Despite consistent new content and updates, Island Games’ tower defense game, Protect Your Kingdom (PYK), was steadily dropping users, including some of the most dedicated. The team also noticed that the PYK community was spread out across YouTube, Reddit and Discord. The Island Games team wanted to bring back their users, consolidate the community and reignite the game excitement.

Island Games’ User Retention Problem

They turned to AE to help them solve their biggest pain points: bring back users and build a strong community around the game.

STEP 1 – Implement AE Connect

Capture users through social login and get their permission to start listening and grow a strong community.

AE Connect is the keystone that authenticates players and grows a community.

Through in-game ads and an email announcement, Island Games directed their players to a landing page for the Protect Your Kingdom: Battle of the Factions event. The landing page directed players to choose one of the two PYK factions and sign in using Reddit, Discord, or Youtube to join the battle.


A landing page for the fictional game Protect Your Kingdom. There are two shields representing different factions. Each shield has a login for Reddit, Discord and YouTube.

Customize AE’s social login to align with your brand.

Players would then complete activities related to PYK in order to earn points, both individually and for their chosen faction as a whole. As they accumulated points, players would earn in-game rewards such as exclusive buildings and items. The faction with the most points at the end of the competition would be awarded with a new faction battle unit.

RESULTS: The in-game ads and email announcement had a click-through rate of 26% and 74% respectively. Island Games captured 250,000 users total across Reddit, Discord and YouTube.

STEP 2 – Assign Point Values to Activities with AE Insights

Add brands to the allowlist and use AE Insights to assign points to activities users take involving key brands.

For AE to understand users, the engine needs to know what users care about. AE does this by looking at every user activity and then comparing it to their list of brands. If the activity matches a brand, AE stores that insight. Each activity can be assigned a point value.

Island Games assigned point values to PYK behavioral and social activities including, but not limited to:

  • Joining the official subreddit and Discord server
  • Participation (commenting) in the official PYK subreddit
  • Completing daily in-game challenges
  • Purchasing in-game upgrades
  • Subscribing to the Island Games YouTube channel

STEP 3 – Actions & ROI

AE Insights are used to spark competition, create leaderboards, and reward users for engaging.

Island Games created two leaderboards, one for each PYK faction. At any time, players could see how many points they’d earned and their overall ranking within the faction. The main Battle of the Factions landing page also displayed the culminated points of each faction, further driving competition and engagement.

Points community leaderboard for fictional game Protect Your Castle

This is how the team leaderboard would look to a participant in the Battle of the Factions.


  • Increase in retention rates: Island Games saw a decrease in churn with players returning to PYK daily to complete challenges.
  • Increase in social media mentions and excitement: Because the Battle of the Factions encouraged users to engage on social media, Island Games saw an uptick of mentions of PYK across Twitter and Reddit.
  • Increase in user acquisition: Due to the increased popularity on social media Island Games saw a wave of new players joining the game in order to participate in the Battle of the Factions.
  • Easily find more users just like their engaged players: Using AE Insights the Island Games team were able to build very specific look-a-like audiences on Facebook and other advertising platforms to find more players just like their existing audience.
  • Increased engagement and feedback from players: Players flocked to the new established official PYK Discord server and subreddit. These platforms gave the Island Games team an opportunity to engage with community and get feedback to further improve the game
  • Simplified and fair contest system: Island Games saved thousands of hours of tracking, compiling and ranking fan activity by powering the event with AE. The Battle of the Factions had no false-positives and no “gaming the system” thanks to AE’s real-time scoring of submissions and automatic enforcement of limits.

STEP 4: Rinse & Repeat

Use an AE-powered strategy in future campaigns to: capture users and assign points to their activities, use contests and leaderboards to build community, collate user data to improve advertising and spend less on advertising

After the success of the first AE-powered Battle of the Factions to bring back users, increase retention rates and build community, Island Games continued to use AE in their marketing strategy:


  • AE social login is used to capture new users across their games catalogue.
  • Island Games own their customer data and those contact details, instead of giving it to other platforms and relying on 3rd party channels.
  • Yearly competitions like Battle of the Factions are held to boost engagement, retention and new user acquisition.
  • In addition to the feedback Island Games receives directly from players in the official Discord and subreddit, they now have access to a wealth of behavioral and social activity data that their players have consented to being tracked.
  • Island Game’s database of users continues to grow inside AE. They now have over 250,000 registered users creating behavioral data every day.
  • They are spending 9% less per quarter on retention advertising campaigns and seeing their retention rates improve each quarter.