USA 2014Video Coverage

Cristi Badea: Inspired by Solitaire | Casual Connect Video

August 26, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton


USA 2014Video Coverage

Cristi Badea: Inspired by Solitaire | Casual Connect Video

August 26, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

Cristi Badea talked about why people do not return to games in his session at Casual Connect USA 2014. He speculated, “I would say the number one reason is actually how easy is it for them to come back to the game.”


Cristi Badea, Founder, MavenHut

Cristi Badea is an entrepreneur whose latest venture is the founding of MavenHut, a company that develops and self-publishes mobile and web games. He has been working in the games industry for six years and has worked for Digital Chocolate and BigPoint, as well as publishing as an indie developer.

MavenHut’s first title is Solitaire Arena; he considers developing it a legacy, since he played many games of Solitaire on PC as a child. In less than on year, he has accomplished what he believes to be his greatest achievement with MavenHut, namely, growing Solitaire Arena to one million daily active users across all platforms, including Facebook, iOS, and Android.

Finding the Balance

In his work, Badea is surrounded by over 20 specialists every day, and it is always a challenge to keep up with their ideas. However, there are a limited number of opportunities you can take advantage of in a day, and he must be very selective in choosing the most advantageous for his company. With his overview of the entire business, he can more easily spot the mistakes that were made during the development of a game. Unfortunately, this can often be a frustrating experience.

“It is very important to find the perfect balance when it comes to risk-taking. In gaming, it’s hard to identify what is a risk-taking decision since most of the time you are testing and trying things out. And in business in general, every day you are taking some kind of risk,” Badea cautioned.

The entrance to the studio in Bucharest, located at the top executive floor, right in the middle of the city.

Failure is something Badea believes developers must learn from. He recognizes that sometimes a developer knows a game he has been working on is not going to succeed, and yet still continues to invest several more months in development. He insists, “When you feel it is time to end it, it’s a failure to keep working on that specific title.”

Even so, the next goal he hopes to achieve is simple, and something he believes is common to almost all game developers: the next title they ship should be the next big thing in gaming!

Staying Popular

The MavenHut team, after an all-hands meeting, held weekly.

Although MavenHut does not put any special emphasis on social media, they do try to have a strong presence with their canvas games on Facebook. Interestingly, Badea claims that most of the Facebook games today are the same ones that were there six months ago. So he feels their popularity will continue, especially the farming games.

Badea admits that free time is a concept he is not very familiar with these days. But anything that might be considered free time, he spends reading industry articles.



Catherine Quinton

Catherine Quinton

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