• TikTok Magic: Survivor.io Explode With Over 200 Mln In Revenue

    TikTok Magic: Survivor.io Explode With Over 200 Mln In Revenue

    Survivor.io TikTok marketing campaign has generated one of the most successful mobile game launches of 2022, showing how influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC) can be the key factor in the success of your mobile game. But was there anything that they missed out on?


    In recent years, a surge in smartphone use and the ascension of mobile gaming to mainstream entertainment has catapulted the industry’s growth. Millions of global players have fueled a competitive market, prompting developers to explore innovative promotion tactics. One effective strategy has been influencer marketing, utilizing the reach and influence of social media personalities to amplify game visibility and engagement.

    Influencers on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube have become instrumental in driving game downloads and engagement. Their honest reviews and creative promotion strategies not only enhance a game’s credibility but also foster trust with prospective players.

    For insights on leveraging influencer marketing for game pre-registration boosts, refer to our previous article: How To Get Results: Influencers And Pre-registration For Games Launch

    Screenshot showing the start of a Survivor.io TikTok ad.

    TikTok Marketing: Survivor.io

    Recently, Survivor.io has been a perfect example of how influencer marketing and UGC can be a significant driving force behind the success of a mobile game.

    Launched in August 2022, Survivor.io is a roguelike game that makes the players face infinite zombie hordes while accumulating points and upgrading their character. For its promotion, Habby, the Singaporean game publisher, heavily relied on TikTok marketing and UGC-like content. And it paid back with Survivor.io generating $15 million in revenue by September and now over $200 million.

    To get into this success story, we’ve divided into 3 main parts to explain how Survivor.io has achieved a huge success:

    The creatives

    To create such a return, Habby had to craft a very skilled marketing strategy where influencers were employed widely and unusually.

    The structure of the creatives is the the first piece of this puzzle.

    Survivor.io adopted an innovative marketing approach, steering clear of traditional integrations and advertising content. They crafted short videos mirroring the typical content a TikTok user encounters in their feed. These ads boast impressive retention rates, indicating that many viewers likely didn’t discern they were ads until the closing moments.

    Their influencer

    Secondly, they heavily relied on small content creators. No big names, but people your audience can relate to, people they can identify with, and so can be more easily trusted.

    In recent times micro-influencers are becoming more and more of a critical piece of many campaigns.

    Compared to larger creators, micro-influencers can target particular demographics and retain tight parasocial bonds with their audience, all while being authentic and relatable.

    Read more: How To Use Micro-Influencers: The Power Of The Small Guy

    The content

    From a marketing perspective, the content is interesting since it promotes the game and starts framing it as a popular and well-established game. Each TikTok begins with the creator telling how they stumbled upon somebody else, a friend, partner, or a random person, playing Survivor.io.

    This way, we are brought to think that a wider community is around the game since it is so easy to spot someone playing it.

    Screenshot showing the mid part of a Survivor.io TikTok ad

    Staged gameplay (but not too much)

    Survivor.io stood out with a unique ad approach. They showcased a player struggling in the game, with a content creator pointing out the mistakes and offering tips to improve.

    This method is somewhat common in mobile game ads, where creators pretend to play and make errors to motivate viewers to do better. However, Survivor.io adds a twist. Their ads don’t mimic real gameplay, enhancing the brand’s trustworthiness.

    This genuine approach boosted Survivor.io’s popularity, leading to increased downloads and an engaged gaming community. The trend continued as players shared their gaming moments on TikTok, promoting the game even further.

    Final thoughts

    Survivor.io capitalized on a strategic approach by featuring micro-influencers in their ads and leveraging TikTok’s algorithm for optimal reach. However, the potential impact of directly collaborating with content creators and sharing clips on their profiles is worth considering.

    A direct partnership might have resulted in a lower initial reach but could facilitate a more organic and targeted content dissemination. It could inspire a wave of user-generated content, promoting organic reach and engagement.

    Exploring diverse TikTok marketing strategies and influencer collaborations can be pivotal. While Survivor.io’s campaign gained traction from its influencer content format, there might have been missed opportunities in expanding distribution channels and cultivating long-term benefits associated with influencer partnerships, such as robust community building and valuable feedback loops.


    1. How does Survivor.io measure the success and impact of its TikTok marketing and UGC campaigns beyond revenue and download metrics?

    To understand the success and impact of Survivor.io’s TikTok marketing and user-generated content (UGC) campaigns, beyond just revenue and download figures, it’s crucial to look at a range of metrics.

    Typically, game publishers like Habby might evaluate engagement rates, such as

    • the average time spent in the game per session
    • the frequency of sessions per user
    • the progression rates through game levels.

    Additionally, player retention metrics, like day 1, day 7, and day 30 retention rates, provide insights into how well the game holds players’ interest over time.

    Brand sentiment can also be gauged through social media monitoring, analyzing the tone and sentiment of user comments and discussions about the game.

    These metrics collectively offer a more nuanced view of a campaign’s effectiveness in building a loyal and active player base.

    2. What specific challenges or setbacks did Survivor.io face during its TikTok marketing campaign, and how were they addressed?

    Regarding challenges or setbacks faced during the campaign, while the article doesn’t specify, it’s common to encounter challenges in such innovative marketing strategies.

    These might include identifying the right micro-influencers who align with the game’s target audience, ensuring content authenticity and compliance with platform guidelines, and optimizing ad formats for user engagement.

    Addressing these challenges often involves continuous testing and learning, refining influencer selection criteria, and adapting content strategies based on real-time performance data and user feedback.

    3. Are there any plans for Survivor.io to adapt or evolve its marketing strategies for future updates or other games, based on the learnings from this campaign?

    As for future marketing strategies, Habby is likely to take the learnings from the Survivor.io campaign to inform its approach for upcoming game releases or updates.

    This could involve a more diversified influencer partnership strategy, incorporating both micro and macro-influencers to balance reach and relatability.

    Additionally, expanding distribution channels, such as exploring other social platforms or enhancing direct collaborations with influencers for content co-creation, could help in building a more robust and engaged gaming community.

    Engaging players in content creation and leveraging feedback loops can foster a sense of ownership and loyalty among the player base, contributing to long-term game success.

    About CreatorDB

    If you are considering launching your mobile game and want to reap some of the benefits of influencer marketing, look no further: CreatorDB is here to help you! We can provide you with all the data you need to find and evaluate influencers, markets, campaigns, and competitors. And if you don’t know where to start, our in-house agency specializes in developing and executing influencer marketing campaigns targeting any corner of the world.