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Case Study: MyTona

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MyTona is a free-to-play mobile game developer and publisher. Established in 2006, MyTona is the creator of hit games, such as Seeker’s Notes: Hidden Mystery and The Secret Society. According to current charts, Seeker’s Notes is the top performing hidden object game, reaching the top 10 grossing games on the iPad in USA, Canada, UK and European countries. Seekers Notes has been downloaded more than 20 million times.

MyTona’s studio is made up of a team of 350 members, spread across five offices. The company was founded by Alexey Ushnisky and Afanasey Ushnisky and since its beginning, has become one of the most successful game developers in Russia.

The Challenge

Games are the most targeted by fraud

Looking at the distribution of ad fraud among all the verticals Adjust measures, Games accounts for a third of all fraud blocked by the Fraud Prevention Suite. If you’re a Game publisher and have paid for mobile advertising to attract new users, it’s very likely that your campaign has been tainted by one of the five kinds of mobile ad fraud we know to exist. Furthermore, if your game includes in-app purchases, it’s probable that some users have tried to steal them.

Since working with Adjust, MyTona has acquired more than 12 million users across all platforms: including iOS, Android and Windows. The company’s principle issue was that as the number of paid installs increased, fraud grew too. This was further complicated as it began new user acquisition campaigns across countries which are known to have a higher rate of fraud. For instance, in South East Asia, MyTona saw a higher rejected installs rate -- more than 2%, compared to tier one countries, where it's usually 0.7%. When it came to in-app purchases, MyTona consistently received around 20% discrepancy in purchases from Google’s Play Store, and around 3% from the App Store compared with real purchase value data.

MyTona needed a way to stop mobile fraud from reaching its UA budgets, skewing datasets and, ultimately, affecting its ability to make decisions about the strategic direction of the app.

The Solution

Mytona was able to stop ad fraud from stealing their user acquisition budget

MyTona combined two powerful tools to take on fraud: The Fraud Prevention Suite, and Purchase Verification. With them, MyTona was able to scale back the effects of fraudulent purchases within its app.

Adjust’s Fraud Prevention Suite

Adjust uses a five step waterfall of tools that analyzes every install engagement event, in the moment. If fraud is found to be active, the Fraud Prevention Suite blocks it from stealing ad fraud budget, and skewing valuable datasets. MyTona saw the opportunity early, and began a trial with the suite soon after launch two years ago. As the company began to see the rate of fraud affecting campaign performance, it kept with the tool, and kept producing the results they were after.

Purchase Verification

Fake in-app purchases can often be attributed to jailbroken phones. To MyTona, the unverifiable transactions will skew its revenue data, affecting critical decisions related to user acquisition and game design. In this case, MyTona’s requirement was that all purchases made are accurate and authentic. With Adjust’s Purchase Verification tool, MyTona’s marketing team was given the ability to certify all in-app purchases and make accurate decisions. Purchase Verification works like this: a user purchases an item in-app. At the same moment, Adjust communicates with iOS/Google Play Store server and confirms or rejects the purchase in real time. Because it works instantly, data and revenue numbers are never distorted by fake in-app payments, as such purchases are immediately rejected.

Since integrating Adjust’s Purchase Verification tool, MyTona was able to effectively use the data from Adjust without having to waste resources to navigate though false data, thus allowing the team to make prompt and accurate decisions resulting in a more efficient workflow.

The Result

MyTona went from a 4% fraud rate to less than 1%

MyTona has been utilizing the fraud prevention suite since its launch over two years ago. The suite has resulted in MyTona receiving less than 1% of fraudulent activity across all devices for Seekers Notes. MyTona began working with Purchase Verification in December 2017, and they saw results quickly after that. After implementing Purchase Verification the company received improved accuracy, almost to 100% of purchases. They were also able to identify some severe outliers, with likely indications of gaming the system. One example was a case where a single user “paid” $6000 for in-app items, a near-impossibility.

Purchase verification continues to make a difference, helping the team make correct decisions on campaign lifetime value. “It helped us to make correct decisions based purely on correct install data,” Elena Vinokurova, Marketing Manager at MyTona says. “We make decisions and put effort into the right networks and partners. We are able to say to ourselves ‘Partner A brings us this kind of install, and we’re 100% sure that they’re not fraudulent.’”

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