Shadow Fight 3 Case Study

Fighting games have always been pushing technological boundaries on mobile. That’s where you can find the most advanced 3D graphics, realistic animations and immersive gameplay mechanics. Shadow Fight, one of the most popular RPG brawlers attracting hundreds of thousands of players every day, is a perfect example. Developed by a Cyprus-based company Nekki, the series currently consists of three titles, Shadow Fight 2, 3 and Arena, and combines RPG mechanics with a classic fighting game style. Players can choose from multiple game modes such as a single-player story and PvP. Up till now, Shadow Fight has received numerous awards and boasts over 500M downloads.

Shadow Fight 3 - gameplay screenshot
Shadow Fight 3 – gameplay screenshot

SF3 ad monetization overview

When it comes to monetization, Shadow Fight is heavily oriented towards in-app payments. Nekki has focused on providing players with the best user experience and keeping them in the core game loop. That’s why the game is not interrupted by interstitials or banners. There are a few rewarded video placements, which help players make a faster progress in the game, e.g. by delivering chests with items. That said, all six apps (3 titles on 2 platforms – iOS and Google Play) generate millions of ad impressions and significant revenue every day.

The cooperation with Nekki started in February 2021, when we launched Bidlogic and started optimizations in Shadow Fight 3. Our aim was to address two issues. Firstly, since the development team is mostly focused on IAP monetization, we wanted to automate waterfall management in order to save time spent on managing ad monetization. Secondly, we aimed at improving the eCPMs and AD ARPDAU by at least 15% without making any additional changes to the in-game design.

Optimization results

After connecting Bidlogic, we managed to secure a stable AD ARPDAU growth over the course of the following six months, as presented on the chart below. The optimization results over-exceeded the minimum threshold we set at the beginning.

Shadow Fight 3 AD ARPDAU
Shadow Fight 3 AD ARPDAU

There are a few key takeaways from the strategy we took up during that period:

“With Bidlogic we received both: time saved and tangible effects of the optimizations visible in higher ad revenue.”. – Alexandr Lubchenko, CMO at Nekki. 

Currently, Bidlogic optimizations are running in all six Shadow Fight apps, improving their advertising KPIs. The next steps we are planning to take include A/B testing automation and further improvements of the eCPM instance optimizations, along with bidding instances.

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