Slots mobile games are traditionally big moneymakers.
What is it about them? Is it their sheer nature? Or is it the way they monetize? Perhaps it’s both?
To find this out, I analyzed Cash Frenzy monetization. Follow my player journey in Cash Frenzy, learn about its retention and monetization strategies, and more!
Cash Frenzy: Market Overview
Cash Frenzy was released in August 2018 by SpinX Games. It falls into the casino genre and slots subgenre.
Casino games are this publisher’s strong point. They have several other casino titles on the market (Lotsa Slots, Jackpot World), but Cash Frenzy is their main title.
The casino genre is well known for stable and consistent revenues.
Think about this.
In 2020, casino games had a download share of only 2% (App Annie). Despite this, their revenue share is at the top. Casino games are the second most profitable genre in North America, with a 17.17% revenue share (Statista).
But here’s the real kicker – the slots subgenre drives 80% of casino genre revenues on iOS in the US (GameRefinery).
This is quite a competitive subgenre. When it comes to the 100 top-grossing slot games, older titles still dominate the subgenre. Games like Slotomania and Jackpot Party have been in stable positions for years already.
Only a couple of more recent titles come as a threat – including Cash Frenzy. This game had the 5th biggest market share on iOS in the US in 2020 (GameRefinery).
How Successful Is Cash Frenzy?
During its lifetime, this game reached impressive revenue numbers. According to GameRefinery, it got to $120,8 million in revenue. At the same time, its download numbers are solid – 3,9 million (GameRefinery, iOS). The downloads are driven by the game’s advertising strategy – you can read all about it here.
As you can see, the game’s revenues are increasing year over year. The chart is also very stable, with no major ups or downs. This is mostly thanks to the U.S. players that make up for 77% of the total revenue.
First Time User Experience
The first launch of the game is incredibly important. It should make getting started easy and show the best your game has to offer.
It should also make players feel successful and rewarded. For this reason, the first thing Cash Frenzy does is it gives out different free rewards and bonuses. No matter how bad players spin, they have a hard time losing coins.
However, less than a minute later, two IAP offers popped up. This shouldn’t be a part of the first-time user experience.
I will further analyze this later in the article.
When it comes to looks, the game is very similar to major slot titles (e.g., Slotomania). Therefore, the first impressions will depend on whether the player had played slots games before.
Cash Frenzy brings players the bare minimum they need to get started.
The tutorial comes down to a few pointers and short written explanations. The texts are short (as they should be), and the tutorial is blended into gameplay. Since the core game is super simple, there is really no need for more in the first phase.
The teaching part is spread across the game. The more players play, the more receptive they are to learning more things about it. Therefore, players gradually unlock meta layers, and the game provides an introduction to all of them.
All in all, the game’s tutorial is done well – it’s simple and to the point.
Slots games should be able to bring the real-life slot machine experience. In other words – they should make spinning utterly simple.
The spin button is every slots game’s main feature. In Cash Frenzy, players can trigger it with a single tap. If they prefer watching over tapping, they can switch to auto spinning.
Cash Frenzy’s home screen contains quite a lot of different features. Here’s an overview:
- Resources, in-game store (top part of the screen)
- Offers, different slot machines (center part of the screen)
- Missions, stamps, VIP, etc. (bottom part of the screen)
If we compare it to the leading slots game – Slotomania, we can see it’s very similar. The layout is the same, while only a few details are different.
This tells us that Cash Frenzy definitely follows best practices. Is it a copycat? We’ll let you be the judge of that.
How Does Cash Frenzy Work?
Cash Frenzy is a simple and fun game of luck. Spinning is the game’s core, but that’s not all the game has to offer.
Here are some key core and meta elements that make this game.
If there is one thing that motivates players to keep spinning the machines – it’s progressive jackpot.
Progressive slots are a special category of slot machines that don’t have a fixed jackpot. Instead, they have a cash prize that gets bigger every time the jackpot isn’t won. Players can see it rising in real-time, so they know what to strive for.
In Cash Frenzy, coins work as an energy mechanic. Players need coins to spin the machines, win games, and earn more coins. If they run out of coins, this limits their sessions.
When that happens, they have two choices. One is to wait for in-game rewards and reinvest them. The other is to head to the store and buy some extra coins.
Since all slots games come with an almost identical core, they have to find ways to differentiate.
For this reason, a lot of them are turning to meta layers.
One particular meta layer is trending in the casino genre – collectible albums. All major casino games have them – from Zynga Poker to Slotomania. Cash Frenzy is also up to date with the trend.
Wondering why this meta layer is so popular across casino games? Well, according to GameRefinery, these are the main reasons players play casino games:
- Escapism (thrill and excitement)
- Exploration (the opportunity to collect treasures)
Collectible albums leverage both of these reasons, especially the “treasure collection”.
In Cash Frenzy, it’s called the “stamp collection” and it unlocks on level 5. Players can fill up the collection with stamps from different bonus games. What motivates them? Well, if they complete albums, they can win generous coin rewards.
However, it’s not just about the rewards. This feature also brings players an additional sense of progression and success. At the same time, it increases the game’s depth, without seriously affecting in-game balance.
