Live Game Management & Leanplum

A unified approach to defining player segments, enabling in-game offers and messaging

For many gaming organizations, LiveOps is the primary source of player monetization. Whether it is configuring daily challenges or special events, or keeping the product catalog fresh with new offers and sales, LiveOps keeps players engaged and produces those all-important in-app purchases.

The Challenges of Live Game Management

Ironically, LiveOps teams often endure some of the most challenging and tedious day-to-day operational tasks. Game configuration servers are not often built with LiveOps user experience in mind. For instance, defining an audience segment may require a custom SQL query, configuring an in-game event or sale often involves hand-editing script files, monthly events are often manually maintained in a spreadsheet, and so on. Not only do these time-consuming inconveniences limit the number of player-engaging and revenue-generating events that an under-staffed LiveOps team can manage, but they can also lead to mistakes.

Of course one of the primary sources of these operational inefficiencies is the configuration of the push notifications and in-app messages that are vital to driving player engagement and in-app purchases. And while there is no shortage of commercial engagement platforms, Leanplum included, that can dramatically improve messaging, the degree to which a commercial engagement solution can be effective for a gaming studio is closely tied to how well that solution will interoperate with a proprietary home-grown game server. This is where Leanplum stands apart.

Full Player Management Platform for Mobile Games

One of the first problems to solve when considering a commercial engagement solution for either server-authoritative or client-authoritative games is determining the division of labor between the systems. For instance, who owns segmentation?

If the engagement solution is used to define a segment of players who qualify for an offer and to message those players about that offer, then the game server needs to have the exact same list of players to whom the messages are sent. This ensures that the right set of players receive the offer, keeping in mind that membership in a defined segment is continuously changing. If instead the game server owns segment definitions, the same synchronization issue exists in reverse. And if those synchronizations are not occurring in real-time, opportunities will be lost to present players with in-the-moment offers, such as when the player levels up or completes a milestone.

Leanplum Variables

Leanplum is uniquely capable of solving the above synchronization issues through a feature called Variables. As the name implies, Leanplum variables are used to change variable values in the app code, either globally or for specific players or player segments, via the Leanplum user interface. To best illustrate this, let’s consider a simple remote configuration example.

Suppose we want to

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