Eva Vonau is currently an intellectual property (IP) lawyer at Hogan Lovells and will be opening her own law firm, Slopek Vonau PartG mbB this September. Before pursuing a career in law, Eva worked at one of the biggest TV production studios in Germany as a technician, something that serves her well to this day. At Casual Connect Europe 2017, Eva laid out a roadmap for navigating the differences in IP law between countries.
Marc Hale is the Head of APAC at Liftoff where he oversees partnerships with mobile app advertisers and agencies across the region.
“We offer CPA-optimized mobile app install and retargeting campaigns to performance marketers looking to acquire and re-engage high-value users for their mobile apps,” said Marc. “Mobile ad tech is a dynamic and rapidly changing industry, and over the last 10 years I’ve been fortunate to have worked at some key players at the forefront of those changes. With its data-driven approach to user acquisition and retargeting campaigns, Liftoff particularly interested me.”
So far in 2017, we have witnessed great improvements for user acquisition in gaming. Join Saikala Sultanova (currently Director of User Acquisition, Mobile at Ubisoft, and Head of User Acquisition at Space Ape Games at the time of speaking) during her session at Casual Connect Asia. She shared Space Ape Games’ best practices and latest findings, when it comes to supporting new game launches. One of the key takeaways that Saikala highlighted was: “To make sure that you always have a backup plan. So if you have a plan one to build a simulation, make a plan B because when things change and you go with your game to global launch and you have this ultimate goal so you will have plans A, B and C… If you have three different options, it helps you move towards the same goal.” Listen in to get your “UA takeaway” of the day!
Casual Connect USA 2017 on August 1-3 in Seattle, Washington will cover a myriad of subjects detailing the developing, publishing, and marketing of games for all platforms. Taking place exclusively on August 2, the Business of Games track will kick off with a short welcome by track emcee Salim Mitha, a partner at Evolution Media and veteran in growth tech opportunities on funding, publishing and licensing.
The conference will feature sessions on various evolving game finance models, impacting almost every game developer in the industry. Jay Powell, CEO of The Powell Group, and Drew Boortz, Managing Vice President of Western Business Development at Nexon, will discuss a myriad of pros and cons of the various popular structures for game finance, including break-even structures, studio burn-rate deals, angel, Series A investment, crowdfunding, as well as creative hybrids of all structures. Patrick Sweeney, one of the leading attorneys in the games industry, will serve as moderator.
Patrick Sweeney has closed many deals on behalf of developers, so has particular insights in the publisher method of financing. He’ll talk about the pitfalls developers should avoid in publishing partnerships that he’s seen in the 500+ publishing agreements he’s helped conclude.
Pitching publishers is an important skill for smaller developers to have to increase the exposure of their games. Talking on subjects like how to approach and pitch publishers, in addition to discussion of typical deal structures and expectations goings into a negotiation will be tinyBuild CEO Alex Nichiporchik, Team17’s Head of Publishing & Business Development Justin Berenbaum, Devolver Digital Partner and Funslinger Mike Wilson, and Versus Evil GM Steve Escalante, with Execution Labs co-founder Jason Della Rocca as moderator.
Developers and publishers have relationships not unlike people have, running hot and cold, suffering breakups and “ghosting”. Mel Montano, Senior Business Development Manager at Kongregate, will have a humorous take on the highs and lows of publisher networking, creating and maintaining relationships, and how to decide on a potential publishing partner.
Licensed for Business
IPs for music, films, TV or celeb licensing can have rewards and pitfalls for developers. Flashman Studios CEO Brad Young and Jam City EVP of Corporate Development & General Counsel Rob Zakari will talk about working in licensed IP business on franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, Walking Dead, Family Guy, Simpsons, South Park and many others.
Signing the right licenses is part of a general strategy including investment, acquisition and partnerships. Michael Chang, SVP Corporate Development at NCSoft West and Shanti Bergel, SVP of Business & Corporate Development at GREE International Entertainment will talk about their experiences working the business half of the industry for mobile and PC gaming.
