Europe 2017Video Coverage

Jason Della Rocca and Why You Will Never Get Funding | Casual Connect Video

April 15, 2017 — by Emily Baker

Jason Della Rocca is
Co-Founder at Execution Labs

Why You Will Never Get Funding may sound like a very depressing session from Casual Connect Europe but it was very insightful. Funding is tough to come by, especially for indie developers. Helping indies find their way to funding is Execution Labs‘ mission.

Jason Della Rocca, Co-Founder at Execution Labs, spoke on the sad reality that most games and studios do not get the funding they seek. Although we hear of million or even billion dollar deals happening these are rarer than you may think. It is a hard thing for most developers to penetrate. Jason gave a fresh perspective on the real reason for this: you. Discover with Jason the top reasons investors are holding back the cash and gain insight on how to improve your chances.

Jason speaking at Casual Connect Europe 2017, photo taken by Lera Polska

Rather than pitching a problem (e.g., lack of funds to finish the game) to a potential publisher, Jason advises developers to “reframe it as an opportunity, understanding that what they are doing is an opportunity and pitching that in talking to us about the game/studio. Now, that may mean they still have some cash flow issues but don’t pitch the problem, pitch the opportunity. That is a red flag right from the beginning.” Jason offered many other gems during this session:


For more information about Jason Della Rocca and his career, see this exclusive article.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Real-World Applications of Gameplay with Hilmar Veigar Petursson | Casual Connect Video

February 21, 2017 — by Emily Baker

Hilmar Veigar Petursson is CEO of CCP Games

Casual gaming has become much less casual. We as developers are discovering that gamers are ready and eager for a more immersed and deeper experience on a variety of platforms. At Casual Connect Europe, Hilmar Veigar Petursson, CEO of CCP Games since 2004, shared stories with the attendees about his and the company’s experience making games that can apply for years – or even decades. Hilmar has a valuable retrospective perspective with 20 years experience working on hardcore games. Using this sort of knowledge, developers have started to apply lessons learned by hardcore game developers.

Under Hilmar’s management, CCP’s critically acclaimed science-fiction game EVE Online has celebrated ten years in a row of subscriber growth. One example of gamers being immersed and doing something real that Hilmar shared during the session was how they are doing real science in EVE ONLINE. He explained that there is “a little mini game inside EVE ONLINE where you’re able to identify images which are from a database from a Swiss company we are working with so we can identify abnormal behavior in human biology. If you do a good job here, you’ll actually get paid in the money of the game. So basically we have EVE players doing actual medical research that might even lead to advances in curing cancer and people get paid for it with the money out of the economy which they value quite a bit and they value doing this also. I think that is a pretty phenomenal example of using the brain power of gamers not only to solve social puzzles and political intrigue but in EVE ONLINE but also to make advances in the real world.”

For more insights, see the full lecture below.



Here Comes Casual Connect Asia 2016!

May 11, 2016 — by Emily Baker


Just around the corner is Casual Connect Asia 2016! This year, the conference will be held 17-19th of May, 2016. Come to the picturesque Hard Rock Hotel Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa Island. At Casual Connect, the most creative and innovative minds in the gaming industry will be featured. The CGA staff has worked hard to ensure an enriching experience for the attendees. There is something for everyone whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or a budding indie developer. Tracks at Casual Connect Asia include:

Europe 2016Video Coverage

Guy Hasson and the Five Mistakes | Casual Connect Video

March 17, 2016 — by Emily Baker

Guy Hasson is the Social Gaming Consultant atOld Man Productions
Guy Hasson is a Social Gaming Consultant at Old Man Productions

Guy Hasson specializes in game popularity. Having worked for Playtech’s content unit and as Playtika’s content manager, Guy uses this expertise to improve retention, popularity and monetization.

99 percent of new social slot companies make the same mistakes over and over again. That is why Guy Hasson, Social Gaming Consultant at Old Man Productions, focused on explaining these mistakes and showed the audience at Casual Connect Europe how to avoid them. Some advice that was offered by Guy: “Don’t ‘cheat!’ Employ true randomness always. For everyone!”


To read more about Guy Hasson, see this exclusive article.


Tel Aviv 2015Video Coverage

Goldy: A True Team Player | Casual Connect Video

February 19, 2016 — by Emily Baker

'Necessity is the mother of invention.' - GoldyClick To Tweet

Have you ever thought nostalgically about your childhood games? What made these games so fun and memorable, and how can we bring some of that magic into the games we design today? During his Casual Connect Tel Aviv talk, Goldy, game designer and founder of Playful Shark, explored how recent top-chart games draw their essence and features from real-life play experiences from our childhood and beyond. He showcased examples and demonstrations that introduce a new perspective for examining contemporary success stories. He explained how to use the same lens as a creative-thinking method for imagining possibilities for the next disruptive gameplay. One tip he gave: “Use the RELAI methodology! Looking back at our playing experience as a child. Reminence, extract essence of good games, look around for physical world solutions and implement the best in your game.” For more insights, tune in below.

