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Finding (and Acting on) the White Spaces in Mobile Gaming

July 23, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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There’s no doubt that the mobile games market is growing—even before the debut of Pokemon Go. Not only are more people playing on smartphones and tablets, but they’re dedicating increasingly more time and money as well. To grab a bigger share of this growth, developers and publishers need to target the right consumers with the right content. The first step in achieving this insight is understanding the past and future landscape of the mobile games space by addressing two core questions: Where is this growth coming from? and Where will growth come from next?
With these questions in mind, Nielsen Games recently analyzed its data on mobile gamers and their thoughts on hundreds of the top mobile games to provide industry-level insight into growth patterns. Manager Julia Valchanova and Senior Analyst Ian O’Neil share the learnings.


ContributionsDevelopmentIndieUSA 2016

The Best and Brightest of Indie Games Were Announced at the 15th Indie Prize Awards

July 20, 2016 — by Yuliya Moshkaryova

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THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST OF INDIE GAMES WERE ANNOUNCED AT THE 15TH INDIE PRIZE AWARDS
in San Francisco during Casual Connect USA.

I will take you through the the best and the brightest games in game industry to make sure you are introduced to the new upcoming hits in game development! From 293 game applications, Indie Prize judges selected 100 the best indie games. These winning teams were provided with a scholarship to participate in the biggest showcase for indie developers along with other finalists. From there the judges narrowed the games down further to the top ten games, worthy of recognition!

ContributionsDevelopmentIndustry

ZPLAY Participates in Casual Connect: Committed to the Globalization Strategy

July 17, 2016 — by Industry Contributions

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Casual Connect USA will be held in San Francisco on 18th-20th July 2016. Talents in casual games will gather here, displaying a diversified window in the game industry. ZPLAY, with its popular mobile games PopStar! Official Version, BBTAN, Daddy Long Legs and new games BBTAN 2, Inner Circle, etc. will participate at Casual Connect USA, focusing on its diversified formats within game industry with game developers all over the world.

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EventsNews

Chris DeWolfe: The New Industry Paradigm

July 16, 2016 — by David Radd

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Social media, whether it’s on our phones or a home computer, is something most people can’t imagine the world without these days. Despite their ubiquity now, most people didn’t know they even wanted a social media platform. Chris DeWolfe saw the potential while studying at the University of Southern California, combining the ideas of personally created websites from GeoCities, paired with a messaging service like AOL IM, and the personal connectedness of Match.com.
SGN

Chris helped found MySpace in 2003, which changed the trajectory of social media and the internet forever. It grew to be the largest social media site on the planet and was sold to News Corporation for over $500 million. Since leaving MySpace, Chris has shifted focus away from social networks to social gaming with SGN.

The initial focus of SGN was on Facebook gaming in 2010 but, seeing the increasing use of mobile, made its products available for iOS and Android as well. Under Chris’ leadership, SGN has expanded to encompass 6 different locations and with over 200 employees. SGN has released several Top 10 titles across multiple platforms, including Cookie Jam, Panda Pop and Juice Jam.

The Move to “Gamertainment”

The experience that Chris has had has given them a broad view of both video games and entertainment in general. They think that the paradigm is shifting in the gaming industry towards a new one: “Gamertainment”.

At Casual Connect USA, Chris will speak in the session “Games + Entertainment=Gamertainment: A Conversation with SGN Co-Founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe on the New Industry Paradigm”. They’ll talk about the trend of games becoming licensed out for films and well known TV/film brands (and celebrities) turning into games. This is in addition to streamers that have made watching games into a popular activity. Chris will talk about why the borders between gaming and general entertainment are blurring and why they’re making plans accordingly.

 

DevelopmentEditorial

Street Fighter V Update Attempts Second Impact

July 13, 2016 — by David Radd

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Capcom has updated Street Fighter V with a massive patch that includes a large Story Mode and other features were absent in the launch of the game. We’ll examine the issues surrounding the way the game launched, the roll out of features and what takeaways developers can have from this experience.

What Street Fighter V Had Initially

The launch of the game felt very focused on the hardcore fighting game community. To those players, most won’t touch single-player content at all – as long as the game is interesting and competitive to play with good net-code, that will be enough. For some, Street Fighter V seemed to be a success, and the game has received well over 4,000 entrants into the 2016 Evolution Championship Series (EVO), which is a record number of entrants. The release timing in February was key to give players enough time to practice Street Fighter V for the Capcom Pro Tour series.

IndustryNews

Navigating the New Gaming Market

July 10, 2016 — by David Radd

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The gaming market is in constant flux with new issues to worry about cropping up all the time. There are many paths to success and at Casual Connect USA speakers for Market Navigation will help attendees get to where they want to go!

