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How Galactic Slice fuels development using Unity Mediation
Growing eCPM by 40% while keeping players happy.

Galactic Slice x Unity | Case study

Galactic Slice is a small but mighty studio that makes adventure style games like their hit OneBit Adventure. As organic growth took off, Unity Mediation gave the studio founder more revenue to invest back into development and satisfy a wish for ads from new regions.

The challenge

Publishing his mobile game to as many app stores as possible without requiring huge amounts of time or needing to hire a team to help him

Platforms

Android, iOS

Team members

Jonathan Concepcion, solo developer

Location

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Galactic Slice logo

A balancing act

Turning your creation into a business is something that many indie developers dream of but also struggle to make happen. Balancing the demands of story building, artistry, coding, quality assurance, community building, and monetization can be a lot for any team to manage.

Jonathan Concepcion, CEO and lead developer of indie studio Galactic Slice, knows these challenges well but also knows how you can overcome them with a partner like Unity.

Three years ago he started making a concept game with the Unity Engine when an injury sidelined him from the retail industry. Fast forward to today and he's celebrating milestones like hitting 1 million DAU, being featured as the iOS App of the Day twice, and is now beginning development on his first multiplayer title.

Community first development

Community first development

It only takes a few minutes of playing OneBit to see why its players are such passionate and loyal fans. A casual turn-based roguelike RPG, OneBit has players constantly moving upwards through levels and fighting enemies as they go.

Earlier this year, after much community consultation, a significant update to the game was released that included a story mode. This added a variety of new dialogue and engagement features to enrich the game's experience and added the ability to pick up items off of dead enemies.

Concepcion said: “Over the evolution of OneBit, I’ve always consulted Discord for feedback to decide if I should make the game more skills based versus level progression based. Their feedback has also been really helpful when trying out more complex monetization strategies to see what their experience was like”.

onebit gif
Ads as an asset

As OneBit has evolved, so has Galactic Slice’s approach to monetization. Like many developers, Concepion started with a simple implementation of only in-app purchases (IAPs) that focused on buying diamonds, the game's currency.

“The gameplay was designed to be completely playable without needing to purchase diamonds but some elements like skip points or cosmetic items like skins can be achieved faster with purchases” he says.

Concepcion soon realized that this approach was limiting how far players could get in OneBit on their own if they didn’t want to purchase diamonds. This led him to implementing rewarded video ads in strategic placements that help the player get deeper into the game faster.

He continued: “Putting ads in OneBit has actually increased player retention as now players who wanted diamonds but didn’t want to spend money on them stick around longer as they could now earn them via watching ads and get deeper into the game.”

Expanding the ad experience with mediation

With ads solving one challenge of helping players progress further into his game a new challenge opened up: How to scale the ad experience to more players.

From discussions on Discord, Concepcion knew that players in some countries were hearing about how diamonds could be earned from ads and were asking for the same experiences. However only having one ad network integrated into his game was limiting his reach. He knew mediation tools were a solution to this but past experiences left him skeptical of trying it again.

“I thought I can’t expand the ad network, so I tried a different mediation tool – but it had a lot of confusing interfaces, and I had trouble getting it to work in my game.” Concepion continues “but then I got an email asking if I wanted to try Unity Mediation and I thought this is exactly what I wanted. Within no time, I was able to expand ads to new regions and now I rarely have anyone on Discord telling me they can’t watch ads.”

Utilizing powerful tools

With the introduction of Unity Mediation, OneBit’s revenue started to take off and Concepcion wasted no time in using Unity insights to invest in development.

He spent a lot of time in the Unity Dashboard looking at the project overview to see where his peak locations are that earn him the most revenue.

Concepcion said: “This helps me make development decisions on localizing the game for regions where engagement and revenue are greatest. Since I started localizing my game I’ve seen a further increase in revenue from those regions.”

Beyond the Unity Mediation dashboard, Concepcion also was able to use Unity solutions to tackle a nagging problem with game crashes.

He added: “I started to use Unity’s Cloud Diagnostics when I was getting feedback about a lot of game crashes but I didn’t know where to look for what was causing them. It helped a lot to quickly find the issues for me before they turned into negative experiences.”

Finding harmony amongst ad networks

As Concepcion’s familiarity with Unity Mediation grew, he heard about in-app bidding when Unity announced bidding with Meta Audience Network was available.

After some quick reading on how competitive bidding works and some minor set up, the results from using bidding became hard to ignore.

He said: “Seeing the numbers, it’s obvious I am earning way more from the competition and getting paid by both Unity and Meta on top of expanding ads to new countries. It's been nice that the two can work together seamlessly without much needed from me.”

Powering the next adventure

Embracing monetization and trying mediation has been, quite literally, game changing for Concepcion. Seeing consistent profitability for his creation while player experiences remain positive have allowed him to focus full time on development with some big plans now underway.

Implementing a blended monetization strategy of IAPs and ads helped him to go from earning $4,500 per month with purchases alone to now $6,000 with ads. Additionally, since trying mediation and bidding specifically his eCPM has grown by 40% from an average of $6 to $10.

Concepcion said: “Unity Mediation solved everything by expanding the ad network without getting into managing something so confusing. It was a lot easier than other mediation tools I’ve tried before. The earnings I am now able to make from my game kind of make it like a steady job in a way.”

With the success of OneBit he’s been able to invest in things that were never possible before like hiring freelancers, having localization work done, and starting paid marketing soon. What’s most exciting is that the success of OneBit is now paving the way for Concepcion to start work on a sequel title and his first multiplayer game: Dungeons of Greed.

Learn more about Mediation