Panelists Alex Mendelev (Advisor with DoubleJump Games), Dave Rohrl (CEO & Founder of Mobile Game Doctor), Konrad Stanczak (Promotions Specialist at Power Up Game Studio) discussed finding balance between gameplay and monetization at Casual Connect Kyiv 2017. The panel Designing for Revenue – It’s Not All Fun and Games was moderated by Tapdaq’s VP of Business Development Chris Lefebvre. Together, they shared their experience which varied from industry veterans to newly published indies.
Almost every entrepreneur will at some point need funding. This is especially true in the game industry. If you are in this situation, you need to know there are many tools to raise funds. Don’t be in a hurry to assume raising venture capital is your road to success; despite glorification from the tech publications, too often it can be the wrong instrument for the job.
Casual Connect USA 2018 brought together a panel of experts to help you understand what your options really are. The panelists included founders and investors whose perspectives from both sides brought valuable information on why, when and how to think about funding your business for the best results.
The panelists were:
Cesar Mufarej, Co-Founder and CFO at Fanatee, a company focused on casual mobile games. Fanatee has had more than 25 million downloads and is responsible for successful word games CodyCross and Stop. Cesar is responsible for monetization strategies, developing distribution and monetization partnerships and taking care of financial and legal matters.
Kamran Ansari is Venture Partner at Greycroft Partners. Kamran has been a venture investor and operator at Pinterest, Facebook, Venmo, Braintree, MyYearbook/MeetMe, Boxed Wholesale, Vungle and more. He served as Head of Corporate Development at Pinterest from early 2015, where he led nine acquisitions, including Jelly, Instapaper, URX, The Hunt and Highlight.
Mike DeLaet, Co-Founder and CEO of DOD Media Group, a full-service consulting firm focused on publishing, including BD and other digital distribution of mobile apps and games on the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon and more. Mike has also served as SVP of Global BD and Licensing at Kabam and SVP of Global Publishing at Glu Mobile.
The moderator of the panel was Mark Loranger, a serial entrepreneur with experience in a variety of technology startups. Mark is now Co-Founder of Braavo Capital. He has raised money from angel investors, banks and venture capital, but have also spent time on the other side of the table. Prior to Braavo, Mark was the founder of GraniteMade Ventures.
To learn more about options for funding your business, watch this video of Casual Connect session The Right Tool for the Job – Fundraising Strategy and Tactics for Building a Successful Gaming Business.
Who is playing your games? As a publisher, you know there is a huge, diverse audience out there, actively engaged with a tremendous variety of games. And now, brands are discovering the value of this highly engaged audience. So brands want to reach them; they want to reach the players of your games. The game inventory is a perfect fit for brands, but how can publishers capitalize on this demand?
Casual Connect set out to find the answers, bringing together a panel to discuss this question at Casual Connect USA 2018. The participants included industry experts from all sides, including brands, mobile developers and monetization platforms, offering their perspectives on the present and future of brand advertising in mobile gaming. These are the participants:
- Chandra Hill, Vice President of Monetization at MobilityWare. Chandra brings more than twenty years of experience in digital media and is responsible for monetization strategies at MobilityWare, including an in-app advertising platform that produces revenue streams for the company’s portfolio of mobile games. Before joining MobilityWare, Chandra filled executive positions at textPlus and MySpace.
- Sameer Sondhi, Vice President and General Manager Business Development at InMobl. Sameer specializes in mobile monetization, display ads for mobile products, digital media business development, mobile advertising performance-based advertising, search engine and ad engine platforms.
- Sally Lu, Senior Director, Ad Monetization at Jam City. Sally has managed ad campaigns from the ground up, growing them to over billions of ads served. She has also managed ad campaigns that reach more than 200 million customers each year and manages the ad operations team.
- Andrew Gerhart, Chief Operating Officer of AerServ. After spending time as a marketer for multiple publishers, Andrew understands the complex advertising landscape with multiple ad networks and exchanges. He has been Chief Operating Officer for AerServ for five years, helping to build a world-class mobile app monetization and mediation platform. AerServ was acquired by InMobl in January, 2018.
- Dave Edwards, Senior Vice President, Digital Marketing – Theatrical Films, Lionsgate. Dave is a news media enthusiast, entertainment industry operative and film lover. He has years of experience in high profile content creation, virtual reality and augmented reality, digital media and marketing, art direction and project management.
The Panel was moderated by Grant Cohen, General Manager of The Collective and Free App Analytics at Kochava. Kochava is the leading mobile measurement company providing analytics and attribution services across many of the world’s top apps. The Collective is a new business unit that utilizes data from Kochava’s Free App Analytics solution to deliver rich mobile audiences at massive scale over 2 billion devices globally through a self-serve UX.
To learn more about brand advertising in mobile gaming and what to expect in the future, be sure to watch the video of Getting in the Game: How Publishers Can Help Brands Reach Their Players.
As everyone involved in the mobile game industry knows, ad monetization has become critical to monetizing mobile games. And without effective monetization, no game can succeed. So how can you learn the best ways to monetize your game. At Casual Connect USA 2017, the panel discussion, The Pain and Gain of Ad Monetization – Publisher Stories, offered some important information from the publishers’ perspective of what works and what doesn’t.
