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Alien Invasion Hybrid casual case study

IAP or IAA – why not both? Alien Invasion hybrid-casual case study

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We worked with Multicast Games to acquire users for its leading game Alien Invasion: RPG Idle Space on Android in the U.S. Multicast Games is a developer of hybrid-casual games, owning timeless hits such as Stickman of Wars and Fish Idle: Fishing Tycoon, enjoyed by millions of users across the globe.

Campaign goal

As an idle RPG, Alien Invasion uses a hybrid monetization model of IAP (in-app purchases) and IAA (in-app advertisement). Because of the hybrid revenue model, the KPIs were set for the deep funnel events—IAP and ad monetization—indicating user engagement in the app, with both IAP ROAS and overall ROAS being KPIs.

Results at a glance:


FTD CVR on M3 higher vs M1


D30 ROAS higher on M3 vs M1


Campaign recoup by month 3

The Process

When we started running the campaign for Alien Invasion, we utilized first-party data to build a lookalike audience and target users similar to the current app users. Within the first couple weeks of running the campaign, our machine-learning algorithm was able to identify which users would click on ads and install the app.

Once enough data was gathered for our programmatic bidder to build a basic logic model to target users based on installs, our in-house DSP moved to the next campaign phase: building a unique classification model to target more engaged users. One of the key challenges was to sift through millions of users interested in various idle genres and acquire those with a higher probability of becoming engaged Alien Invasion users. 
For hybrid-casual games, it’s especially critical to the app’s success to be able to engage users for a long period of time and keep a high retention rate. In other words, to both retain paying users and monetize those who prefer to see ads to gain the in-app perks or continue playing the game. Thanks to Adjust’s user-level ad revenue feature we were able to gain data on which user cohorts are more likely to watch ads to retain and accelerate their progress in the game.

Our algorithm was able to divide users into three groups

  1. users who would make in-game purchases;
  2. users who would not make purchases but would engage with the game and watch a significant amount of ads;
  3. users who wouldn’t engage with the app.

With these groups defined, our bidder started factoring the audience segments with a higher probability of becoming engaged users.

Once the right segments of users were defined, we were able to further expedite the campaign to leverage the overall ROAS and acquire highly engaged audiences with a high LTV. These are the audiences we determined would either make purchases or watch ads to gain in-app perks. 

Campaign results

Cost recoup

Being an ML-based DSP and processing over 2.5M ad requests per second, we quickly gained a significant number of positive signals. These signals allowed the model to kick off its learning to identify which user groups would click the ad and install the app. Once our algorithm received enough signals to define which user segments would perform the deep-funnel events (make purchases or become ad-whales), our in-house bidder started factoring those audiences higher.


    By month 2 targeting highly engaged users, we increased the FTD (first-time deposit) CVR (conversion rate) by 65% and the D30 ROAS by 40% vs. month 1.

    Further campaign exploration led to ongoing FTD CVR and D30 ROAS increases and campaign cost recoup by month 3.


    Hybrid in-app monetization

    By using multi-dimensional targeting focusing on engaged users who either had the potential of making in-app purchases or watching a significant amount of ads, we were able to target the engaged users interested in the genre. Those users, even if they wouldn’t make in-app purchases, would still be engaged users who watch the in-app ads—bringing more revenue to Alien Invasion.

    The graph displays the D30 ROAS growth for both IAP and IAA. As seen on the graph, there is a trend: the better we were able to target the audience based on in-app purchases (measured in D30 ROAS on IAP), the higher the D30 ROAS on IAA (in-app advertising) got.

    The graph displays the D30 ROAS growth for both IAP and IAA. As seen on the graph, there is a trend: the better we were able to target the audience based on in-app purchases (measured in D30 ROAS on IAP), the higher the D30 ROAS on IAA (in-app advertising) got.

    Elena Ivanova, Senior Account Executive, Games at Adjust

    “Adjust’s Ad Revenue Measurement, which includes user-level and aggregated ad revenue, allows game developers to see mobile ad revenue and the real lifetime value of users. It helps identify highest-performing acquisition channels and optimize campaigns accordingly. Adjust is already integrated with leading mediation partners, and we are planning to increase the number.”

    Elena Ivanova, Senior Account Executive, Games at Adjust vs. organic channel

    One of the key challenges was to sift through the millions of idle users in the bid stream to find audiences with a higher potential of becoming engaged users.

    By targeting engaged users of similar idle games and other cross-interest genres, whose behavior indicated that they were losing interest in another similar game, we were able to outperform the organic in-app purchases conversion rate benchmark by two times.


    “’s team comprises genuine programmatic experts who consistently demonstrate their willingness to share valuable insights and tailor campaigns to meet our specific requirements.
    The results speak for themselves: the user quality is 30% higher and we clearly see a better LTV, playtime and retention compared to other paid UA sources.”

    Vyacheslav Krivsunov, CEO and Head of UA at Multicast Games

    About Multicast Games

    Multicast Games is a developer of mobile-based casual video games. The company specializes in the development of multi-genre games which includes Parkour Rush, Fish Idle, Idle Church Tycoon, Fight club Tycoon, and many more. The games are available on the Appstore and Google play store.

    Yan Reizin

    “As we see a growing demand for multi-target campaigns, it’s essential for us to cater to our clients’ evolving needs by offering solutions that meet these demands. 

    We are excited that our machine-learning-based DSP has proven itself yet again by achieving the campaign recoup in a short period in the highly competitive hybrid-casual games industry. It is a testament to the capabilities of our platform.”

    Yan Reizin, Regional Manager EMEA & SEA at

    About is a mobile-first DSP operating worldwide. Using our proprietary bidder and machine-learning algorithms, we offer transparent, performance-driven, highly targeted UA and retargeting solutions at scale with access to over 2.5 million ad auctions per second. We are trusted by Nexon, Papaya Gaming, Rapido, Games24x7, Ubisoft, Tilting Point, and many others. strives to be more than just a vendor for its partners, but a partner that helps generate actual value, growth, and broad marketing insights that can be used across channels.

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