How to Choose an Ideal Mobile Game for Brand Collaborations

Kevin Bahler
PR Manager, Blog contributor
The global value of the mobile gaming market is stunning. With over 1.5 billion players in 2024 and a market cap of over 100 billion USD, mobile gaming represents half of the total video gaming industry in terms of players and value.

Tapping into mobile gaming is a lucrative prospect that comes with its own challenges. Learning how to navigate this space and overcome those challenges can lead to a win-win scenario for brand collaborations. Read on to discover what mobile game partnerships have to offer and how to set up campaigns with minimal time and resource expense.
Why do Brands Love
Partnering with Mobile Games?
Mobile games offer unique qualities that make them superior to traditional marketing campaigns. Four key benefits include:
  • Focused attention
  • Low customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • High customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Specific targeting
Alfa Bank's custom branded legendary equipment converted players into paying customers
Alfa Bank's brand integration included legendary equipment in their distinctive shade of red.
Players converted into new credit card holders to acquire this powerful gear.
Let’s look more deeply into each of these.

Focused Attention – Mobile games run one promotion at a time. With a campaign typically lasting 4-6 weeks, brands are seen by every monthly active user consistently and without competing against other brands for attention. This is a huge advantage over social media ad buys, for example.

Low CAC – Gamers are fairly easy to activate because they love their favorite games. With sufficient in-game rewards, players can become new customers for a fraction of the cost. In one case, a bank using PlayMGT’s services activated players to sign up for a credit card and make a purchase; the CAC was only 70% of normal cost.

High CLV – When gamers find what they like, they stick with it. That’s the reason why they play the same game consistently. One QSR brand that worked with PlayMGT found 20% higher CLV from customers gained through their mobile collaboration.

Specific Targeting – Popular mobile games have worldwide appeal, thus giving brands global reach. Similarly, if a brand wants to target a specific region, geolocation can easily bring that message to only the players intended.
What Makes an Ideal
Mobile Game Partner?
Choosing the right mobile game for collaborations isn’t as simple as choosing whatever title is trending #1 in the app store today. Careful consideration and research go into finding the perfect match. Some crucial considerations include:

Shared Demographics – Different games appeal to different people, so the core player base of any game usually has a particular age range and gender. Brands should seek games that appeal to the same demographic as their target audience.

Brand Alignment – Mobile games have their own brand image, which should integrate sensibly. For example, a cute toy brand would align far better with a casual adventure game than a zombie shooter.
Player Base – Several factors go into understanding a game’s player base. The following statistics give a detailed picture of the game’s audience:
  • Total Downloads - General popularity over time
  • Daily Active Users - How many people play the game every day in a month
  • Monthly Active Users - How many people play at least once per month
  • Conversion Rate - What percentage of players spend money in the game
  • Average Revenue Per Paying User - Monthly spending, often in USD
  • Location - How are players distributed in different regions

Brand Awareness – Beyond the players, how well do people know of the game brand? Games with long histories like Cut the Rope or Talking Tom have a wide appeal beyond current players. The Netflix series Jupiter’s Legacy featured Shadow Fight 3, which supports the game’s general popularity.

Track Record – Look for mobile game studios that already have experience collaborating with other brands. A history of successful licensing or co-branding partnerships is a clear sign that the studio understands how to drive results.

Cut the Rope's Om Nom in-game collaborations.
50 M downloads of the McDonald's Happy Studio app to play the exclusive Cut the Rope game Hungry for Fruit.
The candy-munching Om Nom from Cut the Rope made a perfect partner for Yogen Fruz, Schokoladnitsa and Fruitocracy
Challenges Establishing
a Mobile Game Collaboration
With so much untapped potential in the mobile gaming market, why haven’t more brands taken the initiative? The biggest obstacle is the resource commitment needed to do the work in house.

In 2023, the Google Play store had 490,000 mobile games available. Finding an ideal partner, just using the criteria mentioned above, would require an industry expert who could whittle down the list to a manageable number and then research every game that’s left.

Even after compiling a list of prospective game partners, that list will likely include several different studios, each with their own point of contact. Communicating with every studio representative can be time-consuming, and would require detailed project management to keep up with the status on every request.

With all of these factors in aggregate, it’s understandable why so many brands are hesitant to get started.
Arby's collab with Crash Arena Turbo Stars
Get C.A.T.S. tokens with every kids meal to unlock Arby's exclusive boxes!
How Specialized Licensing Agencies Change the Game
Highly specialized licensing and marketing agencies, such as Play Management Company (PlayMGT), are a response to the need for streamlining. Led by industry experts, these agencies connect brands with games and offer full service campaign management, from design to execution and reporting.

Mobile-focused licensing agencies…
  • keep up-to-date research on trends in gaming, licensing, and brand collaboration.
  • only represent popular titles with proven track records of success.
  • offer a single point of contact with direct connections to multiple publishers and studios.
Getting Started with Mobile Game Brand Collaboration
Brand managers interested in exploring the opportunities for mobile game integration should contact a licensing agency like PlayMGT. Start by sharing your goals, whether that be increasing sales, expanding into new markets, increasing exposure, or collecting data for retargeting.

You can expect to learn what kind of titles would best align with your brand, and how a custom tailored campaign can achieve the end-results you desire. The mobile market has proven its success and continued value, but is far from saturation. Now is the perfect time to leverage this market to your advantage.
Burger King PepsiCo Mushroom Wars 2 collab
Burger King and PepsiCo partnered with Mushroom Wars 2, bringing new customers to the BK app with higher lifetime value.
What benefits do mobile game collaborations offer to brands?
  • Focused attention
  • Low customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • High customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Specific targeting

What mobile game is best for my brand?
Look for mobile games that:
  • Share target demographics
  • Align with brand image
  • Have a player base matching your target audience
  • Are popular outside of the core players
  • Have a track record of successful brand integrations

Why should my brand work with a licensing agency?
Specialized mobile gaming licensing agencies like Play Management Company offer several benefits in establishing a brand integration campaign:
  • Up-to-date research on popular games, audience size, and other key statistics
  • Refined portfolio of globally popular game titles across several genres and demographics
  • Direct access to several of the top mobile game publishers in the world
  • Single point of contact for the whole process from start to finish
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