3D-rendered network of blue dots and lines on Moloco's case study page.

Case Studies

PlayHard exceeded ROAS goal by 30% with Moloco

Jinsil Choi
Dabin Son

March 11, 2024

About PlayHard

PlayHard, a global game developer, creates immersive games that have transformed users around the world into gamers. Since its inception in 2016, the company has captivated a global audience, amassing over 46 million downloads. With portfolios such as 'Rumble Heroes', which achieved top rankings in major app stores, PlayHard continues to grow and innovate in the gaming industry, driven by its unique expertise in development, marketing, and data analysis.


To drive sustained growth for 'Rumble Heroes,' PlayHard focused on acquiring users with high Lifetime Value (LTV) who contribute significantly to revenue beyond installs. However, they encountered a unique challenge inherent to the idle game genre. Initially, idle genre users tend to engage actively in the first five days (D1 to D5) post-installation, but their interest often wanes, leading to higher churn rates and a decline in Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

In addition, PlayHard proactively sought strategies for cost-effectively targeting various countries outside the domestic market to expand their app's growth and acquire high-value users at scale.


PlayHard partnered with Moloco to tackle the unique challenges of the idle game genre and expand the app’s growth, utilizing Moloco’s extensive reach across the open internet outside of traditional walled gardens. This partnership focused on several key strategies for campaign optimization:

  • Campaign optimization through D1 action model: PlayHard leveraged Moloco’s D1 Action Model to target users likely to convert early (D1). This model, prioritizing first-day post-installation actions over traditional CPA and ROAS models that focus on D7 actions and revenue, accelerated the learning cycle. Utilizing PlayHard's first-party data, the ML model efficiently targeted users for high-value purchases within the first day of installation, enhancing overall ROAS performance.
  • Maximize ROAS with country-level targeting: To effectively acquire global users within a limited budget, PlayHard and Moloco selected target countries based on revenue insights from Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) postback data, focusing on areas with high potential for ROAS. Utilizing Moloco’s multi-country campaign feature, PlayHard optimized campaigns across various regions, improving performance and operational efficiency by auto-adjusting budgets towards high-ROAS areas.
  • Performance optimization with playable IECs: To amplify campaign effectiveness, PlayHard incorporated playable ads as Interactive End Cards (IEC). While playable ads typically generate high engagement and installs, they are typically costlier and less efficient in terms of ROAS. Adopting them in the IEC format, PlayHard successfully merged the high engagement of playable ads with the cost-efficiency of video creatives, enhancing user engagement and boosting ROAS efficiency.

PlayHard's partnership with Moloco enabled them to effectively address their challenges, while still maintaining cost efficiency in their campaign strategies.


Combining PlayHard team expertise with Moloco's advanced ML-powered solution resulted in the efficient acquisition of high-value users and outstanding campaign performance.

  • Surpassed ROAS goal by 30% (D7 ROAS, including global campaigns)
  • Exceeded ROAS goal by 15% for D1 model campaign
  • Increased ARPPU of the top 25% whale users by 60%

"Recently, there has been a growing trend in the marketing industry towards heavy reliance on walled gardens. However, PlayHard continuously tests and improves performance through various marketing channels. We were particularly impressed by Moloco's sophisticated targeting capabilities and advanced event optimization models using first-party data, and as a result, were able to experience exceptional ROAS performance." Sangjae Bang, Marketing Team Lead, PlayHard








Moloco Ads

More Stories

No results found.
Please try again.

Want to learn more?

White arrow to learn more about the subject

Subscribe to our newsletter

arrow top