At Casual Connect USA, Bryan Bennett, Vice President of Marketing at AGS Interactive, was part of a panel that addressed the essential question in the game industry: how to realize a profit with your game. And while the question sounds simple, navigating the answers to it is considerably more complex. How, for example, do you find and acquire the highest value users, how do you succeed on Instagram or make the best use of Facebook ad products. Should you expand your business into other geographic markets and how do you decide which ones.
The methods of monetizing that developers have been using in free-to-play no longer work with today’s sophisticated audiences according to Greg Costikyan. Greg is the Senior Game Designer for Boss Fight Entertainment, with a career in the game industry that has spanned three decades and included more than 30 commercially published games. During this time Greg has received honors that include the IGDA Maverick Award for “tireless promotion of independent games”, five Origins Awards and is an inductee into the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame.
But after all this experience, Greg emphasizes that effective monetization is essential for a game to succeed. In the past, monetization methods have included hard gates, painful pinches and spammy calls to monetization: crude methods that players no longer tolerate. Games are about delighting players, but now the call to monetization must also delight. Not only that, players can only be retained if they feel their money has been well spent. To learn more about Greg’s ideas on how to accomplish this, watch this video of the full session from Casual Connect USA.
For more about Greg Costikyan, see this exclusive article.
Two years ago Larry DeMar, President of Leading Edge Design, predicted that the game industry would soon be seeing more and more convergence, certainly with console, PC and mobile, but also in the slots arena between brick and mortar, online and free-to-play. And today, given the regulatory market in real money gaming, that convergence may be more important than ever. At Casual Connect USA, Larry was part of a panel discussing how social casino may be the answer to the restrictions on real money gaming and how social casino studios can work with land-based casinos and other real money gaming companies.
Innovation with Pinball
Larry DeMar is an industry veteran who has been making a variety of games on different platforms for all kinds of industries for more than 35 years. Shortly after graduating from MIT, Larry began working for Williams as part of the team that created Defender, Stargate, Robotron 2084 and Blaster as well as innovating and developing pinball machines, dominating the industry in the 1990s.
The Insecurity that Results in Greatness
During this time, Larry was fortunate to work on some incredibly successful projects with outstanding developers. For example, Defender was one of the best-selling games ever, created by a small team in what seemed an impossibly short timeframe. And Larry discovered what makes the best developers the best: they all share a high level of insecurity that keeps them tuning and refining and piling on feature after feature that often results in greatness.
Leading Edge Design
In 1999 Larry and brother Steven DeMar decided to co-found Leading Edge Design. Their company focuses on the casino environment and creating innovative concepts there. Their work has been a true team effort and includes Scott Slomiany, Duncan Brown and Bill Grupp from Larry’s time working with pinball at Williams, as well as Mark Molitar and Brian Jared. Larry emphasizes, “Everyone on our team contributes to our games, and you never know who will have the next great idea. This was the philosophy that the best at Williams/Midway always followed.”
Collaborating in the Free-To-Play Space
Leading Edge Design has recently collaborated with Ruby Seven Studios and 2 by 2 Gaming on three apps. These contain their hit casino games, Multi-Strike Poker and Gems Wild Tiles. They have also collaborated with original new games in Ruby Seven Video Poker, Tropworld Casino and Lucky North Casino in the free-to-play space. Their current projects include expanding these products and working with Ruby Seven Studios on other apps in the social casino category.
Be sure to watch this video of Casual Connect session “From Real Money to Social B2B” and learn more on Larry’s vast experience creating innovative gaming concepts, and how real money gaming can work in conjunction with social casino.
Bob Heubel, a haptic technology evangelist for Immersion Corporation, specializes in helping developers implement force-feedback, tactile-feedback or rumble-feedback effects. With more than 16 years of assisting developers in designing and programming tactile sensations into their games and interactive experiences, Bob holds a number of patents in the field of Haptics.
Bob was one of the judges for the Indie Prizes at Casual Connect USA, and after the award ceremony, participated in the Meet the Jury Panel. With the other members of the Jury, Bob shared experiences in playtesting, what they look for, and what particular elements were crucial in the winners’ success. To learn more, watch this video of their discussion.
For more information about Bob Heubel, click here.
Like games are often inspired and driven by the players, engines can be driven by developers and their needs – this is exactly how things are with Amazon’s Lumberyard. Their Head of Product J.C. Connors presented this roadmap and their vision of industry challenged at Casual Connect USA in a panel with MaxPlay, Unity, King and Epic Games.
You have created a great app and people are downloading it. What can you do from there to ensure the best opportunities for that app to succeed?
Ian Atkinson, Vice President of Business Development at AdColony, offered his insights into the steps you need to take in the “Leveling Up Your App Economy” session at Casual Connect USA. At AdColony, Ian delivers high quality inventory for advertisers in the AdColony Network through partnering with game companies and tech vendors while enhancing monetization. Ian brought to the session his expertise, developed through more than twenty years of experience in the industry at both startups and large game publishers, with particular knowledge of emerging digital and interactive entertainment markets.
In this session Ian described how the top mobile app publishers are able to engage and retain users while, at the same time, maximizing monetization. The session analyzed the best practices and must have features of the apps that are doing it right and discussed the importance of an ad network. “Don’t treat ad networks as an ATM machine,” Ian emphasized. “Treat them like a trusted business partner.”
To learn more about how you can give your app the best chance for success, watch this video of Ian’s full session below.
For a more detailed article about Ian Atkinson, click here.
The time is here when a game studio can manage and build their own consumer relationships through social platforms. At Casual Connect Asia, Serena Proudfoot, Vice President of Production and partner at Oddity Labs, gave pointers on how to create and maintain healthy business to consumer relationships. “It is definitely really important to not only focus on the reviews that aren’t so good and the negative feedback. Focus on the good feedback. Thank people for taking the time to review and to review you well. It definitely goes a long way.” said Serena.
Dave Bisceglia is Co-Founder and CEO of The Tap Lab. At this mobile game studio, based in Cambridge, MA, Dave focuses on game design, product management and business development. During the past two years, since Gamesauce last talked with Dave, The Tap Lab has transitioned from self-publishing their own IP to working with major publishers and third-party IPs. Dave’s role as CEO now is concentrated much more on business development and relationships with publishers and IPs. They emphasize, “We’ve been fortunate to work with some great partners on projects we’re passionate about.”
Effective advertising is essential for anyone trying to get the word out about their product, and game developers are no exception. A huge amount of data is available about users through their smartphones, but developers are seldom effectively utilizing it, leaving users confronting irrelevant and intrusive ads at the same time as they are worried about safeguarding their privacy. So developers are getting less ad revenue while advertisers fail to connect with their market.
Itamar Benedy, General Manager and VP Israel of glipsa, offers a solution: switching to a user-centric approach. Transforming ads into personalized user experiences will take advertising to the next level, Itamar emphasizes.
While managing the ad tech M&A activities at Market Tech Holding, Itamar acquired glipsa, then opened the Israeli office and now heads it. Itamar focuses on glipsa’s key partnerships, M&A, and their app incubation project.
To learn more from Itamar’s marketing experience and the user-centric approach, watch this video of the full session given at Casual Connect USA.
For more about Itamar Benedy, see this exclusive article here.
They installed your app…now what? At Casual Connect Asia Ian Atkinson from AdColony explained what! “70% of players like rewarded ads, so it’s leaving money on the table to not do it!”, Ian pointed out during this solo session, explaining how the top mobile app publishers are engaging and retaining users longer while maximizing monetization and minimizing SDK bloat.