Coin Master, published by Israeli company Moon Active, has long been disrupting the social casino scene by offering a multi-layered, social experience. According to Priori Data, it has generated $197.5m in net revenue so far this year, with no signs of letting up. No other title in this genre has come close to Coin Master’s success, which is fuelled by Western markets. The USA, the UK and Germany combined account for 85% of net revenue – with the USA alone generating $116m year-to-date; a 59% overall share.
78% of net revenue driven through Google Play
Whilst the USA and the UK have a fairly even split in terms of operating systems, IHS Markit data shows that other top-grossing territories for Coin Master have a much weaker iPhone presence. Android devices in India, Spain and Romania take 95%, 70% and 83% shares of their respective smartphone installed bases.
Build-and-battle features add dimension to simple slot mechanics
Aggressive monetisation is the backbone of the game, which is essentially a single, virtual slot machine with a handful of additional layers which set it apart from its competitors. Concepts that are familiar to gamers such as raiding and city-building form key components of the gameplay. There is also a significant social layer based around collecting cards and, combined with the mid-core build-and-battle dimension, the title provides a unique slot experience.
These additional elements position Coin Master in a category of its own, and appeal to previously untapped audiences and markets – a strategy which has proven extremely lucrative for Moon Active.
More extensive user-acquisition activity is also a likely growth driver
Coin Master’s gameplay has been established for some time and so cannot be solely responsible for the sudden 2019 surge in net revenue – although a major update to the title was made in January. There is evidence that the company has focused more on marketing and user-acquisition: in November 2018, it partnered with popular UK YouTuber Morgz to produce a series of ads targeting the teenager’s 8.5m subscribers. What’s more, Coin Master ads are noticeably more common across social media in recent months.
However, downloads have only increased by 43% YoY. This suggests that whilst these user-acquisition efforts may be targeting and recruiting a smaller number of higher spenders, Moon Active is also better-monetising and better-engaging its existing audience. This higher conversion rate – possibly induced by improved monetisation mechanics and a push in advertising - has caused Coin Master revenue to increase substantially YoY.
Social casino titles are quietly establishing themselves as top-grossers
Year to date, there are 13 casino-based titles in the global top-grossing chart for Google Play Store, of which 2 are in the top 20. The majority of these are long-standing titles. Playtika’s Slotomania Slots Casino was launched back in 2014 along with further Playtika titles Casino Slots: House of Fun and Bingo Blitz. Coin Master aside, Playtika – an Israeli company bought by a Chinese consortium in 2016 – and its various subsidiaries, have a monopoly on the most successful social casino and bingo games on the mobile market.
Given Coin Master’s standout success versus these more traditional social casino apps, it seems likely that publishers will revise their future offerings in order to provide multi-layered experiences which borrow features from other gaming genres. However, more extensive user-acquisition activity - and an increased focus on the monetisation of existing players - are likely the main drivers behind Coin Master’s substantial growth.