How rewarded gaming improves KPIs – Case studies

By implementing Bitcoin rewards with ZEBEDEE tech, these games observed a substantial increase in engagement, retention and monetization.

By ZBD   •   a year ago

When we’re engrossed in a game, even the smallest token reward can give us a sense of achievement, regardless of if it’s just points or an end score. These points and achievements usually hold no value outside of the game though, so in the long-run, how meaningful can they be?

What happens when we give that reward actual, real-life value should come as no surprise. The game invariably becomes more attractive to players, keeps them engaged for longer and keeps them coming back for more. And that’s not just theory – it’s what our partners have achieved with one simple move: by implementing Bitcoin rewards.

💸 The benefits of Rewarded Gaming with Bitcoin

  • Significant increase in average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU)
  • Incresed engagement leads to longer session length
  • Improved retention from day 1, but especially long-term (after day 30)

What is Rewarded Gaming?

The concept of Rewarded Gaming is quite simple. Allow players to earn money simply by playing a game. We’re not talking large amounts that would make them rich, just a little bit of pocket money that they can save up and eventually use. Games using ZEBEDEE tech usually pay out just a couple of cents at a time.

What makes this model sustainable is that it is essentially a revenue share between the game studio and the player. The game pays you part of what the studio is earning in the form of rewards that make your gameplay experience more gratifying. Because players are more engaged, they play more often and longer, leading to more profitable games, despite the cost of paying out tiny rewards at a steady pace.

To make sending players such small amounts of money feasible, we’ve built our tech on what is currently the fastest and cheapest global monetary system: the Bitcoin Lightning Network. This allows games to send rewards in real time, globally and with very low fees. And since Bitcoin is “programmable money”, it can neatly be tied to existing and new innovative game mechanics.

How Rewarded Gaming benefits our partners

First released in 2018, it’s safe to call Bitcoin Miner (Android and iOS) an old game (by mobile gaming standards). It’s an idle crypto mining simulator where you build your own mining rig, upgrade it and watch as it spawns little crypto coins and carries them to your piggy wallet. Tap boosts and upgrades, invest in development, sell at the top… Surprisingly good fun. Nevertheless, for years, it had failed to attract noteworthy attention. This all changed in 2022, when the mining rigs started spawning actual Bitcoin.

This update to Bitcoin Miner, now featuring ZEBEDEE’s payment tech, brought a significant boost to the game’s popularity – after all, you could now earn actual Bitcoin playing Bitcoin Miner. Retention went through the roof, as did session length and, therefore, revenue per user. But where this refreshed title saw the biggest impact of implementing rewards was in long-term retention. Whereas Bitcoin Miner previously failed to keep users interested, despite a surprisingly deep meta in the game, the simple act of adding tiny Bitcoin rewards unlocked retention not just through day 30, but well beyond.

Improvements in retention and monetization in Bitcoin Miner with ZEBEDEE tech.
The headline statistic speaks for itself: Bitcoin Miner with ZEBEDEE tech.

The concept works just as well in games that have nothing to do with Bitcoin or crypto. Braindoku (Android and iOS) is a mobile block puzzle game that combines the 9×9 grid of Sudoku with the shape-stacking of Tetris. Its silky-smooth build and the puzzle challenges that strike just the right balance between fun and difficult make it a game that deserves to be on any casual gamer’s mobile phone. And yet, even here, there is room for optimization.

After integrating with ZEBEDEE to offer players in-game Bitcoin rewards, Murka Games, the developers of Braindoku, report a material enhancement in monetization. While results vary widely per country, they are always positive, instant and significant. When they integrated Bitcoin rewards, Braindoku saw a stable worldwide increase in ARPDAU of +24%.

Powerful performance improvement in Braindoku with ZEBEDEE.
An all-round increase in worldwide ARPDAU after the implementation of ZEBEDEE in Braindoku.

If a game monetizes primarily through ads, the simplest way to make it more profitable is to just get players to watch more ads. The problem, as every game monetization manager knows, is that more ads also means more players churning from the game. But when they're getting paid real money for their time, they're happy to watch a few extra ads.

Wheel of Trivia (Android and iOS) by VIKER neatly illustrates this concept. The game itself is just a simple trivia quiz, but what sets is apart is the consistent stream of Bitcoin rewards. When VIKER implemented ZEBEDEE, retention and monetization KPIs improved across the board, but because this game doesn't monetize much through in-app purchases, the number of ads players are willing to watch is essential.

With ZEBEDEE rewarded mechanics, Wheel of Trivia saw massive spikes in ad impressions per daily active user, and not just in tier 3 markets, where you might expect players to be more engaged with earning small amounts of Bitcoin. Ad impressions per DAU in the USA rose by a whopping 177%!

Wheel of Trivia by VIKER improvements in add impressions after implementing ZEBEDEE.
Can you really lose in Wheel of Trivia if you walk home with some Bitcoin?

Sometimes a classic game needs just a little freshening up to strike the right chords with its audience. Ludo Zenith (Android and iOS) is a mobile version of the all-time classic board game Ludo, where you throw dice to move pieces to the end of the board. Familiar to nearly everyone and appealing to kids and adults alike, Ludo Zenith should sell itself. But Square Enix, its developers, knew that in the saturated mobile-gaming market, simply offering another Ludo wouldn’t cut it. They needed something more.

This is where they turned to ZEBEDEE to give Rewarded Gaming a go and see if that would make their version of Ludo stand out. Their initial implementation was limited to the (enormous) market of India, where they infused Ludo Zenith with new game mechanics based around an in-game rewards system. The results were more than impressive, with a +82% increase in ARPDAU!

Ludo Zenith boosted ARPDAU by +82% with ZEBEDEE Bitcoin rewards.
Ludo Zenith boosted ARPDAU by +82% with ZEBEDEE Bitcoin rewards.

Rewarded Gaming has proved to be a hit with gamers and a valuable tool for game makers. Whether it’s through the boosts in engagement, increases in revenue or the ability to offer players a refreshing novelty or an interesting game mechanic tied to real value, games that implement ZEBEDEE show significant improvement in essential KPIs.

When you try the games and see how seamless the experience of earning and cashing out Bitcoin truly is, the performance boosts aren’t really surprising. There’s nothing like experiencing it first-hand, so get the ZBD app and give it a try. You’ll find all the games we mentioned here and much more right in the app!

And if you’d like to implement ZEBEDEE rewards in your game, simply shoot us a message at and we’ll make it happen.

This post was updated in July 2023.

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