When it comes to monetizing your mobile game, it can be challenging to know where to start, especially for growing studios. Striking the balance between creativity and understanding your players’ needs can be tough. We spoke with Alex Kozachenko, CEO of HyperBeard, to learn how he got his start in the ad tech industry, and how he helped manage a mobile game studio with viral hits like KleptoCats and Adorable Home.
In this interview, we discuss with Alex how important it is to know your audience and test different ad monetization strategies, and what metrics he finds important for his games’ success.
Unity: Tell us a bit about how you got started in mobile game monetization.
Kozachenko: I was doing marketing for a bank and had friends that said I needed to get into the tech space. The first company I started working at was an ad tech company where I learned about the gaming space and how to monetize games through ads.
This led me to a more general tech job where I managed a team in Ukraine of about 10–50 people. Eventually, we opened an office in Mexico and that team released our first big hit, KleptoCats, in 2016. I realized this was an exciting business model, so I decided to go all in on the mobile games industry.
Today, we now have around 50 people in South America, and Mexico, and a few others worldwide. We’re growing year over year. Three years ago, we hit $4 million in revenue, two years ago we hit $8 million, and last year we hit $11.5 million.
Unity: What makes you excited to work in monetization at HyperBeard?
Kozachenko: My favorite part of the business is understanding our audience. I’m not the target demographic (women 18–35) for most of our games, but I can put myself in a frame of mind to think and engage like our audience. By doing so, I can usually figure out how to change gameplay and the overall experience to boost metrics like retention and monetization.