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Exclusive InterviewsIndustry

Guy Charusadhirakul on Building a Successful Game Business in SEA

December 15, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Guy Charusadhirakul manages business development for Google Play in Southeast Asia, helping to grow the ecosystem of game and app developers in the region as he assists them to build successful global businesses using Google Play. Guy especially enjoys working with the creative people who are building fun, unique games, helping them reach millions of players globally and succeed with their businesses.

Guy’s first involvement with the game industry came when working for a global handset manufacturer. But his major immersion into the industry came when he joined the Google Play team to focus on expanding the developer ecosystem in Southeast Asia.

A Fun Industry that Pushes the Envelope

He was attracted to the game industry because it is a fun industry, with its mix of creativity, storytelling, technology, behavioral psychology, community and business. This industry pushes the envelope for tech, business and creative worlds.

BusinessExclusive Interviews

Yoshinori Kitamura: Do Not Miss Opportunities | Casual Connect Video

December 9, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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As Chief Operating Officer at Gravity Co., LTD, Yoshinori Kitamura is in charge of management, with major focuses on business strategies, overseas development and new business development. Currently his emphasis is on expanding the Ragnarok business according to the one source multi-use method. He is also in charge of managing the group companies (the US office and the Taiwan branch), and the NeoCyon office involved in mobile business to business. Yoshinori has participated in Ragnarok‘s Japanese business since 2003 and became involved with the management of Gravity in 2008.

Finding Trends in a Fluctuating Market

Yoshinori Kitamura is Chief Operating Officer at Gravity Co., LTD

Yoshinori enjoys the fact that his job shows clear results for what he does. He likes to challenge himself as he predicts trends in a market that is constantly fluctuating. As he describes, “It is rewarding when you succeed with new ideas without being caught by fixed concepts.”

His first exposure to gaming came in his school days; while playing Famicon with his friend he developed a desire to enter the game industry. However, at the time this seemed unlikely. Instead Yoshinori became involved with American football. While doing sales at a recruiting advertising company he was given the opportunity to join their company football team. Following this career he began working for Rothman’s Marubeni, a tobacco company which withdrew from the business some years later. He was then involved in starting several IT companies invested by Marubeni.

Asia 2017Video Coverage

David Lakritz: Succeeding in a Global Market | Casual Connect Video

December 4, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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You need razor-sharp focus on where you're going and how you're going to get there. - David LakritzClick To Tweet

Today, the global game market is $100 billion USD. Given this fact, publishing your game globally is a particularly compelling proposition. That said, it can also be quite a daunting concept. At Casual Connect Asia, President and CEO of LAI Global Games Services David Lakritz described how you can know which markets are the best fit for your game and where are you more likely to achieve a higher ROI.  He highlighted some free tools and strategies to address these issues during his presentation. For the full session see below.

USA 2017Video Coverage

Wibe Wagemans and Making Games More Social | Casual Connect Video

December 1, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Is social casino a genre that interests you as a developer? Is this an area that will allow you to build a profitable business? If these are questions you are considering, you will need to know what makes a social casino game really social.

The Chairman of Huuuge Games, Wibe Wagemans, has the expertise and experience to help you find the answers you need. Wibe was, prior to coming to Huuuge Games, president at IndoorAtlas, SVP a Rovio and regional board member at Nokia, building brands like Angry Birds, Bing, Nokia and Gillette. This proven track record of driving results in startups includes being responsible for two dozen top ranked apps on iTunes.

At Casual Connect USA, Wibe’s session illustrated how Huuuge Games has approached the social casino genre with their emphasis on creating a real-time social experience. Their focus is on making social casino more social. Wibe considers this so important that he emphasized, “We don’t think in a few years the big players will be around without having some form of real-time multi-player platform.”

To learn more about how you can make create a more exciting social experience with your games be sure to watch this video of the full session from Casual Connect.

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To read more about Wibe Wagemans’ careern and insights, see this exclusive article.

Asia 2017Video Coverage

Nicole Seymour on Creating High Quality Content for Preschoolers | Casual Connect Video

November 26, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Respect your team and treat them like they are a key part of the process because they are. - Nicole…Click To Tweet

As an emerging early learning digital brand for children, Pacca Alpaca has a lot to teach about how their small production company developed this premium brand, launching with apps, then videos and onto various platforms. Join Nicole Seymour, Creative Director and Executive Producer, as she describes the challenges and the successes, adjusting objectives based on outcomes, and looking to the future as the brand evolves, all within the exceptionally competitive and crowded children’s media market.

USA 2017Video Coverage

Mark Beck on Succeeding in Today’s Social Casino Environment | Casual Connect Video

November 22, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Are you someone who is interested in the social casino market? If so, you have, no doubt, noticed increasing competition as this market has been maturing. There are now many choices and the players are exhibiting greater sophistication in what games interest them, both in quality of production and game complexity.

