arcane legends video games

When avid game players think of mobile role-playing games, Spacetime Studios and its popular ‘Legends’ series are top of mind.

Legends has a loyal following, and when the company wanted to generate additional interest for its Arcane Legends game, they knew Facebook advertising presented an opportunity to drive ROI.

The Objective

Spacetime enlisted our company, Unique Influence, to use the Nanigans system to set up and optimize its Facebook advertising spend.  The main goal was to build a new consumer base that would be highly interested in Arcane Legends.

The Strategy

In this Facebook targeted campaign, we showed app install ads to people while they browsed Facebook on their mobile devices.  From here people could click on the “Install Now” button to download the app.  By default, Facebook will only show this mobile app advertising unit to people on their mobile device.  Below are two examples of ads as seen in preview mode.

app install ads

We targeted a range of interest groups to see which audiences would be most interested in downloading the game.  Using Custom Audiences, we also targeted customers that looked most similar to the people playing its other games.  We also gained an understanding of the gender and age targeting that would be most likely to convert and tested ad units targeting those segments.

The primary focus of the campaign was to find highly engaged and valuable customers.  Using Nanigans we were able to associate revenue generated from the players and associate that revenue with each ad in Facebook.  We used this information to make optimization decisions and quickly improved ROI as a result.

We tested 15 different versions of ads to determine which image and text combination would lead to the best result.  We used an iterative process of optimizing to find the highest revenue producing interest group and ad combinations.


Arcane Legends achieved 316% more revenue per install on Facebook than traditional mobile ad networks in only 14 days. They also achieved a 33% higher ROI (profit-per-install) than other mobile ad networks.

Big takeaways were that image testing definitely mattered.  We found that the 2 images shown in this blog post outperformed other variations that either included more characters or featured the animal in the center of the image.  We also found that targeting a narrow set of interests along with strict age and gender targeting led to great results.  And as expected, Facebook’s lookalike audience performed exceptionally well.

Jeff Petry, General Manager of Spacetime Studios, sums it up best: “Facebook’s extensive targeting capabilities combined with mobile app install ads helped us to acquire high-value customers. We’ve gained a higher ROI with Facebook than any other mobile channel by working with Nanigans and Unique Influence.”

Read the case study here.


  1. Michael August 14th, 2013

    Thanks for the insight. Can you talk more about how you “leveraged Nanigans’ ROI based bidding and optimization algorithms” Also wondering how if you found a quicker way to speed up split testing (when showing to mobile feed only) other than manually creating image/copy in unpublished posts. Thanks

  2. Ryan Pitylak August 15th, 2013


    Performing split testing against the same audience is tricky without a tool, but a way to do it directly in Facebook would be as follows:

    1) Set up two campaigns, each targeting the same audience. In each campaign, create a different version of the ad.
    2) Facebook will typically show both ads to your targeted users. Then, you can compare CTR (click-through rate) and CPI (cost per install). CTR matters big time in Facebook, so favor placements that have a high CTR, assuming they work from a CPI perspective.

    You asked how we used Nanigans to pull of ROI-based bidding. Revenue isn’t a parameter that you can currently pass to Facebook through its mobile SDK. Therefore you need a tool to pass in-app event revenue data back into. For example, this could be when someone buys a $20 pack in the game. That revenue data needs to be associated with the original ad placement that led to that user. Tools that can close this loop allow you to optimize towards ROI instead of just optimizing towards CTR and CPI. So, in the end, what you’re really looking for are highly ROI-positive placements. It’s a different way of thinking about mobile app advertising but its much more effective when managing large, ongoing spend.

    Nanigans helps for two reasons. One it has a way to quickly set up thousands of campaigns based on a large variety of placement options. It also helps because it can be set up to automatically pause any placements that don’t meet your ROI goals. It’s tricky to get set up correctly, but the tool can be very helpful managing which placements should remain active when you have thousands of campaigns running at a time – something that is incredibly hard to manage from the Facebook Power Editor. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any more questions.

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Ryan Pitylak
Ryan Pitylak has spent the past 15 years creating innovative methods to drive superior results from digital advertising. As the CEO of Unique Influence, a leading digital marketing consultancy, he leads his team to excellence by merging creative advertising techniques with a data-driven and iterative approach. By constantly working to surpass established advertising methods and creative best practices, Ryan delivers ROI-focused results for high-velocity companies.