Finally, it allows the game to include additional monetization features.
Cash Frenzy Monetization Strategy Breakdown
A lot of people wonder – how do games like these earn millions?
Heck, they don’t even use real money!
As I already mentioned, a lot of casino players play these games because of the sheer thrill of gambling. Some simply like betting, beating the odds, and the chance of getting lucky. Nevertheless, some play them as practice for real-life casinos.
This game wants to monetize all of these players. It just has to find them at the right place and at the right time.
How does it do it exactly? Let’s dive right into it.
Which Monetization Models Cash Frenzy Uses?
This game uses a popular monetization combo: in-app purchases and subscriptions.
Cash Frenzy’s app store listings also say it contains in-app ads. However, during six days of playing, I didn’t come across any.
In-app purchases are the game’s bread and butter. On the other hand, subscriptions work as extra offers for engaged players.
Keep reading to find out how they blend together.
Cash Frenzy In-App Purchases Strategy and Price Points
First, let’s go over Cash Frenzy’s economy center – the in-game store.
The game’s hard currency, coins, are first on the list. Players can choose between six different coin offers. Their prices range from $1.99 all the way to $49.99. The publisher knows that most of their players are low-spending. Therefore, offering them a whole array of low-price choices is a good call.
For new players, the offers are made even more attractive. All coin offers are doubled. This makes them more exclusive and encourages first-time purchases.
The packs in the store go from high to low, which is quite unusual. Players have to slide right to find the smallest packs. And they have no problem finding them – the smallest coin pack at $1.99 is the game’s best selling offer (Sensor Tower, free data).
The second section of the store revolves around emeralds. They are made specially for the meta layers of the game.
Emeralds also come in six different packs. Their price ranges are higher than for coins – from $1.99 to $99.99. This makes sense because players who are into the meta layers are presumably super engaged with the game. Hence, they might be willing to spend more.
Finally, the game’s store includes three different short-term subscription offers.
Here, we can see a great example of a decoy effect. There are two, almost the same offers, priced at $3.99. However, one of them lasts a day longer and brings an extra benefit.
When players see this, common sense kicks in – they will jump onto the best offer. The other offer just works as a decoy to push the better offer.
How In-App Purchases Really Work in Cash Frenzy?
The best way to find out about a game’s monetization strategy is by playing, so that’s exactly what I did.
Here’s how in-app purchases appeared over six days of playing.
After I claimed free rewards and spun the slot machine two times, an IAP offer appeared.
It was the game’s first-time special offer. According to them, it was discounted from $49.99 to $1.99. This is not exactly true, but it’s still an amazing offer that beats all those regular ones in the in-game store.
However, in any case, this is way too soon.
Right after closing it, another offer appeared.
This one was called Coin Bonanza. It was actually an event that consisted of three different offers. What was tempting about it? With every purchased pack, players got an additional pack for free. And we all know that players love the feeling of getting free stuff.
Overall, these two offers come off as very aggressive and shouldn’t appear this early. At this point, players still haven’t experienced the game to the fullest. Also, they don’t lack anything yet, so these offers are completely unnecessary.
This is not the only time these offers appeared. They kept showing up upon every game launch for the next few days.
On my second day of playing, I checked my inbox notifications.
One of them was about a store coupon. It offered 40% more on all coin packages. It was time-limited to less than six hours, which creates a strong sense of urgency.
Coupons are a familiar, everyday concept. Just like most people are happy to get pizza coupons, they feel the same about in-game coupons. As a result, this might tempt some players to make their first purchase.
Soon after, I reached level 5 and unlocked one of the game’s meta layers – the “stamp collection”.
I went to “rub a lamp” to get some stamps. I could do it only once for free. To continue playing, I needed 500 emeralds. Therefore, my only choice was to buy them or to wait until tomorrow.
Now, this is not something players NEED to continue playing the game. It’s just something that a group of players focused on the meta layers may want.
These players are mainly collectors and/or explorers. Their motivation to make purchases will grow as they keep engaging with the game, day after day.
Remember that first-time special offer from day one? It appeared again, this time it was modified.
This offer was already attractive to begin with. But now, the number of coins doubled, and the price remained the same.
A lot of slots games use this trick (e.g., Coin Master).
First, the game pops up the offer a couple of times. As it usually goes, most players ignore it. For those that don’t make a purchase, the offer gets more and more attractive. Plus, it always comes with a time limit, making the players feel they’ll miss out unless they buy before it expires.
Therefore, they might think to themselves, “Wow, what a deal, I shouldn’t miss this one!” This might result in an urgency-driven impulse purchase.
The whole time while I was playing the game, a piggy bank was in the corner of my screen. With every spin, it was filling up with coins.
At the moment it reached its coin cap, a pop-up appeared. Players can break the piggy bank for $4.99.
Piggy banks are a casino game classic. And for a good reason.
The longer the players wait to get it, the more valuable the offer becomes. Once it reaches its peak, players see all of this as a result of their own efforts. Hence, they feel smart about buying it. In behavioral psychology, this is called the endowment effect. It stands for an emotional bias that makes people value the things they own more than others.
The next time I launched the game, that first-time special offer caught my attention, again.
