Transmedia is an entertainment super-system that enables children’s favorite characters to travel across media platforms and it’s now an audience expectation in children’s entertainment. How do you approach this daunting expectation? At Casual Connect Europe, Plug-in Media’s CEO Juliet Tzabar shared how the company approaches IP for kids games across platforms. In Juliet’s talk entitled Approaching Transmedia in Children’s Entertainment, Juliet observed that “Kids love to play as THEIR preferred characters”. For more details of how Plug-in Media tackles transmedia, tune in to Juliet’s full session below. Please note that there were some technical difficulties during the session which effected sound quality.
Going cross platform is an opportunity to increase your potential audience. It can please your current userbase and it can grow your lifetime revenue. Such a leap needs to be considered carefully. As Melinda Montano, Business Development Manager at Kongregate explained during their presentation at Casual Connect Europe, “Before you decide to go cross-platform, understand why you’re doing it. Figure out the opportunity – do you want more revenue, users, prestige?” The complications developers often encounter when going from mobile to PC and vice-versa. These include perceived game value, freemium/premium, to the specifics of UX/UI changes. Melinda’s talk, PC and Mobile: Going Cross Platform Post-Launch provides actionable insights for your cross-platform PC and mobile plans. One simple tip Melinda offered was: “In UI, the biggest thing to remember when going from PC to mobile is that we have hands. They cover the screen.” For more, see the full lecture below.
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.
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.
The three elements which comprise an esport are: competition, organized tournaments and spectatorship. In 1972, esports began with a Spacewar tournament. About 50 years later, esports has evolved into its own entity within the games industry. Join Bill Mooney, CPO of Skillz, at Casual Connect Europe at his talk entitled Esports 101: The Past, Present and Future of an Industry on the Rise as he explores the history behind esports and talks about the future as well. Esports has a projected audience of 180 million by 2019 and over $5 billion in revenue by 2020. Bill described, “Esports drives the committed audience.” To hear more insights into this exciting part of the games industry, tune in to Bill’s full session below.
So you’ve made it! Your game is a success, and now you’re thinking of taking that success farther. Could licensing the game for consumer products be a good move? What are the advantages? What pitfalls do you need to watch for?
Clark Stacey is a person you might want to ask. Clark is Co-Founder and CEO of Wildworks, a developer of games for children, based in the US and Amsterdam. WildWorks IP Animal Jam has grown to become the world’s largest online social network for children. In 2016 they extended Animal Jam to include toys, consumer products and other media.
At Casual Connect Europe, Clark discussed what they learned from this process and how to position your game and your development teams to succeed with licensing. One important takeaway from his presentation is that connections back to your game can be more valuable that the product royalties. But equally important, “Don’t assume that because a company is big they know what they are doing.”
For more insights into the licensing process watch the video of Clark’s full session at Casual Connect.
To read more about Clark Stacey including a lecture from Casual Connect Europe 2016, see this exclusive article.
No matter how good the games you develop, unless they turn a profit, preferably the highest possible profit of course, your games can’t succeed. So how do you best monetize your games? Bjoern Bergstein would be an excellent person to ask.
After studying Game Design and Game Production at Games Academy Berlin, Bjoern founded and ran his own game studio for a short time. Bjoern then joined Tivola Publishing GmbH, a company highly experience in games for families, and is now Head of Games, responsible for all in-house development.
At Casual Connect Europe, Bjoern discussed the three monetization models: Premium, Freemium and Free-to-Play, and the pros and cons of each. The final decision about which method will be best to use depends on many different factors, so this is a complex decision. During Bjoern’s session Monetization for the Whole Family – The Long Way to Find the Right Monetization Model, Bjoern described Tivola Publishing’s journey to find the best model for their company and the insights they gained, as well as sharing helpful examples. To succeed as a new company he suggested “Don’t try to compete or copy big players.” Instead, find your own niche, “use the niche and be good at it.” To learn more, be sure watch the full video of Bjoern’s session.
To read more about Bjoern Bergstein including a lecture from Casual Connect Europe 2016, see this exclusive article.
Premium kids apps sales have decreased drastically: even using Dinotrux or Shrek didn’t help Fox and Sheep to achieve planned sales volumes. Bobaka’s Green Riding Hood as well didn’t sell well even through it was named iPad App of the Year by Apple in 2015. Why out? Transform your creation into a free-to-play children’s educational service with episodic content and parents-friendly microtransactions, suggests Alexander Nasonov, co-founder and executive producer at Bobaka in his Casual Connect Tel Aviv session, explaining it on the case of Green Riding Hood.
Every time you think you’ve “cracked it” with what children are into, you attend a workshop or focus group and they do something and confuse you again, admits Maurice Wheeler of Little Big Partnership. Maurice also notes we become less creative as we grow up, so the Little Big Partnership is focused on helping other businesses make sure they are creating something that will work with kids and their families. “With digital devices children get quickly the result they could be proud of“, Maurice comments in the Casual Connect Europe lecture below.
Rujul Patel, Fyber’s SVP of Global Developer Relations, is on a mission to help mobile game developers make money. The key to mission success: balancing IAP monetization with ad monetization. ““We need to see how to have ads work better in mobile games,” said Rujul during their session at Casual Connect Europe. Many game developers, however, believe that ads hurt the game experience and could cannibalize IAP revenue. At their session, Rujul dispels these concerns with a few examples of developers who successfully added rewarded video ads to their monetization strategies.
Kids games in the app store has some of the most diverse content and business models in the game industry. There are many ways to break into this market whether it is by freemium or subscription services. Robby explained that “Today there is a limited content with Premium in the kids category… Other categories have surpassed the premium category, like the subscriptions platforms”. Developers need to keep in mind that apps for kids need to not only be fun. Join Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands, in his session The Complexities of Creating for the Kids Category during Casual Connect Europe 2017 as he describes the positive side of working with brands. “Kids are a loyal audience” after all and “Working with brands can be very exciting even for the development team” were just some of the wisdom that Robby brought during this session. For more information, see his full session below.