WIZZO captures the Middle East gaming market with App Annie Intelligence


Entertainment, Games


Dubai, U.A.E.

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The backstory

WIZZO is the first mobile gaming platform to reward players with real prizes — collect enough points, and you could win a smartphone, a TV or a VR headset. Players join WIZZO to compete in the most rewarding mobile gaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), all for the chance of taking home great gadgets & prizes each week.

This is a unique proposition that appeals to both gamers and game publishers. WIZZO is there to seamlessly connect the two. “Our vision is to become the platform of ‘entry to market’ for all mobile game publishers that want to access the Middle East & North Africa,” says WIZZO Program Director Demetri Tsirlis. To accomplish that goal, data is a crucial factor to make informed decisions, “App Annie provides us access to credible, multi-country regional data from a single source in a user-friendly way.”

The team handpicks the best, most relevant games to feature on the app, and WIZZO has quickly become a preferred service for avid mobile gamers in the Middle East. But keeping users happy requires a healthy pipeline of new and engaging games. That’s where App Annie Intelligence comes into play.

Building and evaluating top gaming partnerships

There are many mobile games in the world, and almost as many game publishers, “We wanted to create a risk-free gateway for global and local publishers to enter the MENA market,” Tsirlis says. Its diverse and youthful population (60% under the age of 30) and varying levels of smartphone and internet adoption make MENA an extremely attractive market for publishers.

WIZZO uses App Annie to identify games that will prove popular to this market’s users and evaluate potential partnerships with publishers. App Annie Intelligence not only makes it simple to find popular games based on downloads, revenue and usage activity, but also provides the data needed to articulate the effectiveness and value of a WIZZO partnership.

After adding a game to the platform, the team uses App Annie to compare downloads and revenue pre- and post-WIZZO. That way, they’re able to calculate how much revenue was driven by the WIZZO partnership.

“Thanks to App Annie, WIZZO’s impact is entirely measurable. We can see how we’re making the best impact with our customers, and drive efforts to find new partnerships.”

“It gives us a way to report the tangible ROI of joining our platform,” Tsirlis says. “Another thing we can quantify is the organic growth we provide the game developer. App Annie is an essential resource for tracking chart position over time — it directly shows our impact.”

Proving the value of a Middle Eastern partnership

WIZZO also uses App Annie data to demonstrate the size and depth of the day market. Many game publishers don’t look beyond the US and UK, so it can take extra effort to explain the benefits of WIZZO and its footprint.

“App Annie has helped us with regional studies that show the upward trajectory of the mobile games market in the,” Tsirlis says. “It’s expected to grow 500% in the next couple of years.” This is a statistic that game publishers are excited to hear.

Many of WIZZO’s partners, including Gameloft, Netmarble and XYRALITY, decided to join the platform based on proof points supplied by App Annie Intelligence. Every day, WIZZO teams use App Annie to measure performance and feed the data into partnership development efforts. “It helps us make accurate projections for our business case and that results in other potential partnerships,” Tsirlis says.

Regional strategy insights lead to monetization opportunities

Since the MENA marketplace can be unfamiliar to some, WIZZO leverages App Annie insights to help partners refine their user acquisition strategies. Information on a gamer’s demographics and behavior patterns can help drive product development and marketing efforts. At the same time, WIZZO uses App Annie to identify new games that will play well in the MENA region.

Fadel Zahreddine, MBC’s Group Director of Brand Management & Digital, said, “We do believe in data-driven decision making, which allows us at MBC venture into new arenas. With WIZZO’s launch, we’ve been closely tracking market insights and potential growth by referring to App Annie Intelligence. We are proud of what we have achieved with WIZZO’s launch and its unique game offering, while always looking at what more can be done.”

As WIZZO continues to harness data to drive strategy for clients and create a globe-spanning network of gaming partnerships, App Annie is there to help at every level of gameplay.

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