Its price was the same, and the coin pack doubled – again. For players that have been thinking about making a purchase, this offer seems like a no-brainer. This is the game’s final and most generous attempt to convert new players.
On this day, I also ran out of coins for the first time in the game. Right away, a pop-up appeared.
It featured three low-priced offers more valuable than those in the in-game store. This is a point in the game where players need assistance. Their session is paused and they need “fuel”. Therefore, this is a great placement for discounted IAP offers. It is also a good call to bring a selection of offers to the table. This way, players can find their best fit.
When I reached level 20, I finally unlocked the game’s subscription offer – the Mission Pass. It comes with 100 levels and works like a classic battle pass.
There are three versions of it: one free and two paid ones ($2.99 and $5.99). The paid versions are, of course, more exclusive. All players can see the “paid” rewards, but only those who spend $ will get them. It’s great to let players see what they can get because this might tempt them into buying.
It’s interesting that these offers were also marked as discounted. This is not a common practice with battle pass offers, they usually come at fixed prices.
On this day, I unlocked the game’s eight different “events and offers”.
Honestly, this felt like game monetization gone wild.
Not one, not two but five of these offers/events appeared as pop-ups. They appeared one-by-one and this felt super aggressive.
Most of these events are here for a single reason – to push in-app purchases. They are based on things like “make a purchase and get rewards” and “activate by any purchase”. It is good that there are so many, so players can choose one based on their preferences. This is an effective strategy that can really help boost in-app purchases.
However, the game should decrease the number of pop-ups. One pop-up that introduces this segment would be enough.
User Retention in Cash Frenzy
Your gameplay can be out of this world. Your monetization strategy can also be on point.
However, if you’re not able to keep your players, none of this matters.
Creating a good retention strategy should be one of every developer’s top priorities. You should track your game’s retention rates, and react to them.
Again and again.
Nevertheless, it’s important to keep with the average retention rates in your genre. Classic games (casino, board, card, trivia) traditionally have the highest retention rates of all categories.
Want to know the numbers for top casino games in 2020? Here they come, straight from GameAnalytics.
The top 2% of casino games averaged at day 1 retention of 60.37% for the whole of 2020. On day 7, more than half of those day 1 casino players were still there, averaging at 35%. After 28 days, these games got to keep quite a lot of players – 24% on average.
On the other hand, the top 25% of casino games retained 34% of players on the first day. After 7 days, these games got to keep 13.7% of players. On day 28, the numbers were significantly lower – 6.95%.
Wondering what Cash Frenzy does to retain its players? Let’s start with the obvious.
Push Notifications in Cash Frenzy
Push notifications can be a great retention tool. That is – if you use them right. They need to have a purpose and add value – otherwise, it’s just spamming.
This game sends out a LOT of push notifications. In a day, players receive at least five. This does make sense because slots players are typically very engaged with the game. However, for not-so-engaged players, this can be annoying.
Cash Frenzy sends them out for all sorts of reasons such as free coins, promoting in-game events, and collecting free rewards.
The best thing about them? Their content. It’s diverse, playful, and timely. For example, players receive a “good morning” and a “good night” message about the same thing – free coins.
Nevertheless, the game doesn’t only use text notifications. It also utilizes image notifications. These appear in the lock screen and the notification center, and occasionally as banners.
All in all, the game’s push notification strategy is well-done. However, for some players, it may feel like too much.
Other Retention Strategies
Besides push notifications, there are all sorts of less obvious strategies that help with player retention. All of these strategies help keep the game surprising and challenging. This includes:
- Meta layers
- Daily login rewards
- In-game events
- Social features
Cash Frenzy Monetization: The Good and The Not-So-Good
I can’t say this game has the best monetization strategy out there, but it definitely has plenty of good sides.
The foundations are definitely set on best practices. It uses popular monetization models and has a well-done pricing structure. Here are some other good things about Cash Frenzy monetization:
- Using the piggy bank feature
- Devaluating store offers with special deals
- Using the decoy effect
- Including subscription offers
- Increasing the value of IAP offers
- Monetizing with meta-features
However, it comes with some obvious flaws. The worst things about this game’s monetization strategy are timing and pushiness.
The first IAP offers appear way too early in the game. Plus, there are too many pop-ups, especially later in the game.
Finally, almost all offers in the game came with discount marks. If there are so many discounts across the game, the pop-ups with discounts don’t seem that exclusive. Plus, it all looks quite fake.
Bonus: Cash Frenzy Monetization vs. Slotomania Monetization
Since I played and analyzed both of these games, it’s really hard not to compare them. They work and look very similar. Plus, they attract the same types of players.
What about monetization?
Both games use the same monetization combination – IAPs and subscriptions. Yet, there is one key difference between the two.
In Cash Frenzy, aggressive pop-ups start from day one, session one. In Slotomania, the offer aggressivity increases after a few sessions, when players level up a bit.
Slotomania’s strategy is considered to be better because it allows players to play and learn about the value of IAPs first. Only then, the game should push to sell.
Cash Frenzy Monetization: A Final Word
That’s it, these are our main remarks on Cash Frenzy monetization.
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