How the Market Has Evolved

In the game industry it used to be common to just “fire-and-forget”. Titles were released and it was presumed that users would be able to find you. Smart promotion is a huge part of making a game successful, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a complete chore. Data experts at Casual Connect will talk about using the right sort of game advertisements to get users in front of the games they want. In the end, user acquisition can be used to benefit both players and developers.

But it’s not enough to promote things properly – you have to make sure you’re covered legally as well. Protecting a brand and IP is hugely important, using copyrights, trademarks, and patents. In Market Navigation, learn how and when to register an IP – and how similar they can be to others without prompting legal action. Most importantly, developers will learn why trademarks are the best defense for mobile app IP.

Protecting that one key IP can be key even for mobile game studios, since they tend to focus on bigger games that are fewer in number. Because of this, getting the most revenue out of these releases is key. Casual Connect speakers will discuss what to do when bringing a mobile property global. Key questions will be addressed, such as where to release a game, whether to partner with a local company, and what markets are the ones most likely to grow?

Reaching Customers

Despite the fact that smartphones are filled with data about their users, ads on them are still often low in quality and irrelevant to the consumer. This results in ads not connecting to the right market and ad revenue decreasing. Casual Connect will offer content on persona-based marketing and personalizing in-app advertisements so both the user and the advertiser get more out of the experience.

While there is still huge potential in the smartphones field, it’s a market that’s become extremely saturated and more difficult to penetrate than ever before. It’s important to understand the trends shaping the industry while finding the right audience and best monetization method for your games. Discussions about winning strategies for combining user acquisition and monetization will be abundant on Casual Connect’s Market Navigation track.

This targeting is key, since marketing is everywhere in modern society, and it’s easy for players to become sick of it. Oversaturated marketing can turn players off of a brand and even make them feel hostility toward it. Speakers on Market Navigation will talk about engaging players with a personalized approach that will optimize ROI and spread information to your customers in a positive way.

RELATIONSHIP DISRUPTION 

Targeted advertising and saturated markets are all well and good, but some are still working on getting a proper publishing deal. This is a key sticking point, since there are business models which are disrupting conventional developer-publisher relationships.

Whether it’s equity-based deals, crowdfunding or some sort of hybrid, industry deal makers will be on hand in Market Navigation to give all the details. Representatives from both sides, including legal and publishers, will talk about how financing has evolved to where it is and what sort of creativity goes into making deals.

NETWORKING AND MORE

Reps from developers King, Nexon and 505 Games will be navigating their way to Casual Connect USA . Market Navigation will also have expert marketers from Optimove, Starting Point and glispa.

Whether you’re a publisher looking to sign a developer’s game, a studio looking to pitch your game to a publisher or find funding, or an investor looking to back innovative ideas, Casual Connect USA will have plenty of developers, investors, publishers and more in attendance – and there will be networking opportunities with hundreds of game industry professionals all throughout the event.

Casual Connect USA is expected to have around 3,000 attendees and over 250 scheduled speakers across all its tracks, along with the means to search and arrange business meetings. The event takes place at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis on July 18-20. Find out more at usa.casualconnect.org.

News

Design Innovators Talk Next-Gen Solutions

July 9, 2016 — by David Radd

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Successful designers will tell you, it’s not just how good your game is, but also how it’s advertised to get the word out, if it’s monetized properly to generate enough revenue, and if it’s sustainable enough in the long term.

Our various speakers have experienced the breadth of the industry and will look to share their secrets to success at Casual Connect USA. In the Design Innovation track, they’ll look at the future and prognosticate where the industry is going with some of the most creative people in video gaming.

EventsGame DevelopmentNews

Reaching Gen-Z with Apps and Games

July 8, 2016 — by David Radd

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Casual Connect USA is about matching the creativity of the games industry with new media innovation and investment. There will be many talented speakers at Casual Connect USA 2016, and today we are giving you a glimpse of some of the Kids & Family track speakers.

Children are our future, and they’re also digital natives that are consuming apps and games from a very young age. Join experts as they discuss successful strategies to engage and teach this younger generation.  The panels and sessions will take place on Tuesday, July 19 and Wednesday, July 20.

EventsNews

Invest in the Future at Casual Connect USA

July 8, 2016 — by David Radd

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Anyone starting up a new company has a pocket full of dreams, but that usually only go so far without some money in the other pocket. Creators don’t always have ready access to capital and that’s where investors come in.

The experts in the Funding track at Casual Connect USA 2016‘ from both sides of the negotiating table will be focused on the hard details. They’ll tell it like it is and give the tools necessary in landing that next key round of funding.

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