Publishers experienced with ad monetization for mobile games participated as panelists. They included:
Jarrko Rajamaki, Vice President Advertising at Rovio. This is Jarrko’s second commission in this position at Rovio, heading ad monetization over the entire Rovio game portfolio. Jarrko began his career in online advertising at AOL’s European business and still proudly uses aol.com as his email address.
Dave Yonamine, Co-Founder and Chairman of Mobilityware. Dave is the primary liaison between Mobilityware and other app developers and has the primary responsibility for the company’s strategic direction. Mobilityware is a leading mobile games developer and has more than 250 million downloads across its award winning portfolio.
John Boog-Scott, Chief Operating Officer at PeopleFun. John has spent the past five years growing PeopleFun, learning the hard way what succeeds and what fails with mobile games UA and monetization. PeopleFun builds five star casual word games. John has also been a lean startup founder in many other software and games companies, including Ensemble Studios, the creators of Age of Empires.
Karim Farghaly, Director of Business Development at Bandai Namco Entertainment America for mobile platforms. Karim manages external partnerships with development studios, licencors, digital distributors and advertising platforms. Prior to BNEA Mobile, Karim held a number of executive positions in the games industry, including at Scarab, Empire and Interplay.
The panel was moderated by Ayala Rudoy, Director of Strategic Customers at SafeDK. Ayala is passionate about helping game developers ensure the ads they serve in their games don’t affect the game’s user experience, retention or revenue.
This session discussed the benefits and best practices when monetizing with ads and described the issues and main risks of displaying ads in mobile games. Watch the video of this session to learn from these experts in monetizing with ads in games.
With over 50 million downloads and having been #1 in App Store general ranking in over 40 countries for multiple apps, appChocolate shared their story at Casual Account Kyiv. Emmanuel Carraud, CEO and Co-founder of appChocolate also shared practical tips on how to launch successfully mobile games for independent studios and indie developers including KPIs, localization, ASO, analytics, PR, monetization, user acquisition, App Store ranking on iOS and Android. Listen to the full lecture entitled How to Make Your Next Game Go BIG below.
Join Michael Haberl, Founder and CEO of Xendex, at Casual Connect Kyiv 2017 as he described the dozens of smaller stores out there for apps and encouraged developers to think outside of the box. These small stores offer mobile games as premium products or via subscriptions. There truly is success to be found in such niches. Michael’s presentation takes a closer look at these alternative app stores and markets, the players in there, business models and how developers can access them.
By Arno Copley
Solution Consultant Alexander Shlygin for Unity spoke at Casual Connect Kyiv 2017 about Timeline and Cinemachine by Unity. These features include: post processing stack, analytis event tracker, totally new features for artists, numerous improvements in animation and more! In the talk entitled Unity 2017 and Beyond, Alexander provided an overview of all key features and improvements of the current Unity version. Get insights on what’s next with Unity by tuning in to the full session below.
Producing the revenue you need for a healthy company is a constant concern is a constant concern for most developers. If maximizing the revenue you can generate from mobile apps is something you want to know more about, the session at Casual Connect USA 2017, The Next Phase of Mobile App Monetization: What Developers Need to Know to Maximize Revenue, offered some important information.
Presenters at the session were Adam Carey and Boris Logvinskiy. Adam Carey, Senior Director of Ad Monetization at Sega Networks, is a specialist on ad operations, ad product, data and marketing with 18 years of experience in digital advertising. You will be especially interested to learn that he is an expert in helping companies adopt and adhere to digital advertising best practices. Boris Gogvinskiy specializes in monetizing mobile apps and heads product management for all MoPub products at Twitter. Previous roles included product management at Demandforce, which was acquired by Intuit in 2011.
New kinds opportunities have been emerging for monetizing mobile apps. Don’t miss learning about them; watch this video of the complete presentation from Casual Connect USA 2017.
Esports is one sector of the game industry that is evolving especially quickly. Are you someone who is interested in developing or publishing in this area? Then you are also concerned with keeping up with the latest developments; you need to know what directions the industry may take next.
At Casual Connect USA 2018, Geoff Keighley hosted a Fireside Chat, Esports Evolving – What Can We Expect to See Coming in Esports. The guest expert was Mike Sepso, Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard Media Media Networks. Mike launched this division with Steve Bornstein; it is dedicated to creating the best esports experiences for fans across games, platforms and geographies.
Geoff is a video game journalist, television presenter and the producer of the annual Game Awards event.
In the Fireside Chat, they provided an up close and personal discussion of Mike’s insights and the trends esports are taking. If you would like to know the next big thing Mike sees coming in esports, don’t miss the chance to watch the video of this Fireside Chat.
Delivered at Casual Connect USA 2018, David Rogers, Lead Designer of inXile Entertainment spoke about the problems inXile discovered while building the core mechanic of The Mage’s Tale, that is, throwing fireballs in VR. While they initially thought this would be relatively straightforward, it turned out to be much more complicated. David would like to help others avoid the long iterative process they had to go through before getting it right.