Matthieu Burleraux is the Business Development Director at Pocket PlayLab. The company is helping to provide mentorship on different matters to developer Cupcake, which the company invested $1 million into.
“We are helping them understand how to work around game KPIs, including in user acquisition, using these KPIs to optimize the game as well as their marketing campaign,” said Matthieu. “For example, we are focusing a lot on the daily cohorts, the LTV45 associated to them, the CPI, retention numbers, etc. We are also starting to help them on producing visual assets for UA and provide mentorship regarding developing the game on new platforms.”
“Before making the decision to work with Cupcake, we looked at the basic KPIs (ARPU, ARPPU, retention, virality, DAU, etc.) and their evolution over time, but we also looking into UA KPIs such as the CPI they had, ROI on UA, etc.” Matthieu continued. “The goal was for you to see if the game was sustainable and if we could grow it.”
Grow and Scale
Cupcake is a Brazilian developer and is part of the growing mobile audience in Latin America. However, Matthieu says that Pocket PlayLab didn’t specifically partner with Cupcake to target South America.
“We always try to have a worldwide aim when we work with people. However, Brazil has a long history in gaming,” said Matthieu. “MMO were and are still popular and mobile/social are consistently growing. However, the monetization and device quality don’t match yet with the key markets you see in the West or in Asia. I believe there is still a long way to go before really focusing on South America and making significant margins.”
“Our goal was to help Cupcake to grow and scale the game. While the game was successful, they couldn’t really scale,” he noted. “The money they are getting from us is helping them to perform UA on a bigger scale, of course while following basic guidelines. This should help them grow their user base and, at the end, increase revenue.”
When asked about marketing features that help developers like Cupcake, Matthieu said, “Besides the thanks of free users due to store-featuring, I would say well targeted and managed user acquisition and the proper use of influencers are the way to go now. But it’s just the beginning.”
Video Games Are A Business
Matthieu says that games they’re looking for have things like good monetization plans, retention and long tail effects. Matthieu says that whether the games are 2D or 3D, it doesn’t matter.
“Video games are a business, we are in it to make money. Which means we need to agree on that first,” notes Matthieu. “We make games not for ourselves but to make money with it and pay the bills. Then we need to always be honest with each other, be frank and don’t hesitate to point out the good but also the bad and try to solve it. If not, people shouldn’t be afraid to part ways while staying in good terms.”
When asked what a developer should look for in a publisher, Matthieu said, “Honesty, capability to deliver what they want for their games. A publisher should have resources that a lot of developers don’t have and the money that goes with it. Analytics, CM and CS, PR, UA, etc.”
Flexibility is a Key to Success
Matthieu thinks that mobile games is an incredibly diverse field which is getting even more diverse. At the same time, he expects less copycat games and more connected and team play games, such as real time PvP and coop.
“Moreover, with the gap growing between high-end devices and low-end ones, you will see more and more games appealing for specific markets (already the case in SEA for example) as well as games targeting the new generation of gamers. By that I mean to tackle users than never played on console or PC before, show them that games can mean match-3 but can also mean games with deeper engagement and meaning,” said Matthieu. “I believe, or I hope, mobile games will become a bit more engaging in term of gameplay, storytelling, etc. But once again, it depends who your target audience is.”
When it comes to the near future, Matthieu said, “While VR might pick for console or PC games, where you are already at home and seating in your chair or sofa, I don’t really see it happening on mobile. However, I do believe that AR be perfect with mobile. In gaming or not. Before that, as mentioned earlier, I do think there is still a lot to be done with mobile gaming as we know it. Both in term of social features, that are, in my opinion, not fully there yet, as well as more mature games. I don’t think all games would need 18 months and millions in development budget to be successful. Games targeting specific audiences, with the appropriate budget would be a good thing to do.”
“It’s also been great finally having mobile network being able to handle real time PvP, which would lead, I hope to more social games and not only in a 1 vs 1 scheme,” he added.
On the subject of handling the changes in technology, Matthieu recommended that companies stay flexible on a team and product basis. “If you build a black box where you can’t add or remove tools because X or Y reason, you might be screwed… in gaming, especially on mobile, flexibility is one of the keys of success,” concluded Matthieu.
David Radd is a staff writer for GameSauce.biz. David loves playing video games about as much as he enjoys writing about them, martial arts and composing his own novels.