Soft launch: our tips to succeed this essential step in launching a mobile game (part 2)

Publié le 29 März 2021 | Catégorisé dans

In our first article we explained the importance of the soft launch for launching mobile games: identifying objectives and KPIs to track, determining a budget and time-line and, finally, developing ASO strategies to maximize conversion rates for your game.

This second article focuses on which countries to choose for your soft launch, depending on your objectives and the insight you want to obtain.


Avoid audience burnout

The choice of country for soft launching your app is crucial. In fact, we recommend that you avoid testing in the country in which you intend to officially market your game. This would be far from ideal. So you want to avoid launching the game in countries with the most qualified audiences.


If you attract a large number of qualified users to a game that they don’t like, which doesn’t motivate them or generate enough revenue, these players will be “unprofitable.” They simply won’t come back. Therefore, it’s best to delay releasing the game to this kind of audience until you have an advanced version.


This means avoiding the best geographical locations (= those generating the most revenue) which are best left untapped for the hard launch.  Furthermore, these locations, featuring diverse populations, generate a lot of revenue. We are thinking in particular of the US and, to a lesser extent, the UK, France and Germany.


Your objectives will determine the target countries for your soft launch

The choice of target country will depend on your objectives.

UX & resolution of bugs: countries with inexpensive users (low CPI).

Retention: countries exhibiting similar behaviour to your target audience. “Tier 1” countries.

Acquisition: opt for a country with a population that resembles your target audience to evaluate the CPI/ROAS. However, if the aim is to observe targeting and creatives etc., nearly all countries will exhibit similar behaviour (pay attention to the language, cf. explanation below).

Monetization: countries with a similar behaviour to target audience in terms of purchasing (IAP) and eCPM (IAA). Countries with highest ARPU, with small populations.


Another important point to consider: the language of the game. If the game is only available in one language – usually English – you will need to consider two separate strategies.

  • If the game has minimal text or is a simple gameplay: the language will have little effect and can be launched in almost any location.
  • Conversely, if the game includes text or is more complicated: the language will be very important. Which means you will need to choose a country with ties to English: either an anglophone country or somewhere with a large population of English speakers.

Finally, if you are contemplating soft-launching your game on just one operating system, remember that KPIs can differ slightly from one OS to another. The iOS penetration rate in certain locations is also limited.


What the big players do?

Addict Mobile has compiled a list of the most popular countries for soft-launching top, upcoming mobile games (as of 16 March 2021).

soft launch
Source dated 16/03/2021

Which countries should you prioritise for your soft launch?


Below, Addict Mobile, which has executed more than 25 soft launches in recent years, shares its tips on which country to use for your future soft launch.


Focus on UX & bugssoft launch

– Philippines: ideal for testing UX and bugs as the CPI rate is very low and the volume of users extremely high. This market should not be used for monetization or retention.


– Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia: same principle as for the Philippines but slightly more expensive so better to opt for the Philippines.


Focus on UA, retention and monetization

– Canada / Australia: traditionally, these are the top countries for soft launches, used to simulate the behaviour of American users because they are English-speaking with a higher ARPU (Average Revenue Per User).

Addict recommends avoiding these 2 countries as they are very competitive and, therefore, very expensive (since most players offer their games to these countries). Ideally, keep them for your hard launch. Opt for other countries instead.


– New Zealand: same principle as for Canada and Australia but more suitable. This is a smaller, less competitive country with a low overall impact on revenue.


– Sweden / Finland / Denmark (Nordic countries): same principle as for New Zealand. These countries have smaller populations but a lot of monetization potential. Addict favours New Zealand but Sweden is also a good alternative -unless the game features complicated text and is inappropriate for Nordic languages.


– The Netherlands: Addict Mobile strongly recommends this country. User behaviour in the Netherlands strongly resembles that of Tier 1″ countries with a CPI rate that is lower than that of Canada, Australia or New Zealand. English is spoken widely here so there’s limited risk. Belgium is also an excellent alternative with low CPI and attractive ARPU rates for games using simple English.


