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InnoGames Boosts Forge of Empires Mobile Game Installs 150% on Facebook with Android Launch [Case Study]

Written by: Juliana Casale, Director of Marketing

The mobile gaming industry has seen some major changes since Snake first made its pre-installed debut on a 1997 Nokia phone. As Google Play and the iOS App Store flood with freemium games, viral titles come and go—but what are the hallmarks of a long-term successful app developer? We tapped one of our biggest European customers, InnoGames, to find out.


Known for popular games like Tribal Wars 2, Elvenar, and Forge of Empires, InnoGames has attracted more than 150 million registered players since 2007. In the year that the company has been leveraging Nanigans advertising automation software, it has promoted five game titles to boost user acquisition and scale campaigns across desktop and mobile—both iOS and Android. What sets InnoGames apart from other game publishers is a specialty in strategy games with highly loyal fan bases. In fact, some of InnoGames’ most loyal users have been playing the classic Tribal Wars for almost 10 years!

InnoGames launched its most recent strategy game, Forge of Empires, on Android in March 2015, following its release on desktop and iOS. The city-building game challenges players to build up a civilization and take over a continent through single-player campaigns or multiplayer mode. Marketed in 37 countries, Forge of Empires has attracted more than 29 million registered users.

Forge of Empires Android

With the Android launch of Forge of Empires, InnoGames’ in-house performance marketing team has successfully increased mobile installs by 150%. Meanwhile, campaigns have netted significantly positive return on ad spend since day one. Through taking control of campaigns in-house using Nanigans software, InnoGames has achieved ambitious goals of driving maximum installs while maintaining strong KPIs. Here’s a look at the software technology enabling performance and scale.

Ad Plans

The ad planning workflow in Nanigans facilitates the quick and easy setup of robust targeting structure (including country, gender, age, interest layers, and more), and complex creative iteration on existing successful campaigns.

Performance Analysis

Through a flexible, multidimensional business intelligence interface, InnoGames’ in-house team can surface both granular and high-level performance insights in real-time. Learnings from previous desktop and iOS campaigns also enable InnoGames to use precise interest and Custom Audience lookalike targeting to optimize ads on Facebook.

Advanced Customization

Nanigans software is designed to be flexible and meet the needs of sophisticated in-house performance marketers. Simple customizations enable InnoGames to implement unique tracking (e.g. custom dynamic URL- parameters for desktop) and conduct a thorough analysis of effective ROI on all targeting layers (country, age, gender, etc.). InnoGames can quickly and accurately assess user lifetime value and leverage these business- specific insights to optimize Facebook ad spend based on signals from 7 and 30-day cohorts.

Audience Overrides

Providing ultimate control, Nanigans software enables InnoGames to use audience overrides to optimize bids at a granular level using insights across targeting structures.

So, what’s the secret to InnoGames’ consistent wins?

  • Valuing control of data and the ability to closely monitor spend budgets (which is especially important during the early days of new campaigns and new game launches)
  • Looking past immediate yield and revenue to the bigger picture of user lifetime value
  • Optimizing campaigns constantly, applying knowledge (e.g. how aggressive to be with bids on certain cohorts, or which creative really drives installs) to the next title launch

In an ecosystem as competitive as mobile gaming, InnoGames has found a winning solution, leveraging the right technology to take control of its digital advertising and solidify its reputation as a long-term success story.

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