I’m working on a small research piece regarding digital distribution and would appreciate any help from my game development friends in providing some answers. Here’s a link to a Digital Distribution Channel Survey we created: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MDGN6H7

I’ll definitely publish the results here on IESherpa. Any help in filling it out and sharing with your friends is appreciated.

I was looking for some data on Cost Per Install (CPI) for games in Japan and a friend of mine who runs a large studio there sent me this link, a blog post by InMobi that I missed in January. It basically sets out the relative cost of mobile installs worldwide. While it isn’t exclusive to games, we can use it to decipher regional costs. To get started, I went over to one of my favorite CPI sites, MobPartner, to check out their scrolling list of live CPI transactions. If you like to watch CPI bidding, it’s the best place to watch the action. Here are a couple pics to illustrate the CPIs today:

CCSE4KE4K UK

As you can see, Empire: Four Kingdoms is buying a lot of installs and they are ranging in the U.S. between $1.90 and $2.40 and hitting $3.05 in the U.K. I would guess the higher priced acquisition in the U.S. is on a better performing network, or more proven ad channel that provides players that either convert a bit higher, or have a higher Lifetime Value (LTV). You need to balance cost with volume in any acquisition campaign, but that’s probably obvious.

So now let’s dig into the InMobi data. We know that their numbers are not just games, so we need to create a reference point.

U.K. 174 $3.31 3.05
U.S. 100 $1.90 $1.75
       
160.5      

The 174 is a number from InMobi on the relative cost per install in the U.K. related to the U.S. Since we know what Goodgame Studios is paying for their users we know the numbers in bold to be true. The InMobi numbers don’t quite match up yet. The difference is 160.5 instead of 174, which is roughly 92.2 percent of the difference. I broke down the numbers with the Relative CPI (R CPI), the Adjusted Relative CPI (AR CPI) and came up with the Actual Game CPI (AG CPI) below. It looks about right to me in terms of acquisition costs. I hope it’s helpful for you too.

Country R CPI AR CPI AG CPI
U.K. 174 160  $  3.05
Australia 127 117  $  2.22
U.S. 100 92  $  1.90
New Zealand 95 88  $  1.66
Malaysia 87 80  $  1.52
South Korea 84 77  $  1.47
Vietnam 84 77  $  1.47
Japan 81 75  $  1.42
Hong Kong 77 71  $  1.35
France 75 69  $  1.31
Singapore 71 65  $  1.24
China 60 55  $  1.05
Germany 56 52  $  0.98
India 40 37  $  0.70