Vilnius, Lithuania – As the largest developer and publisher of free-to-play and casual games in Lithuania, Nordcurrent is proud to announce that they are opening a new development studio in Warsaw, Poland. Given the successful launch of hit game Cooking Fever, Nordcurrent is wanting to create more games with the highly-skilled new talent in the fast growing neighboring capital city.
Most of us have at least heard of SimCity by EA. It has maintained a position among the top 50 grossing games since its launch. Leonard analyzed why it works, what it does well and where it could perhaps improve from an external perspective. “Adaptive promotions turn playing users into paying users. Offer players promotions based on gameplay achievements,” expressed Leonard Frankel during his talk at Casual Connect USA.
To read more about Leonard Frankel, see an exclusive Gamesauce Q&A from earlier this year.
With the likes of King and Supercell dominating today’s mobile games market, together spending an unprecedented $1 billion on marketing to maintain control of half of today’s top grossing apps – how do small developers compete? Combined with skyrocketing player acquisition costs, today’s ‘mobile first’ attitude may not be the best route for indie game developers. Join Derrick Morton, former mobile GM at RealNetworks and current CEO of FlowPlay, at Casual Connect USA as he explored why looking to the same online/web-based environments that launched the casual games industry and taking a ‘mobile last’ approach might be the best solution for small studios. “The desktop is not dead. There is still plenty of money to be made,” Derrick emphasized.
Some of Plarium‘s finest game designers gathered to dissect existing games and tune them up – specifically, a few of the games presented at the Indie Prize Showcase here at Casual Connect! We looked into them and found some changes that might improve their monetization, engagement or retention. During his session GameTuner: Session Beta which was given at Casual Connect Asia. Leonard Frankel presented their findings on Pop Puff and Away!, Shaman Showdown, and Vimala Defense WarloardsAs Plarium’s Head of BD, Leonard shared, “If you want to give players a better sense of progression and discovery, you can try to give players a map. It could go vertical, horizontal, or even round as it best fits.” This and many other tips could be applicable to you and your development endeavors.
Join the CMO of StartApp Itay Rokni in his case studies of successful native ad campaigns with the combination of tailor made design and powerful optimization. During his session at Casual Connect Asia, Itay explained, “In app purchase works great for the high end games, for the best successful companies in the world, but it’s not enough and it can’t be enough when launching a new game”.
The CEO of Animoca Brands, Robby Yung treated the audience at Casual Connect Asia with powerful and essential tips in negotiating your commercial arrangements, project management and marketing & distribution. In his talk, Working with Brands in Mobile Games, Robby focused on how we can leverage existing brands to create new games. A big example of this are the celebrity games such as Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game by Glu Mobile Inc. Robby pointed out one reason these are successful is that, “All of these brands have social media followers, they have youtube channels where people are watching existing video content based on those brands and they also often get selected for featuring on the app stores because these are brands that are globally recognized and loved.” Being discovered is a huge part of the battle. Robby calls it a partnership between the brand and the app developer [which is] a lot about discovery and user acquisition”.
“Even if you have a mature and polished product, it is pretty vital to consider how to bring it to each market,” reiterated Stephen Lee, Executive Director of Business Development for 6waves. He further stressed that Asia cannot be considered one market. What works for one region, may not work for another. As the world’s largest mobile market, Asia remains a mystery to many developers overseas. 6waves has been able to propel their latest mobile game, Age of Three Kingdoms, to the top of the charts in Hong Kong. During his talk at Casual Connect Europe, Stephen shared local insights and characteristics of mobile markets in Asia that any developer interested in the region should consider.
“I pay and buy the most powerful stuff I can find to help me and try to examine what does that change in how the game talks to me. That’s an important step because if the game still talks in the same language like before, I am not a happy user”, explained Teut Weidemann at the Casual Connect Europe conference. Dissecting King Games was the fourth installment of Teut’s dissection of successful free to play games. This time, it turned to King.com’s casual mobile games. The session evaluated several games from King.com, in order to find the formulae of success. Specifically, the talk highlighted Candy Crush (and Soda), Pyramid Solitaire and Bubble Witch saga (1&2) to show the audience the design patterns King.com uses in all their games.
During Casual Connect Europe Martine Spaans was part of a panel, In-Game Ad Monetization. Martine has her own mobile publishing label Tamalaki.com in cooperation with FGL Mobile. This panel did not focus on “hands on” suggestions on how to integrate, but rather looked at the topic from more of a business and managerial point of view. Martine observed, “The type of ads are changing. They are becoming more creative. We see ads that are not necessarily interrupting the game play but are adding something to the game play . . If they can get something in return for watching a 30 second video, they will do it over and over again.” Join some of the industry’s leading experts as they shared their thoughts and views on how to best manage and optimize this source of revenue.
It is the year 2015 and some may be wondering: Where is my hoverboard? In his session entitled “Back to the Future! Gaming Startups Then and Now”, Valdimir Funtikov reflected on the fact that the future is different than we may have expected, but it is still exciting. Join him as he takes a look back at his startup days and examines what it would be like to do it all again in 2015. “If I were creating a startup today, I would still choose to produce mobile games”, Vladimir Funtikov revealed at the Casual Connect Europe 2015 conference in Amsterdam.