If these are factors you must consider you would probably like to consult with Mark Beck, Vice-President of Strategy at Murka. Mark has helped to scale some of the largest games in the social casino genre, including Heart of Vegas, FaFaFa and Scatter Slots. Mark’s specialties are user acquisition, finance, business development and in-game optimization, all critical areas for successful social casino games. After ten years at Aristocrat Mark moved to Murka, where he is currently working.

If you would like to know how Murka has succeeded in becoming the then tenth largest and the fastest growing social casino company in today’s environment, you need to watch this video of Mark’s presentation at Casual Connect USA 2017 in Seattle.

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To see another lecture by Mark from Casual Connect Asia and learn about his career, see this exclusive article.

Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Juggler Games: Exploring the Difficult Stories

November 21, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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The winner of Indie Games Poland (an Indie Prize Partner Event) is a game studio based in Warsaw, Poland. As a winner, Juggler Games had the opportunity to participate in Indie Prize Kyiv 2017. Although Juggler Games is relatively new on the game scene, it was formed by industry veterans who collectively bring more than twenty-five years of experience to this company. The three founders, Mikolaj Pawlowski, Jakub Jabloński and Łukasz Janczuk, discussed the possibilities for more than a year before taking the leap to start the company. The undeniable fact that led to forming the company was that when you work for someone else you have limited opportunities to explore your own ideas for games. In order to make their own dream game they had to have their own company.

What Sort of Company?

During their year of preparation they spent a great deal of time analyzing what sort of company they would have and what their first project should be. They also looked for an investor to help them get started. In February, 2016 they founded the company and by August they had a working prototype of their first project to take to GameCom.

USA 2017Video Coverage

Mel Montano on The Best Publisher/Developer Relationship | Casual Connect Video

November 18, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Publishers and developers, what is the state of your relationship? Is it great? Is it good but could be better? Or have you suffered through a miserable breakup? Whatever your relationship is like, you will enjoy the insights Mel Montano has to offer.

Mel Montano is the Senior Business Development Manager at Kongregate

Mel Montano is the Senior Business Development Manager at Kongregate where their work is focused on finding the best and most exciting games on mobile, PC, console and the web for publishing partnerships. Before coming to Kongregate, Mel spent four years as Business Developer at Humble Bundle. And before that Mel worked as an Environmental Scientist remediating pollution.

At Casual Connect USA Mel’s session on publisher and developer relations covered everything: breakups, both good and bad; ghosting; and even publisher/developer speed-dating (yes, really!) This session emphasized what you can do for better networking, how to create and maintain a good relations, and what to look for in a potential publishing partner. As Mel insists, “Consider your deal breakers in advance.” If you are concerned about maintaining the best publisher/developer relationship, be sure to watch the full video of Mel’s session.

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To learn more about Mel and also see a lecture from Casual Connect Europe in Berlin click here. 

USA 2017Video Coverage

Doug Pearson: Creating Truly Social Casino Games | Casual Connect Video

November 15, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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As technology evolves and tools become outdated, such changes can leave developers in the dust and struggling to convert to mobile. Join Doug Pearson, Co-Founder and CTO of FlowPlay, for a technical discussion on how and why FlowPlay tackled these challenges firsthand by transitioning Vegas World from a Flash codebase to Haxe. Doug will also discuss the cost/benefits of making the move, lessons learned, and future cross-platform strategy. This session took place at Casual Connect USA 2017 in Seattle. See the full session below.

EventsNews

Winners of the 20th Indie Prize at Casual Connect Kyiv 2017

October 30, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Casual Connect Kyiv 2017 has been going strong in beautiful Kyiv, a city known for its history, creativity and culture, October 24, 25 and 26. And now we have the results of the exciting 20th Indie Prize competition.

Best Game Audio

Best Game Audio was awarded to Kenshō developed by FIFTYTWO, a Russian game studio. Kenshō is a mysterious game that takes place within a ruined room with doors opening onto beautiful landscapes. It is an addictive puzzle game with the player matching blocks and overcoming challenges to unfold the narrative.

Best Game Audio Kenshō developed by Fiftytwo was awarded by Natalie Portier and provided with prizes from Amazon and Appodeal at the 20th Indie Prize Awards during Casual Connect Kyiv 2017

Nominated for Best Game Audio were Melody Streaks by Beeble Games of India, a game where the player creates music with every move the character makes; Talking ABC by Hey-Clay of Ukraine, which uses animal characters to make learning fun; and Guns ‘n’ Stories: Bulletproof VR by Mirowin of Ukraine, bringing VR to the Wild West Era.

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