Soft Launch: our key tips to succeed in launching a mobile game (part 1)

Publié le 21 September 2020 | Catégorisé dans

A game’s soft launch is full of excitement and tension and is always eagerly awaited by the production teams. After months, even years of work, the result of their labor has finally reached the beta testers. They provide the first indications of the game’s attractiveness, quality and it’s monetizing potential.

In this series of articles, we’ll share our tips for a successful soft launch!


A crucial step before launching your mobile game

Before launching your game on the market, it is necessary to test it for the number of aspects. This is the main goal of a soft launch. It gives a possibility to test on a small part of its potential audience the different components of the game that you want to confirm. User experience or FTUE (First Time User Experience), monetization, retention… for each step there is a soft launch phase. 

It is essential to reserve for the bigger audience an advanced version of the game in order to maximize its income and sustainability. A soft launch aims to have a maximum of insights with limited cost, without loosing its audience.


Note : As the world of mobile gaming is very vast (hyper-casual, casual, mid-core, hardcore), strictly speaking, certain actions are not always applicable. However, Addict Mobile’s recommendations cover the majority of cases.


Define the objectives, budget and timeline of your Soft Launch

Before launching your soft launch, it is necessary to define what you want to track, analyze or modify.



The objectives will allow you to define all the stages beforehand as well as the duration of a soft launch. At the same time, in order to optimally analyze all generated data, Addict Mobile invites all publishers to install a tracking tool (Adjust, Appsflyer, Kochava, etc.) that is capable to analyze key KPIs. Here are some examples of analyzes for a Soft Launch.


UX & bug fixing (bug solving): the aim is to observe how users interact with the game and to correct the major bugs. The goal is then to ensure that the next steps of a soft launch will not be affected by a major bug or a deficient UX.

For example: if all players stop at level 3, it is likely that the difficulty is too high, so a correction should be considered.

KPIs to observe: Churn Rate, users behaviour, spent time, QA and bug report


Acquisition & Retention: “The acquisition will make it possible to involve users into the game and define the cost of a user and/or a buyer in order to assess the long-term CPI and profitability of the game according to the UA . “

KPIs to observe: CPI, ARPU, ARPPU, Buyers rate, ROAS, CPA


On this acquisition basis, retention will give an indicator of the game’s potential. Retention largely defines the degree of the game’s success or failure. You can have the best acquisition and monetization in the market if the retention is too low the game will flop.

KPIs to observe: retention rate on D1, D7, D14, D30 / sessions per user/time per session


Monetization: depending on the game’s business model, it will be essential to convert players into buyers (IAP) or to maximize your advertising revenue (IAA). By testing this aspect through a soft launch, you will be able to assess the game’s capacity to monetize and thus modify the monetization mechanisms to improve your income.

KPIs to observe:

IAP: ARPU, ARPPU, Buyers rate

IAA: eCPM, Fill rate




It is essential to define these two elements in order to anticipate the costs of a soft launch and manage the game’s production team accordingly.


The budget, invested in acquisition, is dedicated to recruit users. It will depend on the number of users needed in order to collect data for KPIs analysis.

– How many users do I need to recruit?

– In which country and therefore at which CPI?

– How long?


In addition, it is important to define the duration of a soft launch by using a detailed schedule describing the steps of the launch, iterations, etc.


A soft launch is often longer than expected since it is necessary to perform more iterations than initially planned. It is nevertheless important to plan a budget and a timeline beforehand. Indeed, a period of a soft launch usually generates little or no income and costs can be important for production and acquisition.


Improve App Store Optimization (ASO) before to Soft Launch your game

Before starting a soft launch, plan to test and optimize your game store’s page by focusing on the ASO.

As its name suggests, ASO or App Store Optimization concerns the optimization of your page store on Android and iOS. This is an essential element that should not be overlooked.

– It allows you to convert a maximum of users landing on your store page.

– It helps to optimize the acquisition costs of your advertising campaigns: it encourages as many users as possible, who have clicked on your ad to download your game.


An app store page that gains 5%, 10%, 15% conversion means a huge boost in maximizing installations and their costs.


A soft launch is therefore the ideal time to test and manage different versions of your store page. You can A / B test logo, title/subtitle, screenshots, description.


You must then analyze the conversion rates of your app store page. There are several ways to do this.

1. Use the Google tool available for free on the Developer Consol to test your Android page: the Store Listing Experiments.

This tool allows A / B test the store pages on a particular audience and thus collect the conversion results for each test. Addict Mobile strongly recommends any application publisher to use this powerful tool. It provides precise A / B tests with integrated quick learning. Insights can be shared on iOS as well.


2. Analyze user conversion rates (install / clicks), coming from your soft launch acquisition campaigns.

Be careful, this method is less precise and gives less information than the Store Listing Experiments. It suggests testing on a similar audience: 2 different store pages over 2 distinct periods. Addict Mobile recommends organizing this test phase well. Here are some tips:

– Facebook is the most effective source for testing because it allows precise targeting.

– Take the test only on Facebook News Feed (not stories). You need an iso environment. For example, Facebook’s audience network has very different conversion rates (CVRs).

– Select an affinity target which will be identical on the 2 tests. Avoid lookalikes, focus on specific interests.

– Prepare the same campaign set up (bidding, socio-demo…).

If possible, use only one design between each test and especially in the same format. Testing a static creative and a video will change your conversion rates.


3. Some providers offer A / B test your store pages with dedicated (and paid) services that offer a fine and detailed analysis.


The following section will explain how to identify relevant countries for your soft launch for more efficiency.


Author: Manuel Pacreau, User Acquisition Director @Addict Mobile

10 years of expertise in Mobile acquisition,

Manuel manage Addict Mobile Adops teams since 2016


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

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

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 […]

Publié le 29 März 2021

Nos bureaux