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Europe 2017Video Coverage

Peter Robinson: A Focus on Kids Games | Casual Connect Video

May 18, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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I honestly can't remember the last time where I didn't learn something new at work.. - Peter RobinsonClick To Tweet

Entertainment for kids is a rich and complex market. At Casual Connect Europe, a session titled Anticipating 2017 Trends…and What to Do About Them, Dubit Global Head of Research Peter Robinson illustrated the when, where and why of entertainment for kids. During this session, Peter described how to turn forecasts into strategy in development and marketing for modern day kids.
Analysts try to predict where technology, platforms and content are likely to go in the coming year. With new findings from Dubit Trends’ international survey of 2 to 15-year-olds, learn how you too can take advantage of the fact that “Gaming is a main thing kids use the tablets for” and “1/4 of kids media time is on games.” To learn more about kids entertainment consumption and how to understand what is coming next, be sure to watch the video of Peter’s session from Casual Connect Europe.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Anton Gauffin: Succeeding with Social Casino | Casual Connect Video

May 10, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Anton Gauffin is CEO of Huuuge Games

Are you interested in the social casino space in the game industry? Do you want to know what it takes to succeed in this market? If so, you want to listen to Anton Gauffin, CEO of Huuuge Games.

Anton Gauffin founded his first mobile game company, Gamelion, at the beginning of the mobile games era in 2002. In 2007 he sold the company, but in 2014 had the opportunity to buy it back and didn’t hesitate for an instant. Anton renamed it Huuuge and changed focus to social casino where he knew there was a lot of room to innovate.

At Casual Connect Europe, Anton, participated in a discussion of the latest topics in the social casino industry. You won’t want to miss this insights from this CEO of the fastest growing social casino company of 2016 who claims, “We just need more players playing social casino games.” Be sure to watch the video of the session to see the interview by Adi Hanin of Playtika.

For more about Anton’s insights and career, see this article.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Yuli Zhao: Calling on Angels to Bridge the East/West Gap | Casual Connect Video

May 5, 2017 — by David Radd

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It’s about working with creative people and using heart to discover players’ needs daily. - Yuli ZhaoClick To Tweet

It can be really tough to break into the Asian market, maybe even mysterious. Although there is a large difference in user behavior between Western and Asian players, Youzu Interactive has been very successful in localizing games. They have even been able to make it into the Top 10 in more than 60 countries overseas. In a lecture at Casual Connect Europe entitled Going Global – Local Operation Experience for Over 100 Countries, Yuli Zhao focused on what developers should do rather than what they shouldn’t do. Here is a key finding that Yuli described: “Because there are a small group of deep pocket players, whale players, in Asian games, when we bring the game to Western markets we don’t want to make the non-paying users feel bad about it so there are some items which is to price extremely high in our previous version in Asian market. Actually, we divided these items into smaller packages so that when the players pay for the virtual items, they will view the pricing as not that high but in reality, they need to buy the whole group of virtual items to get the final ones.”

Three of the top world markets comes from Asia are China, North America and Japan. Here are three findings which Yuli highlighted:

  • Style is not fine Art: Glowing effect and outstanding outfit affected why they got features by Apple.
  • Compatibility: Fast frame speed on lower end mobile phone at 20+ a must.
  • Localization: extend the life cycle of the game by changing rewards, difficulty by country and the number of incoming game events.

For more useful tips on how to break through the cross-cultural barrier, see the full lecture below.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Juliet Tzabar: Plugging Kids in to Mobile Education Apps | Casual Connect Video

April 21, 2017 — by David Radd

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Creativity is a muscle and you have to keep flexing it! - Juliet TzabarClick To Tweet

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.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Melinda Montano: Helping Developers Go Cross-Platform | Casual Connect Video

April 19, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Going cross-platform can keep a game alive and played for years to come. - Melinda MontanoClick To Tweet

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.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

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

April 15, 2017 — by Emily Baker

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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:

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

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Bill Mooney: The Next Mobile Esports Revolution | Casual Connect Video

April 10, 2017 — by David Radd

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I still hope to think that my proudest moment is still to come. - Bill MooneyClick To Tweet

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.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Clark Stacey: Taking Advantage of Licensing | Casual Connect Video

April 9, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Clark Stacey presenting at Casual Connect Europe 2017.

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.

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To read more about Clark Stacey including a lecture from Casual Connect Europe 2016, see this exclusive article.

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Bjoern Bergstein: The Best Monetization Model For Your Game | Casual Connect Video

April 2, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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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.

Bjoern Bergstein speaking at Casual Connect Europe 2017, photo by Lera Polska

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.

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To read more about Bjoern Bergstein including a lecture from Casual Connect Europe 2016, see this exclusive article.

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Alexander Nasonov: Why Free-to-Play is the Future of Children’s Apps | Casual Connect Video

April 1, 2017 — by David Radd

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Art is unpractical, but still is the most valuable thing in our life. - Alexander NasonovClick To Tweet

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. 

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