With over 50 million downloads and having been #1 in App Store general ranking in over 40 countries for multiple apps, appChocolate shared their story at Casual Account Kyiv. Emmanuel Carraud, CEO and Co-founder of appChocolate also shared practical tips on how to launch successfully mobile games for independent studios and indie developers including KPIs, localization, ASO, analytics, PR, monetization, user acquisition, App Store ranking on iOS and Android. Listen to the full lecture entitled How to Make Your Next Game Go BIG below.
Emmanuel Carraud is Co-Founder and CEO of appChocolate, a company that has been developing and publishing games and festive apps since 2014. They publish the app Advent Calender – 25 Days of Christmas which is very popular every December, reaching more than one million users, and they feature and promote twenty-five of the best apps each year. Emmanuel has been an entrepreneur since 2009 when he co-founded MagicSolver.com, the apps discovery specialists.
Before becoming interested in mobile apps, Emmanuel worked in consumer goods marketing and then completed an MBA degree at Cambridge University. This gave him an understanding of consumer behaviors before starting his own business.
A Desire to be Creative and Independent
In 2008, Emmanuel met game developers and started building games. Discovering how much he enjoys creating, publishing and promoting mobile apps was the impetus for his career. He was inspired by a desire to be creative and independent. In fact, what he enjoys most about his work today is the opportunity to meet other mobile developers and publishers and spend time discussing games.
But Emmanuel’s career in the game and app industry was not always a certainty. As a child he had a high ambition – to become President of the republic! But, more realistically, if he had not chosen this career, he would have done more property investment as well as teaching others how to become entrepreneurs.
Emmanuel has found the greatest challenges in his work come as the industry is maturing and constantly changing. appChocolate responds to this situation by using innovation to keep ahead of the curve. And a career in mobile apps can also bring great satisfaction. The best moment Emmanuel remembers is when, in December, 2009, their Christmas Advent Calendar App became #1 in the App Store general ranking in the UK and in Germany for the first time.
Much of the success in a mobile app company depends on the team working there. For members of his team, Emmanuel looks for people who are passionate and can complement the skills of the other team members. When complications arise within the team he handles them with straightforward conversations and setting milestones. The team recognizes that Emmanuel cares intensely about the company and is both passionate and persistent.
appChocolate follows the free-to-play business model because they know this is the best way of monetizing for them, especially for their Christmas apps. However, they believe the next few years will see the freemium trend developing further so they are trying to optimize the balance between IAP, sponorship and advertising in their monetization strategy.
The most effective form of marketing for appChocolate has been simple word of mouth. Administration and accounting have been less easy to accomplish. As Emmanuel admits, “We haven’t found a silver bullet yet.”
appChocolate tests their games at every stage of development. Although this is time consuming, it is what works well in making great products. The most interesting reaction to their play tests has been with the mini-games in their Advent Calendar. The engagement players show has been great! And engagement is the critical factor Emmanuel looks for in games.
The Right Match
When working with developers, Emmanuel insists that the most important thing is to be sure they have a shared vision. And developers need to ensure that the publisher they are working with has the capacity to bring visibility to their games. But if there is the right match between developer and publisher, it can make the game a commercial success.
When Emmanuel is not working he enjoys hiking in the French Alps and traveling across the world. And Emmanuel is also a big fan of casual games and strategy games.
New Projects for 2018
As lovers of sports, appChocolate just released a new app to follow the Football World Cup 2018 starting in Russia on 14th June 2018. The app is called World Cup App: Russia 2018. It will follow the World Cup for free globally in 10 languages. It is already available on iOS and will be available on Android from mid-April. appChocolate World Cup app for Brazil 2014 got over 1 million downloads and appChocolate is aiming to exceed that target in 2018.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.