Europe 2014Video Coverage

Cristi Badea: Opportunity for All, Even Underdogs | Casual Connect Video

February 26, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

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Europe 2014Video Coverage

Cristi Badea: Opportunity for All, Even Underdogs | Casual Connect Video

February 26, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

Cristi Badea credits the success of MavenHut’s game, Solitaire Arena, to A/B testing. He shared five A/B tests during Casual Connect Europe.

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Cristi-Badea
Cristi Badea, Executive Producer, Mavenhut

Executive Producer at MavenHut, Cristi Badea, stays in the games industry because, “It is a business where a handful of non-experts in a country no one has ever heard of can create the next big thing.” Which is just what MavenHut did. In 2012, MavenHut went through a business accelerator in Dublin with just the three cofounders. They decided to transform classic games into multiplayer experiences. Their first choice was Solitaire, which might seem an odd choice to change to multiplayer, since by definition, it is a single-player game. So, the game evolved into Solitaire Arena, which reached over six million people within a year, and has been making its way up the 100 Top Grossing Chart.

MavenHut now has 20 full-time employees and, as Badea says, “The sky is the limit.”




A Passionate Start




Badea found his passion early in life when, as a small boy, he began not only playing games, but also creating his own games complete with his own sets of rules. His career in the games industry started with playing an MMO game that happened to have been developed by a studio only two blocks from his home. He applied for a position there and, at age 21, became community manager for the game.




He quickly discovered something he loves: the games industry moves incredibly fast. He pointed out that only seven years ago, mobile games were just getting started and there were no Facebook games. Now, he spends his free time playing casual games on a variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, and Facebook. He particularly enjoys playing on Facebook, feeling the interaction with friends makes the games more appealing. His favorite, of course, is Solitaire Arena.

Mavenhut Team
“The sky is the limit.”

The Growth of Mobile Gaming

A comparison of iOS and Android has coming out on top in Badea’s view. He points out, for example, that Clash of Clans was a top-grossing game on iOS long before penetrating the Android market.

Badea sees mobile gaming continuing to grow, with smartphones becoming even ‘smarter’ and continuing to dominating the casual games market. He also believes games on Facebook will continue to show slow growth, inevitably reaching a plateau. But Oculus Rift, which seems a major step forward, will not soon impact the casual games market. He also expects better monetization practices to develop for F2P. But his number one prediction for the future of the industry is rooted in the games graveyard. “There will be a comeback for game genres everyone considers dead, such as farm games,” Badea said.

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Catherine Quinton

Catherine Quinton

Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.

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