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Case Studies

NextNinja acquired incremental high-value users on the open internet with Moloco

Wenhsin Chen

May 8, 2024

About NextNinja

NextNinja, known for its portfolio of engaging mobile app games like '"Touhou LostWord'" and '"Grand Summoners,'" captivates and engages players worldwide. The Japanese version was launched in 2016, and the worldwide version was launched in 2018. Grand Summoners, a free-to-play role-playing game released in chapters, continues entertaining a global audience.


NextNinja encountered the challenge of consistently securing high-quality user installations, which is essential for the success of its apps. Their existing advertising strategy within walled gardens failed to achieve the necessary incremental growth. NextNinja sought to explore the vast potential of the open internet outside of walled gardens. Recognizing Moloco's extensive reach across 6.6 billion devices and 2.8 million apps, they decided to test the effectiveness of Moloco's platform. This move aimed to significantly expand their reach and effectively address their user acquisition challenges.


Initially, NextNinja implemented Moloco's platform across various game campaigns, setting stringent Cost Per Install (CPI) and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) metrics to measure profitability. The early engagements demonstrated that Moloco's machine learning solution outperformed traditional walled gardens, including Google and Meta.

Building on this success since late 2021, Moloco optimized 20% to 30% of NextNinja's overseas campaign budget for multiple titles such as Touhou LostWord and Grand Summoners. This achievement is mainly due to Moloco's advanced machine learning and the integration of custom events that significantly enhanced user acquisition algorithms.

In parallel, NextNinja utilized AppsFlyer's Protect360 for robust fraud detection, effectively minimizing fraudulent activities. Moloco's consistently high rankings on the Performance Index reinforced its reputation as a credible and dedicated campaign channel. It's also worth noting that Moloco worked in tandem with Cubic, NextNinja's advertising agency, for all campaigns from 2021. All parties agreed to prioritize a targeted user strategy, focusing on high-value users and optimal days and times of activity. This strategy proved that a quality-over-quantity approach can efficiently drive robust gains and incremental growth.


Through the partnership with Moloco, NextNinja successfully achieved multiple strategic goals. 

  • Prioritized customer service throughout the partnership
  • Attained positive campaign results against ROAS and CPI indicators
  • Broadened channel options beyond traditional walled gardens, yielding excellent results
  • Ensured secure advertising outcomes with few instances of fraud

“The Moloco DSP is a product that uses machine learning and a myriad of data to search for high-quality users. A good algorithm behaves as we aim, like the experience of driving a good car. With the Moloco DSP, the target indicators such as CPI and ROAS often land at levels close to our hypotheses, and in that sense, we experience as we aim.”

— Mr. Masayuki Yamagishi, CEO, NextNinja Co., Ltd.




Tokyo, Japan




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