Announcement, Tech Resources

Introducing Simplified Retention for Game Developers and Marketers

SOOMLA Retention Reports

SOOMLA introduces retention reports – the best way to explain the behavior of your users in terms of how many stayed in your game and how many left it. There are many services out there that present the ability to investigate user retention, SOOMLA’s retention reports come with 3 kinds of retention types, each of them shows you your users behavior from a different angle and gives you information so you can react accordingly to prevent users’ churn.

Investigating your new users

The first type of report is the Regular Retention, here you can see how many first time (new) users visited your game.


The two leftmost columns represent how many users started playing your game and the specific day they came in. Any other column “i” represents how many users visited your game in the i-th day after the starting day.

Rolling retention of first time users

The next retention report is Rolling Retention which was first introduced by Flurry. Rolling Retention shows you how many users are still “in your game.” For example, a user started playing on day 0, and came back only on day 3. Rolling Retention will count this user also on day 1 and 2 as if the user played throughout all these days.  While this is a more “optimistic” analysis of user behavior, it treats users as equals even if they didn’t come back each and every day.  Rolling Retention is particularly interesting to look at when coupled with other marketing activities used by your studio.  For example, a push notification campaign is likely to get users back and to boost this metric.  This metric has been much debated, which is why we offer multiple retention types for developers looking to optimize their retention.

Rolling Retention

Like in the regular retention, in Rolling the two leftmost columns show the number of users who start to play on those days. Every other column “i,” represents the number of users who visited your game after “i” days or more according to the date range you’re looking at.

Take a deeper look into returning users

The last type of retention you can find on the Grow dashboard, is the Return Retention. This kind of retention is different from the others because it doesn’t consider each date as a new “day-0” cohort.  Instead, it accounts for all active users on that certain date and shows you their return rate from that day on.  In that sense, Return Retention captures a snapshot of users from multiple cohorts and observes their future retention.  It also lets you identify weak and strong days of gameplay over time.


The leftmost column represents the total number of users which visited your game on the exact day, while the other columns tell you how many of them came after the i-th day.

Retention is the cornerstone metric every studio should be tracking.  The importance of this metric can be emphasized by two observations:

  1. Retention is the foundation for calculating user lifetime value, which lends its hand to revenue projection and ROI calculations of a game.  It’s also necessary to know LTV in order to conduct ROI-positive user acquisition
  2. Retention expresses your users’ delight from your product.  It’s the ultimate metric for understanding if your game is truly entertaining to the extent of keeping users coming back for more.

We encourage studios to explore retention metrics in the Grow dashboard and to understand their users’ behavior.

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Whales Report – The Only Mobile Game Report Focusing on Paying Users

SOOMLA’s Whales Report introduces a unique way to understand how your game is performing when looking specifically at your paying users. It is a known fact that in the mobile gaming industry the majority of revenue comes from whales, which constitutes a tiny margin of games players. These whales will easily be dissolved in the big numbers of your game’s analytics. We, at SOOMLA, think you should concentrate your efforts on whales when targeting your users. Studios with published games that are part of the Grow network are sent weekly reports.  The Whales Report helps identify inefficiencies in your game’s player-to-payer conversion funnel, improve your user retention performance and ultimately increase revenue.

Why is the Whales Report Unique?

The Whales Report harnesses knowledge about user behavior from other games and provides developers with crowdsourced intelligence about paying users that would otherwise be hard to come across.  A self-published studio might be able to see 100,000 users across two to three titles, but when that data is combined and analyzed from thousands of games, you suddenly have a much more accurate understanding of your users.  Traditional analytics and mobile marketing platforms can only show you data that you the developer measured in your game.  The Whales Report, as part of the Grow network, redefines this limitation by collecting and analyzing payer insights across many games from different vendors.  With user level insights about who will pay and who won’t, your retention and monetization practices can become truly data driven instead of guesswork driven.

Whales Report – Explained

Let’s go over the different parts of the Whales Report with an example:

The Whales Report showing new paying users and a growing graph.

