When talking about ways to improve the discovery of mobile games at Casual Connect Eastern Europe 2014, Rakesh Raju says to “Be in the sweetspot of quality engagement, scalability, and reach.”
Rakesh Raju, president and co-founder of TreSensa, has spent his entire career focused on creativity. He has worked in code, art, product design, business development, and creativity-based products, but his work has always focused on finding innovative ways to make these pursuits economically sustainable.
Raju’s background is in 3D real-time graphics engine development, originally working at HT Medical developing computer-based surgical simulators. While there, he developed Teleos, a ground-breaking virtual reality surgical training system. Later, he used his skills to work in Hollywood at Core 3D, developing 3D special effects software for animators working on Disney feature films.
He decided to join the game industry primarily because he wanted to be involved in consumer software while continuing to use his creativity. He was attracted to this industry for several reasons, including the art involved, the immersive aspects of gaming, and the virtual worlds the games create. Despite having an outstanding background to work on hardcore games, he was instead enticed by mobile for its potential to provide new forms of entertainment to a wide variety of people. And he appreciates how helpful the people in the industry have been.
Raju particularly enjoys being on the cutting edge of business and product development, as well as the combination of creative and analytical aspects afforded by the game industry. He also enjoys combining art and mathematics with the latest technology. As he says, “Games always push the envelope.”
The pinnacle of Raju’s career so far has been the founding of TreSensa with a mission to transform the economics of game development and to assist game studios around the globe with development, distribution, and marketing to build a profitable business despite the hits-driven nature of the industry.
They also endeavor to collaborate in the formation of new game developers. Although the company is at the start of this process, their objective is to make payments to developers who are just beginning to earn money from their own IP. He began this company running a work-for-hire studio; in this way, he was able to identify the pain points of both development and economics for game studios.
At TreSensa, Raju evangelizes game development through demonstrating how to achieve funding, build good products and grow sound businesses. He is responsible for creating products that meet the needs of game development studios, as well as assisting these studios. And he uses the information generated to guide business and product development. Several different experiences in his background led to acquiring the capability for his current work: owning his own game studio, working in game distribution while at RealNetworks, and simply through helping other studios.
His plans for the future include personally evolving while continuing to create new types of games and new models.
Looking at Gaming
The most important trend Raju sees emerging in the games industry is an exponential increase in the cost of marketing exacerbated by an equally serious decrease in ROI. TreSensa is anticipating and mitigating this trend by creating new solutions for game discovery.
In his personal gaming, Raju is completely absorbed by the F2P game TwoDots. He says, “It combines everything I like in a game: minimalism and a well-crafted puzzle that rewards strategy. And it is perfectly tuned for subway riders.” He prefers playing on iOS, not necessarily because he considers it superior to Android, but simply because that is the phone he has.
Raju’s free time is consumed with his passion for all aspects of music: playing, composing, and picking up tidbits of music theory, history, and trivia. Currently, he is most active in playing the guitar, mainly for his two toddlers.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.