– UK: The UK, like the US, represents a key target market for mobile games, so should be avoided for soft launch testing, except in particular circumstances.


To conclude: before launching any campaign, it’s important to set out your intended strategy to minimize the risk of messing up the official launch.

Do you need help launching your game? Feel free to contact us for further help with your launch strategies. 

The 3rd part in this series will focus more specifically on the analysis of KPIs during the soft launch process and subsequent decisions. 


Article en relation

addict mobile blog default blog 05

Cityscoot rolls out its app across Europe and is conquering new users with Addict Mobile

  Cityscoot is the number one service for self service electric scooters. Launched in 2016 in Paris, the brand has rapidly expanded to Nice, Milan, and Barcelona, offering more than 7000 scooters to all those who wish for an effective urban transport, face in the wind.   Addict Mobile supports Cityscoot in its European growth by managing user acquisition campaigns for its application with a cost per first ride objective.   Activated sources: Facebook, Google and Snapchat.       City Targeting, a challenge for mobile app acquisition   Broadcasting acquisition campaigns on a city scale implies several constraints:   – The more restricted the targeting, the higher the acquisition costs.   – The visuals must be adapted to the usage and routes of each city in order to maintain good transformation rates and thus reach performance objectives.         How to keep acquisition costs low with specific targeting?   By adapting the OS and sources to each city: depending on the results of the campaigns, Addict Mobile’s teams increase investments in the sources or OS that deliver the best performance.   By varying the optimizations according to the sources: on Facebook and Google, campaigns that are optimized […]

Publié le 7 April 2021

The mobile app ecosystem is consolidating!

The latest major changes in the mobile app ecosystem (privacy, Apple’s ATT Framework, maturity of advertisers.) are forcing players in the mobile ecosystem to offer the most complete service possible to cover the entire mobile marketing chain. Owning your first party data and therefore having your own data to monetize your audience and offer effective advertising campaigns is one of the major challenges of 2021’s ecosystem. Everyone wants to put their SDK in the apps to know their users and maximize the revenues of their campaigns. Lately, there have been a lot of acquisitions of AdNetworks, tracking tools, analytics tools and monetization structures. The ecosystem is consolidating, the companies are getting stronger.   Brief overview     Vungle mobile app install company acquires GameRefinery, a leading cloud-based mobile game analytics platform with deep contextual data sets and image-recognition technology that helps developers market, design, and monetize their mobile games. “GameRefinery’s deep contextual data will offer new ways for advertisers to find relevant audiences, using non-personal data such as player motivations, moods and styles and audience personas, for campaign targeting with no device level ID required.” “With upcoming changes on iOS 14 and the removal of the IDFA, advertisers are looking […]

Publié le 1 April 2021

Addict Mobile was awarded during the event Les Mobiles d’Or

During the event Les Mobiles D’Or, we have been given the award for Mobile Acquisition. It rewards the success of the partnership between Addict Mobile and Intermarché for the management of the Intermarché app’s acquisition campaigns. To learn more, read this article!     Winner in the Mobile Acquisition Campaigns category We are very happy and proud to have won this award #mobiledor2021 in the mobile acquisition campaigns category. Addict Mobile has been awarded in this category for the launch of its acquisition strategy for the Intermarché app. This personalised support has enabled an increase in the brand’s mobile business. We have acquired and re-engaged more than 330k users, in addition to multiplying 36 times the ROAS, by adapting the media plan and strategy to this year of 2020 that was so particular especially for retailers. We express our gratitude to Intermarché for their trust and we congratulate our team of experts ! We are also very proud to belong to the Digital Virgo group, that won the award for the best apparatus in the mobile payment category, as well as the award Spécial Jury, learn more here.     About the Mobiles d’Or Organised by Les Cas d’Or and the […]

Publié le 29 März 2021

Nos bureaux