  1. New paying users: players who are new to your game this week and have paid in the game. You can see how well you are doing at getting more players to pay your game week-over-week.
  2. New paying users graph: this graph shows your historical count of new paying users going 12 weeks back. You can see how well you are doing acquiring payers over time.More of the Whales Report showing total new users and looking at the various growth methods.
  3. New users: players that played your game for the first time during this week. Out of these new users:
  4. Seen in GROW: players that were seen (have played) in the the Grow network before they played your game. Use SOOMLA Insights to know these players better as soon as they enter your game.
  5. Paid in GROW: players that paid before in other games in the Grow network. These are the whales that have entered your game. You should focus your efforts on converting these players to paying users in your game.
  6. Paid in your game: players that have paid exclusively in your game and didn’t pay in other games in the Grow network. If you can raise this metric, then it means you’re doing something right compared to the rest of Grow.
  7. Missed potential sales: this section shows you how well you are doing at converting known whales (those that paid before on Grow) to pay in your game. It shows how many of the whales from Grow that played in your game didn’t pay this week in your game. If a large number of whales came into your game and did not pay, it suggests that you might consider doing something differently to get them to pay in your game as well. Every whale that pays elsewhere and not in your game is practically money that you’ve left on the table. The missed potential sales figure comes from multiplying number of whales not paying in your game with the Weekly ARPPU (= Weekly Average Revenue Per Paying User = Weekly Revenue divided by Weekly Paying Users Count).The Whales Report showing weekly payers retention and the weekly break down.
  8. Retention: this section shows your payer retention performance over the report’s week days using a cohort analysis chart. The left axis shows the date in which each cohort entered your game and the top shows how many days passed since that entry day. The matching cell for these axis values shows how many payers stayed in your game after this many days since their entry.
  9. Weekly users played: weekly count of users who played your game.
  10. Weekly users paid: weekly count of users who paid in your game.
  11. Weekly conversion: conversion rate for your game this week. Shows what percentage of new users you’ve been able to convert to paying users this week.
  12. All-time users played: total count of users who played your game since you joined the Grow network.
  13. All-time users paid: total count of users who paid in your game since you joined the Grow network.
  14. Average days to payment: how many days on average (on all days since you joined Grow) does it take a paying user to start paying in your game since he started playing it.The Whales Report showing the total revenue for last week and this week.
  15. Revenue: shows how much revenue you made this week and last week side by side.
  16. Revenue graph: shows your historical revenue over the last 12 weeks.

Tell us what you think

The SOOMLA Whales Report is ever evolving and will continue to grow and offer more insights in the future. We are also diligently working on cleaning up the various figures from fraudulent contribution, so with time you should expect these reports to be even more accurate.

We always love to hear what you think about our products and we are inviting you to suggest new features that can be valuable for you to have in the weekly reports. Feel free to contact me at:

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Grow Insights – Know Your Users Better and in Real Time

“I don’t care if this user is a payer! He gets the same experience as everyone!” said no one ever.A graph going up with a magnify glass on a particular point.

Getting to know your users is one of the most important aspects of app development, especially when it comes to game development. But sometimes knowing your market in general just isn’t enough. How great would it be to be able to personalize your game to fit every user’s needs?

Grow Insights – bring out the U in Users.

Every user is different and needs a different approach. This is where Grow Insights comes into play, allowing you to receive insights about the user currently playing your game – in real time.

Grow Insights currently supports PayInsights which categorizes users according to their pay-rank per genre.

So, what can I do with it?einsbot

With more features coming soon, the sky is the limit.

  • Create special discounted bundles for paying users.
  • Adapt the game difficulty for specific users.
  • Create push campaigns.
  • Show ads for non-paying users.
  • A lot more… you can create your own personalization features and even share them with others on our forum.

Cool, but how does it work?

With the increasing growth of SOOMLA, more and more game developers are choosing to use it’s framework for economy, in-app-purchase, levels and scores management.Soomla InsightsWith this information at hand, SOOMLA can then analyze it and provide meaningful insights about each user seen in other games, while keeping his/her privacy as a top priority. In order to achieve these privacy requirements, SOOMLA never exposes the actual info, but rather a category to which this user belongs. For example, if a user purchased $15.80 worth of in-app-purchases, SOOMLA will only provide his/her category, which is “$10-$50.”

I’m sold! Now what?

Grow Insights is part of Grow.

To integrate Grow Insights in your game, please follow our Integration manual for Unity3D or Cocos2d-x.


