Looking for a Merge Mansion advertising analysis?
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To uncover how this merge game got so successful, I’ve examined its user acquisition strategy, including ad examples and tips.
But first, let’s learn what Merge Mansion is all about.
About Merge Mansion
Merge Mansion by Helsinki-based Metacore Games is a popular puzzle game that belongs to the trending merge subgenre.
Merge games are known for their simple game mechanics. The goal of such games is to combine similar objects (e.g., wood, plants, gold, dragons, candy, etc.) on a board to acquire more advanced items.
As Merge Mansion’s Google Play Store listing states, “Even grandmas can learn a game this simple!”
When players merge the items, that creates an upgraded item. For example, merging wood benches unlocks a wooden stool and combining wooden stools creates a wooden chair, and so on.
Merge Mechanics + Meta Layers
In Merge Mansion’s case, the goal is to decorate a mansion. Thus, all items are related to the exterior and interior design. It’s also important to note that design & décor is one of the game’s meta layers.
However, players don’t get to choose how anything looks, unlike in Gardenscapes, for example.
Along with simple merge mechanics and designing, Merge Mansion also has a narrative meta-layer.
There’s a mystery adventure storyline that’s interwoven into puzzle gameplay. We meet Maddie, a young woman, and her grandmother, who has something to tell. As players advance through the game, they discover shocking family secrets.
According to Metacore’s website, “Starring Maddie and her grandma, the story engages players with wicked twists and gossipy turns. Love, heritage, and betrayal are put together in one messy puzzle, and shh… Maddie’s grandmother has a secret to tell!”
The main purpose of adding meta-layers to simple puzzle games is to increase engagement, as well as reach a broader audience.
“We believe that both core mechanics and meta are important when it comes to game development. But we really prioritize ideas or like strong meta structures for games,” Metacore founder Mika Tammenkoski said. “What really is of interest to us is to keep players playing the games for years to come. And that’s where the strong meta comes from.”
How Successful Is Merge Mansion?
According to SensorTower, Merge Mansion had the highest market share in Q2 2021 out of all merge games (30%). Merge Dragons, the game that had popularized this genre, was second on this list (13%). EverMerge was third with a 12% market share.
I’ve also included downloads and revenue data for Merge Mansion.
All-Time Merge Mansion Downloads by Country
Released globally in September 2020, Merge Mansion is currently at more than 4 million all-time downloads on iOS. (GameRefinery)
The downloads had been steadily rising since the release and reached their peak in July 2021 (700k downloads).
The majority of downloads on iOS came from the United States (42%). Other markets with a high download share were the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Canada. (GameRefinery)
On Android, Merge Mansion got to more than 5 million downloads so far, making its overall download count on both platforms reach more than 9 million.
All-Time Merge Mansion Revenue by Country
According to GameRefinery’s iOS data, Merge Mansion has earned more than $14 million since its release. Just like the downloads, the revenue also peaked in July 2021.
The most lucrative markets for Merge Mansion on iOS are the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Canada.
If you’re wondering how this game became one of the top-grossing merge games, check out our Merge Mansion monetization analysis.
Who Is Playing Merge Mansion?
In a very broad sense, most Merge Mansion players are considered to be casual players, as is the case with most puzzle games. Casual gamers are attracted to simple game mechanics, and their main motivation for playing is to pass the time.
Moreover, as most games in this genre, Merge Mansion tends to have an older female audience, typically between the ages of 40 and 50. (AppLovin)
That, of course, shaped Merge Mansion’s advertising strategy, as most of its ads cater to a female audience.
But more about that in the following section.
Merge Mansion ASO Analysis
A good user acquisition strategy should unify paid and organic UA. When it comes to organic user acquisition, app store optimization is one of the most important elements.
A well-optimized app store listing can improve the game’s visibility, as well as drive conversions, which is the ultimate goal.
If you observe the names of the most popular merge games, they all have the keyword “merge” in their titles. For example, Merge Dragons, Merge Villa, Merge Manor, Merge Magic, Merge Fables, EverMerge.
Merge Mansion is no exception.
The reasoning behind it is quite simple – it lets users know that this is a merge game.
Furthermore, it’s an important keyword that can help improve the game’s discoverability on the app stores. In terms of keywords, the game title carries the most weight.
The second word in the title, “mansion”, refers to the game’s meta-layer, as the goal is to redecorate a mansion.
Here you can see how a simple game title like Merge Mansion tells users everything they need to know about the game.
Game icons on Google Play and App Store change from time to time. That’s because the developers want to keep things fresh as well as stay current with seasonal icons.
We see a similar strategy with Merge Mansion.
Their past icons usually featured the two main game characters – Maddie and her grandmother.
The current one is no different. However, it’s Halloween-themed, which is appropriate for this time of the year.
Seasonal icons are common practice among mobile games. They tell users there has been a recent update. Plus, a holiday-themed mobile game might stand out more in the app stores.
App Promo Video
A game’s app promo video is one of the most important ASO elements, as this format tends to drive more organic conversions.
Its main purpose is to demonstrate the different features a game offers and instruct people to download it.
It may sound simple, but creating a compelling app promo video is not easy.
Here’s how Merge Mansion did it.
The 30-second promo video includes a short glimpse of the gameplay. We’re shown how to merge items and create more advanced tools, which is the core gameplay.
Additionally, the video features decoration and renovation (adding flowers, fixing the bridge). If we go back to the aforementioned player motivations, this part of the video will appeal to players who are into customizing and design.
Notice that the overall atmosphere of the video is exceedingly calming and relaxing. That’s achieved by a slow-paced video edit and tranquil background music. The message to the viewers is quite simple – this game is relaxing.
Naturally, that appeals to players who want to wind down while playing mobile games.
What Merge Mansion’s promo video lacks is a call-to-action. Remember, the goal is to make people convert. To achieve that, you need to tell viewers what you want them to do.
Also, the promo video could benefit from additional gameplay footage that shows range. For example, making the narrative aspect of this game more prominent.
Besides the app promo video, game screenshots/graphics are another way to visually represent a game on the app stores.
Merge Mansion was quite successful with this.
The graphics highlight each feature – renovation, storylines, hidden areas, and of course, merging and discovering new items.
They make it clear what the game is about and have the potential of reaching a broad audience, as different users are interested in different aspects of the gameplay.