Tel Aviv 2015Video Coverage

Pini Yakuel of Optimove on His Career and the Gaming Industry | Casual Connect Video

January 25, 2016 — by Emily Baker

'Israel is a force to be reckoned with in the gaming industry'. - Pini YakuelClick To Tweet

As a provider of player modeling services for dozens of social casino brands, Optimove has access to massive amounts of player data that reveals plenty of interesting information and patterns. As seen in this interview with Pini Yakuel and the video below of his speech at Casual Connect Tel Aviv, we’ll dive into the data to see what trends are occurring with players and what possible implications these changes may have on the industry. “Of all of the people who are going to convert (into paying players), 7-15% will do it on their first day. . . It is always faster on mobile so that is something to remember”, Pini advised. Pini also presented their findings, primarily around differences in player behavior between web and mobile platforms, as well as data regarding the actual growth rate of mobile in this space.

Tel Aviv 2015Video Coverage

My N. Tran and the All-important First Dollar | Casual Connect Video

January 19, 2016 — by Emily Baker

My N. Tran is a Game Designer for Storm8
My N. Tran is a Game Designer for Storm8 Photo by Sasha Paleeva

In her lecture at the inaugural Casual Connect Tel Aviv in 2015, award-winning monetization designer My N. Tran challenged conventional free-to-play funnel wisdom and showed that the power of converting your players is as impacting as both retaining and monetizing. Drawing on design experience from three top-100 grossing titles, My N. Tran of Storm8 shared tactics and strategies for getting that all-important first dollar. She stressed, “Just because you retain somebody, doesn’t mean you can monetize off of them. On average, less than 10% of your player base will ever pay you. Converting and monetizing are not the same thing. First, you need to have your players to be comfortable with the idea of spending.”

Tel Aviv 2015Video Coverage

Elad Kushnir and the State of the Casino | Casual Connect Video

January 17, 2016 — by Emily Baker

Elad Kushnir Photo by Sasha Paleeva
Elad Kushnir
Photo by Sasha Paleeva

The Social Casino industry operates in rapidly changing market conditions. What market forces do you need to master in order to become (or stay) a relevant contender in the industry? During Casual Connect Tel Aviv, Elad Kushnir the VP of Business Development at Playtika, the worlds largest social casino company, presented a lecture titled “The State of Social Casino.” “They said ‘Who the hell is going to play a slots game without being willing to gamble on site?’ and most of those people were wrong”, Elad stressed, this social casino niche generated $3.4 billion in 2015. “It is expected to grow to about $4.5 billion by 2017” Find out more on what’s going on in social casino and why you should care.

USA 2015Video Coverage

Oliver Miao and Why Developers Love and Hate Publishers | Casual Connect Video

January 13, 2016 — by Emily Baker

Oliver Miao is the CEO of Pixelberry
Oliver Miao is the CEO of Pixelberry

During his lecture at Casual Connect USA, Oliver Miao, CEO of Pixelberry Studios, gave a candid inside look at a developer who is deciding whether to put their studio up for sale. It was a rare opportunity to see how a studio with a Top 100 game thinks about M&A. Topics ranged from high level thoughts on the future of the industry to specific desires and needs of the team. He gave the attendees a glimpse into the tactical considerations in a decision like this, including deciding whether to work with an investment banker, how to find the right advisors and the timing of the deal. All of these and more were covered by Oliver who has gone through two past studio acquisitions and is considering if it’s time for a third. During his talk, he advised, “When you are going through an acquisition, it’s just the first step on basically a new journey. And we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us and a lot of growth a head of us with the new companies.”

USA 2015Video Coverage

Nancy MacIntyre and Bite-sized Learning | Casual Connect Video

January 10, 2016 — by Emily Baker

Nancy McIntyre headshot
Nancy is the CEO & Co-Founder of Fingerprint

At Casual Connect USA, the CEO of Fingerprint Nancy MacIntyre highlighted the complicated market of learning games and apps. Marketing and monetization for developers is tricky to navigate. Drawing on her expertise, Nancy discussed the evolution of learning apps outside the school systems and parents’ growing sophistication and requirements for games that teach. She provided insights on the movement around “learning moments” or “learning light” games and how to pack bite-sized learning into game play fun. She reflected that “The reality for us as developers of kids product, we are still competing with those (sticky) products . . . If we can’t figure out how to take learning content and marry it with the stickiest and most amazing game play out there, we are basically all screwed.” Tune in below to learn the future of mobile learning games from toddlers to tweens, plus barriers and opportunities for developing at every age.