Two early birds to integrate with Grow Insights are TUNE and GameAnalytics.  Special thanks to John Gu at TUNE and Martin Treacy-Schwartz from GameAnalytics for helping with the integration.  Check out their integration links here:  204655_GameAnalytics_Logo   Tune_Logo

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Announcement, Unity

Windows Phone Store is here!

The wait is finally over!  We’re excited to release the first version of SOOMLA Store for Windows Phone 8, now available on Github.  For those of you who’ve already used SOOMLA, this new plugin will be a walk in the park.  Keeping consistent with the other platforms we support, WP8 utilizes our rich economy model, event system, encrypted on-device storage, user balance management and Windows Store billing all baked in.  And for those of you who are new to SOOMLA, have a look at our Github repo’s README while we’re diligently working on WP8 documentation for our knowledge base.

SOOMLA Store WP8 provides a “Test Mode” for your IAPs. You will be able to check the purchase flow before publishing, making the tests easier and increasing the quality of your app. It also runs on the simulator (as it support x86 build), is compatible with WP8.1 and is W10 ready.

unity-wp8To cater Unity devs, we’ve also included Windows Phone 8 support in Unity.  All you need to do is select WP8 as your build target.  You can also use the simulation checkboxes during testing.

Windows Phone is emerging as an attractive platform to be in. While device distribution is still significantly lower than iPhones and Android devices, the audience of Windows Phone is a loyal one.  The Windows Phone Store hit more than 500,000 apps last year which is an impressive growth rate and actually beats the growth percentage of the App Store which was launched several years before.

We’d like to pay our respect to the guys at Shinypix studio for helping us make Windows Phone another platform supported by the SOOMLA framework.  Their dedication and work on this project is the true epitome of open source technology.

To get started, head over to the Github repo:

Check out these slides for more details:


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Announcement, Open Source, Unity

Announcing Android Receipt Validation

We’re happy to announce that the SOOMLA Store SDK now supports receipt validation for Android.  This latest development, which was much awaited by our developer community, is another layer in our secure in-app purchase stack which supports our commitment to prevent IAP fraud.  The validation uses our dedicated complimentary server. Don’t sweat it if you don’t know how to set up a server, we’ll pick up the tab on that one.

This latest feature has also been integrated into our Unity and Cocos2d-x plugins to ensure that developers using game engines can benefit from it as well.  In Unity, using Android receipt validation is as easy as ticking a checkbox.  You need to also configure a few things with Google and provide your OAuth credentials. This is explained in-depth in our knowledge base.

Developers using GROW analytics gain automatic access to our fraud protection analytics. Our analytics integration does not use custom based events and is able to filter out fraud to give you more accurate reporting.

View Now

Receipt validation, also known as server side verification, is a best practice for developers who are employing in-app purchases in their game and who isn’t today, riunity-android-receipt-validationght? For those of you who aren’t familiar with receipt validation, the general concept is to double check a transaction with a third party server which in turn validates it with Google Play’s servers.  The reasoning for do this is that malicious users could potentially “crack” their devices’ IAP by installing a piece of software that emulates the purchase process. These crackers usually hijack purchase requests and direct them to fraudulent servers that return a response similar to the one returned by Google Play even though the transaction is never really committed. The solution to this scenario is to validate the receipt that’s returned at the end of the purchase with a dedicated server that you trust, which will validate the receipt on your behalf with Google Play. Since it’s your dedicated server (or in this case, SOOMLA’s dedicated server) it’s much harder to crack the link between that server and Google Play. This process is very similar to receipt validation in iOS.

Check out these slides for more details:


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Announcement, Open Source

Supersonic and SOOMLA Join Forces

Supersonic and SOOMLA are joining forces!  We’re happy to announce our partnership with Supersonic as part of our efforts to provide our devSupersonic + Soomlaeloper community with the best monetization solutions to complement the SOOMLA framework.  Using SOOMLA Store, Profile and LevelUp will help you create your game’s economy and progression curve.  By adding Supersonic’s rewarded ads between levels and currency shortage cut-points, you can now monetize all users equally.

Supersonic is a leading mobile advertising technology platform. It offers developers the ability to monetize users by serving beautiful rewarded video ads, interstitial ads and offerwalls, all in one SDK.  Supersonic commits to generating significant eCPM and a high fill rate to maximize revenue for game developers. Supersonic is now offering SOOMLA community members a $100 bonus when you integrate their SDK.