Holistic Gaming Business
Gamers are changing and evolving all the time, and it’s important to be able to think holistically about it when you’re working in UA. Brian Boland, VP of Publisher Solutions for Facebook, will talk about overseeing the social media company’s efforts to help developers and publishers monetize their apps, sites and content.
There will also be insights from leading executives, giving their unique perspective from being on the leading edge. Gawkbox CEO Chris Brownridge, PlayFab James Gwertzman, CEO of and Jonathan Zweig, CEO of AppOnboard Inc., will talk about everything from streaming, gaming back-ends, and app development in a session moderated by LVP Partner Paul Heydon.
Network to Success
Casual Connect will cover multiple broad topics of the industry, covering VR & AR, game design, social casino and much more. Over 2,000 professionals are expected to attend the conference, making it a perfect networking event with three official networking parties. To find out more about what Casual Connect USA 2017 can offer, please visit usa.casualconnect.org.
Teut Weidemann is a man that knows the game industry business, especially when it comes to common monetization mistakes. In a talk delivered at Casual Connect Europe, Teut divulged his knowledge from his 10 years of consulting F2P companies. In this talk, Teut covered some of the most common mistakes in game design and monetization systems – which should help prevent them for your next game so you don’t have to hire him to fix them! A big piece of advice that Teut imparted was: “In-game sales damage your revenue in the long term. Money compensates time or skill. The later the player starts to spend in the game, the more likely he will turn into a whale.” Learn more in the full session feature below!
Does paid marketing make sense in scaling your game? In a talk at Casual Connect Asia, Martin Macmillan (CEO of Pollen Velocity Capital) called How to Scale Your Game: Understanding the Metrics and How to Act on Them, Martin explained exactly that. He advised, “Here is a bit of marketing 101: unless you have figured out a way to spend profitably, you shouldn’t spend at all because mathematically you’re setting out to lose money.” First and foremost, possessing a good understanding of LTV is a must. Then you need to understand if the unit economics work in order to use paid UA as a viable marketing channel. To learn more about what your game’s metrics can tell you and how to finance growth, tune in to Martin’s full session below.
Being noticed in app stores is just one of challenges mobile devs face nowadays. As console-like gaming experiences on mobile are getting more popular, along with AR, cognitive assistant devices and premium devices with high-spec games, optimization is even more of a must. Despite the constantly upgrading specs of premium mobile devices, the issues of tight thermal limits and battery power create different restrictions than console and desktop. How to reduce development time and increase achievable fidelity of games running on premium mobile devices – Jonas Gustavsson and Joe Davis from Samsung Research Institute U.K. told at their Casual Connect Europe 2017 session.
In a talk at Casual Connect Europe entitled Guide to Clans: Setting Up a Strong Clan System in Simulation Games, co-founder and CEO of ClanPlay Leonard Frankel highlighted how to design a clan system for simulation games like celebrity life, farming and city builders. In this session, Leonard reviewed existing systems as a way to understand the adaptations developers need to make to give casual players significant social interaction. Clan system design begins with, “The five pillars of clanship (which) are: communication, collaboration, rewards, benefits and competition”, explained Leonard. To learn more, be sure to tune in to the full session below.
The time for Asian-Pacific mobile app publishers to switch to programmatic methods for monetizing. As the Head of APAC Platform Sales for MoPub, Simon Toh spoke about the need for developers to take advantage of mobile programmatic to monetize risk so that they don’t miss out on differentiated demand, revenue and control user experience. Simon stated, “To grow your top line, it is important for you to find new ways to monetize more of your users preferably all of them and not be overly dependent on in-app purchases.” During his talk at Casual Connect Asia, Simon also delved into what the beneits for publishers which included a glimpse into innovative ad formats and spend trends in the APAC market. To learn more, tune in to the video below of his full session.