Moore’s Law is still in full-swing since Gordon Moore first made his now-famous observation in 1965. Technology continues to change at a nearly breakneck pace – not only getting smaller and faster, but also more advanced and intricate. From artificial intelligence to high fidelity, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything. In Casual Connect Kyiv’s Tech track, attendees can expect to receive numerous insights to help them keep on top of the latest technology so they can make their games the best they can be.
Casual Connect has always been about educating game developers to keep them at the top of their game. Recently, Computer Games Association, Casual Connect’s parent organization, unveiled their United in Education initiative. Calling it their “largest initiative”, United in Education is meant to provide “a comprehensive set of educational materials for games industry professionals”. At Casual Connect Kyiv this will be reflected in two days of hands-on workshops under the United in Education track. The workshops can essentially be split into three categories: business development, game monetization, and platform insights.
Over 1,000 games industry professionals are expected to turn out for Casual Connect Kyiv on October 24-26. During the conference’s Market Navigation track, they can expect to receive actionable insights from experts that will help them navigate the sometimes choppy waters in the gaming industry’s current and emerging markets.
Alexis Kennedy has a storied career in gaming, literally. He has done guest-writing gigs for such prominent studios as BioWare, Telltale, and Paradox – and as the creator of Failbetter Games, he grew a two-person startup into a studio with 16 employees and over $1.3 million a year in revenue. As part of the Industry Insights track, Alexis will open the conference at Casual Connect Kyiv with a keynote lecture on game narratives and how to better marry stories with game systems. Many other experts will join Alexis in sharing their expertise with attendees over the conference’s three days of lectures and workshops.
Casual Connect returns to Kyiv for the first time since 2013 – and it’s not coming alone. Coming with it will be representatives from industry-leading companies – such as Google, Epic, Ubisoft, Facebook, Amazon, Toca Boca, Murka, Huuuge Games and Failbetter Games – to discuss the games industry, growth and expansion, casino gaming, navigating markets and new technologies, and much more.
yellowHEAD will be on hand at Casual Connect USA this August in Seattle to provide developers and publishers with valuable insights on UA, ASO, SEO, and more. The company has a long and storied relationship with the conference, including recently at February’s European show where yellowHEAD Head of ASO Sagi Dekel discussed effective ASO strategies. At Casual Connect USA, Head of Social Ori Meiry will join a panel of experts on user acquisition and retention – where he will discuss yellowHEAD’s unique approaches to these topics and how they’ve helped others meet their marketing goals and grow their business.
The company also often hosts a booth at Casual Connect conferences – and Casual Connect USA will be no different. yellowHEAD Head of Growth Merav Katz Gershuni notes that it provides a dedicated space to meet game developers and publishers and discuss ways to help them succeed in their advertising and UA goals. “We’re also looking forward to meeting our clients and friends, catching up on their new games, and raising a glass or two to our fruitful cooperation,” Merav says of Casual Connect USA.
Computer Games Association will be hosting three days of high-profile casino-oriented content at its upcoming Casual Connect USA conference this August 1-3 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The conference has hosted tracks dedicated to online and mobile social casino and real money gaming for years – and this show will be no different, showcasing big names from various different areas in the casino industry during its casino track. However, the track will also feature content important to non-casino game developers as well – especially in regards to a new emerging market: land-based casinos.
Indigo Entertainment was founded in 2007 with the dream of developing games that feature “awesome” intellectual property (IP). For several years Indigo Entertainment pursued that dream, creating games for clients with popular IP.
However, as Indigo Entertainment President and Co-Founder James Ronald Lo notes, “everyone in the game industry has hopes and dreams of building their dream game” – and, in 2016, Indigo Entertainment began its venture into independent game development.
Their first independent game, 2D mobile action platformer Agent Aliens, was born out of a studio-wide call for game ideas – “sort of like a game jam” says James. The only requirement was for the game to be fun because, as James notes, if the gameplay is done right, IP can be built around it.
“The casino industry doesn’t have the depth of knowledge on who their future consumer is.” Those were the words spoken by Rahul Sood of Unikrn during GiGse 2017 in San Diego last month. Indeed, a major focus of the three-day casino gaming industry event surrounded video gamers instead of traditional slots and table-game players – showing that the door is open to a new and lucrative market for non-casino game developers.
In one panel, experts from UNLV’s Center for Gaming Innovation, GameCo, Rover Strategic Advisors, Zeal Networks, and Guru Games, barely touched on traditional casino fare and focused entirely on how to merge skill-based games with gambling.
GameCo’s Blaine Graboyes noted that the average gamer is 35 years old and is looking for VIP experiences that the casino industry is adept at – but with a video gaming slant. “I’ve been producing games for over 20 years and there’s just a level of interactivity and engagement that isn’t available in slot games.”
While GiGse touched on virtual reality’s place in the casino industry last year, this year it was a major focus. In its Day 2 opening lecture, KWP Limited Director Kevin Williams dove into VR gaming and what it could mean for the casino industry.
Kevin comes from the digital out-of-home entertainment (DOE) industry which, historically, has not overlapped much with the casino industry – although the two industries have sometimes competed for customers. However, with consumer trends toward entertainment shifting, the two industries have recently started working together. Kevin noted, for instance, that people are beginning to see casinos as experience destinations instead of gaming centers.
Kevin brought his experiences with VR from the DOE industry to share with those at GiGse who might be mulling VR setups in their casinos – listing various ways VR is already being used. He noted that many places are looking to VR to supplement their current entertainment options or provide something new for guests.