As a technology-driven company, we are happy to partner with another tech powerhouse such as Supersonic. We’ve created several code examples for Unity, iOS & Android to help you get started seamlessly.

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Announcement, Open Source

Announcing SOOMLA Integrations!

SOOMLA Integrations

We’re happy to announce a new section of the SOOMLA knowledge base: integrations. In this section, we showcase how SOOMLA can be integrated with other third-party vendors – including SDKs you’re likely to already be using for advertising, analytics, attribution and game servers.


We’ve created integration samples with six SDK providers so far including GameUp, GameAnalytics, OneSignal, Supersonic, TUNE and Unity Ads. By year end, we are planning on having over 20 SDK providers contribute code samples, so developers can learn how to improve their games. One area we are specifically committed to unlocking is cross-game data. For example, developers will be able to block ads from users who paid in other games.

Integration Logos (1)

During the course of the last few months, we’ve received more and more requests from developers asking if and how the SOOMLA open source framework operates with other SDKs. The truth is that being a meta-game framework that handles all aspects of IAP, virtual economies, social and level design makes SOOMLA very practical for harmonious integration with third parties. Our simple API and event-driven architecture make it perfect for interweaving with other solutions. Some examples are:

  • Reward users with coins when they complete an offer from an offer wall.
  •  Offer users free coins in exchange for watching video ads.
  •  Reporting SOOMLA events and meta-data to analytics services
  •  Collect game progression and social engagement info to an attribution provider in order to identify which marketing channels account for your best users.
  •  Deliver push notifications to users based on their purchase history.
  •  Keep track of scores and records with a leaderboard server.

We’re inviting all SOOMLA developers to use our integration code samples and give us feedback. We’d also like to point out that the knowledge base is open source and available on Github – we encourage anyone who has integrated more third party providers to send pull requests with your code samples.

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Soomla Announces the Whales Report

The Whales Report

We’re excited to announce Soomla’s first data product, the Whales Report.  Powered by the SOOMLA GROW network, the report helps developers spot users who paid in other games (“whales”) and tells you which users are more likely to pay in your game.  With this knowledge, you can take immediate action on these players by sending them personal messages and in-game promotions for example. Also, if a whale starts to drift away, you can send them push notifications for special offers and sales to get them back in your game.

To join the GROW network developers just have to agree to share their data back with other developers in the network. If you’ve implemented any of our SDKs, then getting the Whales Report is a sinch! Just download the GROW bundle (Unity | Cocos2d-x) and you’re good to go. The more studios that join the network, the more payer data everyone gets.

Sign up today to know your whales!

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Announcement, Open Source – SDK directory for mobile game developers

gamegear-logo-bigFor the past few months, I’ve found myself looking up companies from the mobile gaming space quite frequently. We also ask each new team member to study the competitive landscape and the leading companies of the mobile gaming industry. While this is a good exercise, it can be quite difficult to keep track of all the different vendors and providers that have SDKs for mobile game developers. That’s when we realized that there’s no simple directory that lists all of these companies, and if we’re continuously learning about the market, heck, why not quickly build something and put it up for the rest of the mobile game-dev community to enjoy as well.

Today I’m happy to announce that we’ve launched the first ever mobile SDK directory for mobile game developers. And, keeping with our core values, it is a collaborative website that is hosted on Github.  This means that anyone can contribute new or updated content to the website.  We encourage you all to have a look and help us keep live and kicking.  Check out the repo and feel free to star or fork it.

We’d also appreciate your feedback on what other features you’d like to see added to Gamegear:

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Announcement, Events

MGF Asia 2015 Here We Come!

Calling all indie developers:

Let’s talk dataSoombot-Conference-MGF

SOOMLA is attending MGF Asia in Hong Kong April 8th-9th, and we’d love to meet you there. We’re here to explore the Asian market and its influences in today’s gaming industry. We’re also currently developing the most innovative community data platform, which allows day-zero prediction for new users, and we want to tell you more!

Meet us there

Meet Yaniv at MGF Asia in Hong Kong, tweet him at @soomla, or drop him an email at

Can’t wait to see you there!

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