Teut Weidemann is a man that knows the game industry business, especially when it comes to common monetization mistakes. In a talk delivered at Casual Connect Europe, Teut divulged his knowledge from his 10 years of consulting F2P companies. In this talk, Teut covered some of the most common mistakes in game design and monetization systems – which should help prevent them for your next game so you don’t have to hire him to fix them! A big piece of advice that Teut imparted was: “In-game sales damage your revenue in the long term. Money compensates time or skill. The later the player starts to spend in the game, the more likely he will turn into a whale.” Learn more in the full session feature below!
Bryan Mashinter is Game Director for DragonVale at Backflip Studios, with a major focus on the creative direction. At the time Bryan joined the company, they consisted of 14 people and were just beginning to focus on more than one project at a time, so it was essential to have someone who could keep things from falling through the cracks. Bryan filled this role at the production level, organizing projects, setting schedules and, in general, assisting the company in moving towards executing their creative vision goals. One of which, as for any company, is to keep users and encourage them to pay. The Backflip Studios team has discovered: lapsed users want to know elements of the game have changed but still feel familiar. “Don’t be afraid to make your players work harder in events but make it worth their efforts and watch out for fatigue”, Bryan advices. They explained in detail how to make the most out of events in their Casual Connect Europe 2017 lecture.
Being noticed in app stores is just one of challenges mobile devs face nowadays. As console-like gaming experiences on mobile are getting more popular, along with AR, cognitive assistant devices and premium devices with high-spec games, optimization is even more of a must. Despite the constantly upgrading specs of premium mobile devices, the issues of tight thermal limits and battery power create different restrictions than console and desktop. How to reduce development time and increase achievable fidelity of games running on premium mobile devices – Jonas Gustavsson and Joe Davis from Samsung Research Institute U.K. told at their Casual Connect Europe 2017 session.
In a talk at Casual Connect Europe entitled Guide to Clans: Setting Up a Strong Clan System in Simulation Games, co-founder and CEO of ClanPlay Leonard Frankel highlighted how to design a clan system for simulation games like celebrity life, farming and city builders. In this session, Leonard reviewed existing systems as a way to understand the adaptations developers need to make to give casual players significant social interaction. Clan system design begins with, “The five pillars of clanship (which) are: communication, collaboration, rewards, benefits and competition”, explained Leonard. To learn more, be sure to tune in to the full session below.
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.
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.
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.
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.