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Ep. 137 Monetization Strategies for Casual Mobile Games

In this episode of Apptivate’s new gaming series, Farhan Haq returns to the podcast to share his expertise on monetizing mobile games. What intel from your user base could be generating a ton of revenue? In-app purchases versus rewarded video ads? Where are the opportunities for game developers in markets around the world? Farhan answers these questions and more.

Farhan is the founder of Hyper HQ, a consultancy for user acquisition and ad monetization for mobile games. Prior to launching Hyper HQ, Farhan was the Head of Growth at SYBO, a mobile game developer in Denmark, the Head of User Acquisition at Nanobit, a mobile game developer in Croatia, and a Product Marketing Manager at Social Point, a mobile game developer in Spain.

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Questions Farhan Answers In This Episode

  • What inspired you to start your own consultancy?
  • What are some of the monetization strategies you used with Subway Surfers to convert users that typically play for free?
  • How did the feedback from the Subway Surfers community inform how you marketed the game?
  • Is there a way to make sure you’re feeding users age-appropriate content?
  • Do you have different marketing strategies for different countries and regions?
  • Have you seen any trends in terms of what games might see better adoption in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions?
  • Where do you think the mobile gaming space is going and where is creativity going to be coming from in the future?


  • 1:23 Farhan’s background
  • 4:05 About Hyper HQ
  • 7:34 Monetizing casual games
  • 11:28 Fan-made characters
  • 13:45 Ad setup for users of all ages
  • 17:11 Marketing mobile games around the world
  • 21:13 Mobile game adoption for EMEA
  • 23:15 Why creativity comes from hyper-casual


(7:34-7:55) “The key thing about any game, especially in the casual market, is that you need a user base to want to play and be engaged with the game, and come back and play it often. So we don’t really look at game time, or time played, but more on the retention metrics because that gauges how often you have opportunities to make money out of your customer base.”

(19:46-20:09) “And now, also the big one [to market mobile games] is Africa because of the fact that there are so many people getting mobile devices. It’s got to be a market that’s relevant. Of course, the lifetime value there is tiny at the moment, but if you have so many hundreds of millions of potential customers if you can get that large base, and as the LTV starts improving, you’re going to be able to make a lot of money.”