Kabam takes Marvel game to Asia Pacific market with help from Google

Explore Kabam’s expansion strategy for the launch of Marvel Contest of Champions

Kabam takes Marvel game to Asia Pacific market with help from Google

Goals

  • Expand popular Marvel Contest of Champions game into Asia Pacific focusing on Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan
  • Reach core gaming audience using localised campaigns

Approach

  • Gained invaluable industry benchmarks and cultural insights
  • Established localised campaign support
  • Employed targeted Search campaigns
  • Prioritised Google’s ad channels and products based on each market’s performance

Results

  • YouTube was the strongest driver of downloads at the launch of Marvel Contest of Champions in both volume and quality of users
  • The game reached top 10 in the download charts for its category on both iOS and Android in the focus markets
  • Search campaigns generated over 700% return on ad spend to date
  • The cost-per-install metrics were among the lowest of any previous campaign
  • High quality users coming through Search made it their highest ROI channel

World leader in the mobile gaming industry, Kabam, used Google Search and YouTube to help launch Marvel Contest of Champions to the Asia Pacific market, gaining millions of dollars in revenue in under a year and a top 10 position in the market’s download charts.

Since its launch in 2006, Kabam has grown to be one of the world’s leading providers of mobile games. The launch of Marvel Contest of Champions saw it become the company’s most popular game with over 100 million downloads.

When Kabam set its sights on expanding Marvel Contest of Champions into Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, it knew the importance of leveraging key learnings in these Asia Pacific markets to update its expansion strategy and identify the need to localise its campaigns to reach the target audience.

Calling all (super) heroes

Kabam asked Google’s international team to help launch its most popular game. The team created localised campaigns for the game’s launch, and provided invaluable cultural insights and industry benchmarks for each of Kabam’s target countries. They developed a go-to-market strategy centred around YouTube because of its wide scale reach across Asia Pacific. The team also used Search campaigns to engage users who were interested in the Marvel Comic Universe.

The expansion strategy deployed by the Google team allowed for a quick, effective scaling of the game in all markets. YouTube proved to be the strongest driver of the launch downloads for Marvel Contest of Champions in terms of volume and high-quality users. As a result, the game reached the top 10 in the download charts for its category on both iOS and Android in the focus-markets.

Focusing on core strengths

Google's international team helped Kabam analyse the results of its marketing performance. The team focused on prioritising Google’s ad channels and products based on how they performed in each market to increase the lifetime value to its new user.

“We didn’t know the potential of our own marketing until we explored and tested. Now we know the strength and potential of each of the products, which allows us to plan our launches more creatively and effectively,” says Senior Marketing Manager of User Acquisition at Kabam regarding Google's analysis of Kabam's marketing performance.

Kabam's Google Search campaigns were a great success, with the channel growing from $0 to $3 million in under a year. The cost-per-install metrics were among the lowest of any Kabam campaign, and the high quality of users coming through Search made it the company’s highest ROI channel.

Thanks to the results of the Asia Pacific launch, Kabam plans to continue to expand its YouTube marketing alongside Search, and continue its expansion into new countries.

“We wouldn’t have been able to scale as quickly and effectively without Google’s help.” Kabam Senior Marketing Manager of User Acquisition