is as little disruptive as possible. The best way to do this is by giving players rewards to interact with ad content, more than just displaying it on screen without their consent. Players want to have in control of what is going on in the screen as much as possible, making sure you maintain player agency is going to boost your retention.

How does Raftur Games utilise data analytics to optimize marketing campaigns and user acquisition efforts?

Click-through rate is not the only data that is going to tell you how your user acquisition efforts are evolving, particularly if you’re treating your games as a single IP to boost awareness. It’s important to understand the total awareness of your games vs the usage of your games to understand where you shall put more effort or correct what you’re doing.

What emerging trends in mobile gaming do you see having the most significant impact on ad monetization and user acquisition in the next few years?

Blockchain will allow for cross-promotion in ways that have not been possible so far, this will help keep gamers in the same ecosystem which will decrease UA costs.

Can you share some successful creative strategies or formats you've used in ad campaigns that have driven high engagement and conversion rates, while also sustaining long-term player engagement?

When evaluating the effectiveness of campaigns, attribution is a matter of faith. It's often challenging to attribute success to a single strategy because customer actions can be influenced by various factors. For instance, while measuring click-through rates, a purchase decision may have been influenced by a previous campaign aimed at boosting brand awareness. Therefore, maintaining a diverse mix of strategies is key. One particularly effective approach is treating ecosystems of games as a brand entity, rather than promoting each game or app individually, which has given us great results so far. This consolidation not only streamlines costs but also fosters a cohesive brand identity.

What ad monetization technologies or platforms have been particularly effective for Raftur Games’ mobile apps, and why?

The most effective strategy so far, both for PC and mobile platforms, is to make sure that whatever extra microtransaction you’re selling can also be obtainable during the game. You want to give players shortcuts, not obligations. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but it increases retention and, with this, the lifetime value of your players. This is a technique that is proven to work on PC and Console, and mobile is slower to adapt given the shorter lifecycle of games.

How important are cross-promotion and strategic partnerships in your marketing strategy, and can you provide examples of successful collaborations?

The most successful collaboration so far is still under NDA, however, I’m looking forward to be able to show how new technologies can be leveraged for effective partnerships executed in ways that was not possible before - so keep your eyes peeled on what comes next for Raftur Games!


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