The top 6 KPIs Every Indie Developer Should Monitor

Key Metrics for Developers

If you’re an indie developer, there are six fundamental KPIs in user acquisition that you should be monitoring every day. When it comes to game analytics, the data surrounding UA is highly imperative as it gives you as a developer an accurate reflection on the overall success of your game and what areas need changing. Below are the top six KPIs we recommend monitoring in your upcoming games:


 1. Retention Rate


Your retention rate is one of the most important KPIs as an indie developer to monitor. It shows the overall retention of every user who downloads your game and can act as a red flag on whether there are areas of your game requiring change. For example, a low RRD1 may mean that your game is not challenging enough for the user and thus the user doesn’t return after the first session. A promising RRD1 but low RRD7 may mean that while your game is engaging at first, it lacks incentive for the user to come back after time has passed. This may lead you to increase difficulty on some levels or implement a daily reward in order to encourage them to return.


2. CPI


The CPI achieved in campaigns is extremely important for you to monitor and measure. For a publisher it’s important to have a low CPI as it means more budget can be spent on user acquisition to drive more traffic to your game. For you as a developer however, it acts as a flag to show the overall appeal and success of your game to the user.

Indeed, a high CPI can be a result of many things but more often not it can be a reflection of your gameplay design and feel. For example, a user should be able to understand the concept of your game from simply watching a short video. The gameplay should be visually pleasing with visible effects showing when someone wins and dies and has level progression.


3. eCPM


Your eCPM is the cost that ad networks pay per thousand impressions in an ad space on your game. As a game developer, it’s an important metric for you to measure as it represents the overall effectives of your game and the quality of users you’re attracting to it. The higher the quality of users are as a result of UA, the better your overall eCPM offers will be from ad networks will be and the higher your overall revenues will be.


4. Average session length


Your average session length allows you to judge the overall onboarding and monetisation prospects of your game. For example, if your average session length is less than 30 seconds, this can mean that player are failing to understand how to play the game. You can improve your onboarding through a number of ways [Insert lInk to onboarding here] and can help your users to stay long enough to understand the game. The average session length is also imperative to monitor from a monetisation side. The longer your user spends time in the game, the more ads they are likely to view and the higher your overall ad revenues can be.


5. Number of sessions


The number of game sessions played is also important to monitor in conjunction with the overall session length. It is used primarily to understand the LTV of users on your game as well as the effectiveness of incentives. For example a high number of sessions per user in one week can be an indicator that a daily rewards function is working well. It’s also important to note that the number of sessions can vary depending on the type and complexity of your mobile game. If your game is a fast paced one kill style of progress, the number of sessions may be more frequent as users may play whilst on commute or in short moments of breaks. Less frequent number of sessions may not necessarily translate into your gameplay being unengaging either as the overall session length may be significantly long if your game is more strategy and real-time based.


6. IAP


IAP or In App Purchases is important to measure in order to understand the appeal and overall effectiveness of your in-app purchases. If you have a high iAP rate you may think that it simply translates to mean that your game in effective in incentivising users to purchases. However it is also an important metric to understand where the popularity is stemming from. For example, UA campaigns in China may attract low amounts of users however the IAP rate may be extremely high. As a result of this high IAP conversion rate, you can adjust your budget accordingly to increase UA efforts in high ARPU geos.

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