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AppCentral Research: Are game bundles a trigger to increase download conversion?

Game bundling is a popular strategy by game creators for decades. Think of Nintendo or SEGA consoles bundling some of their most popular games (or doing big arcade pancakes) in a single cartridge. 

The benefits or leveraging game bundles as part of marketing and product packaging are multiple. Firstly, When the offer is compelling, and the target audience sees a package with “more of what they like”, the likelihood of purchasing will increase. Secondly, by offering more games to the user, he will spend more time with your brands and product - creating bigger affinity through increased value through time spent.

In addition to these arguments, it’s important to add that while sometimes it might be hard to market a single product as an “attractive enough” value proposition, aggregating multiple games can almost create a brand new product. Think of cable TV bundles. An Action Movies channel might not be enticing enough to pay a premium, while a bundle with 20 channels full of blockbusters and action movies might bring exceptional value to both viewers and broadcasters.


Quantifying the impact of bundling on download conversion for mobile games

The question remains, when it comes to mobile gaming to what extent does bundling impacts the perceived value at the stage of downloading or purchasing a new game?

To investigate this we created a test in which we offered three different options of bundled and unbundled games through Facebook ads. To make the research fair, we targeted the exact same audience of 18-24 year olds with the same taste and geo-demographic profile.

The main thing we wanted to test was payment within each of these apps. So we waited until there were 2000 users for each of the three alternatives which were:

1. Single game

2. Bundle of games similar to the single game

3. Bundle of applications alongside the main game (strategy game & photo editing tool)


The results from the tests are clear. Conversion to in-app purchase jumped from 0.8% of players from the single game option becoming paying users to 0.96% for the multi-game bundle. While for some people, an increase of 0.16% might not sound like a lot, this represents in fact a 20% jump in paying users. Imagine if as a game creator you simply bundled existing games from your archive or vault to create a more compelling multi-game proposition that could increase revenues by 20%?

And what happened with the bundle of unrelated tools and apps? Surprisingly, the conversion to paying user was lower than the single game. At 0.7% conversion to paying users, this proves that if the bundle of games or products doesn’t make sense to the user, it can damage conversion. Maybe the end user feels he shouldn’t pay for stuff he doesn’t need or want?

What we learned from this experiment, which we ran several times, is that boundless can be extremely effective to increase conversion and enhance your overall value proposition in the eyes of customers. Whether bundles are done by partnering with other creators, or by resurfacing existing products from an archive, it is important to create a coherent group of games which are of a similar type/style to what the player likes. Otherwise, it might even risk decreasing the conversion rate, becoming a double-edge sword.

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