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#27 Getting Innovative in Mobile Games Marketing (SYBO Games)

Today’s guest shares insights on casual and hyper-casual games, staying competitive amid the Candy Crushes of the world, and tactics for acquiring users with Snapchat.

Farhan Haq is the head of performance marketing and mobile growth for SYBO Games where he works on the fully organic, most downloaded title on Android of all time, Subway Surfers.

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Questions Farhan Answered in this Episode:

  • How challenging was it for you to work during the era of Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, and Game of War but not working at one those gaming studios?
  • How did you stay creative in order to drive downloads in a saturated and competitive market?
  • Have you had success using Snapchat or Tik Tok for acquisition? What was your strategy?
  • At Subway Surfers, do you focus on getting more users or engaging current users to drive monetization?
  • Is Subway Surfers a casual or hyper-casual game?
  • Where do you see the future of the gaming industry going?


  • 8:50 Growing game titles in competition with big players
  • 12:47 Creativity in targeting
  • 14:04 Fake ads – it’s about the feeling
  • 16:17 Testing Snapchat
  • 20:40 Monetizing the user base
  • 22:15 Casual, hyper-casual games, and the future


“The cloning model and doing something a little different from a clone still hugely impactful then; actually can still be now but I guess you have to get a bit more lucky, you’ve got to get something right now because people have cloned things a million times over now.”

“So, a lot of the older developers kind of struggle to be creative enough and adapt, and they just kept thinking, well look, we’re going to do things the old way. And then that’s why all these new players just keep coming out of nowhere because I guess they’re more hungry and more agile. And then that’s why there’s always been this opportunity to, across the last 5 years, to be like, hang on, we can make an impact in this space as long as we try something a bit newer and back ourselves on it.”

“What worked for these narrative games was a combination of three elements that I found, particularly for these story-based games. My trifecta was: 1) pregnancy, 2) cheating, and 3) timelapse.”