Tweens are at the crossroads of crucial debates like F2P design versus the ethical monetization of children, kids’ online safety and more. Nine months ago, WildWorks launched a mobile version of Animal Jam, its web-based social game for tweens. Tune in to, CEO of Wildworks, Clark Stacey’s talk at Casual Connect Europe to find out what they learned about tween games and moving millions of players from web to mobile with an innovative but unproven business model. Some specific things to note from Clark’s talk include: “The top grossing games for kids are not in the kids category.”, “Parents are not friction in our payment flow, they are our customers.” and “Rule for IAP: Don’t sell disappointment.”
How do you provide a great user experience? According to Ricardas Jascemskas, it takes a combination of support, social media and community management activities. Ricardas is a communications manager working with Nordcurrent’s social media, PR, community management and support activities, and is responsible for the constant and clear communication with players in a variety of forms.
At Casual Connect Europe, Ricardas shared the Nordcurrent teams’ ideas about direct communication with players and some of their best practices. One of the important points Ricardas makes is “everyone loves free stuff” so when things go wrong, “even if it’s not our fault, we may give some free gifts for the lost time.” In the constant search for ways to encourage connections with players, Ricardas suggests, “A screen shot is easy; ask for them from players.”
To learn more about Ricardas’ perceptions about developing a great user experience, watch this video of the full session.
For an more information about Ricardas, click here.
As VR rushes to market and commercial reality, it cements its status as a game-changing technology. It has also become the most invested sector in venture capital in a long time, with close to 300 venture-backed companies. At Casual Connect Europe, Jürgen Goeldner, owner at Fidius Trust, provided a 360° view of the necessary strategies for navigating the VR market trends. Jürgen spoke of how VR is changing games and our perception of them. VR is using haptics so that when you shake someone’s hand, “it feels like you are shaking somebody’s hand. Kind of scary to some extent but it is already a reality.” This and so much more are ways that VR is taking hold in today’s market.
With millions of apps vying for installs, how are the top earning publishers growing and acquiring high quality users at scale? Learn from Paul West, Head of Performance for Adcolony, what is working for the top 100 apps as well as what is not. One of the insights that Paul shared from the latest App Install Survey: “There are 2M advertisers on Facebook and so game publishers are looking for new channels like video”. Tune in below to the exclusive video from the Casual Connect Europe conference to learn more about what you can do to grow your business.
Saudi Arabia is a lucrative market for mobile games, particularly due to its high concentration of heavy spenders. There is however a dearth of data to assist both foreign and local publishers to navigate with clarity and confidence. At Casual Connect Europe Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh of Gameguise shared insights on how to pierce the veil and offer proven strategies to help tackle this den of whales and what this market represents. One thing to keep in mind is that “About half of Saudis are using prepaid cards for their in-app purchases.” It is little bits of knowledge like this that can hep you target this lucrative audience.
At a panel during Casual Connect Europe, panelists from Wooga, AppLovin, Futureplay and Huuuge explored the paradox all developers face: wanting to see the joy your game brings to players and needing to pay the bills. There are lots of smart and creative ways to monetize your game without marring the player experience or hindering growth. This panel went through the game mechanics and advertising strategies that will turn your game into a money-maker. Anton Gauffin, of Huuuge, emphasized, “Social casino has a niche. Distribution is incredibly challenging because you don’t typically get the featuring support from Apple or Google Play like with other genres, and distribution can be more expensive than other categories as a result.” To hear more insights and tips, tune in below.
Daniel Bernstein, with twenty years of experience in a variety of roles in high technology, possesses the expertise and insight to assist a company owner in understanding the best way to prepare for selling the company. Most recently Daniel was co-founder and CEO of Sandlot Games Corporation, a leading casual games developer and publisher. After selling the company to Digital Chocolate in 2011, Daniel started a game studio and a consulting practice and now advises high-growth businesses on product development, strategic initiatives, and M&A opportunities. Before founding Sandlot Games, Daniel held director level positions in a number of companies, including Wild Tangent and Monoliths.
At Casual Connect Europe, Daniel emphasized that the preparation phase is critical in positioning your company for sale, saying, “Planning is the key to higher valuations.” And yet most of us have little idea of what this planning should involve; “We do believe that the world is flat when it comes to selling your company.”
Among the items that should be addressed during preparation are setting tasks and timelines, allocating staff resources, conducting internal due diligence and readying financials. And even earlier, Daniel recommends, “Frame company agreements and contracts with M&A in mind – pay particular attention to assignment clauses.” Then, when actually conducting an exit, “Be realistic compared to historical results – sales, profit margin, revenue per employee – and do not miss your targets while negotiating.”
To learn more about the best way to ensure a successful transaction in selling your company, watch this video of Daniel’s complete session.
To read more about Daniel Bernstein, read more here.
Mike Hines is a developer analyst at Amazon in Seattle, Washington. Before working for Amazon, Mike had four startups in financial services and software, two of which are still operating, and worked for thirteen years at Microsoft. At Amazon, Mike helped launch the Kindle app development project, has written mobile app test criteria, judged at hackathons and is a blogger for Amazon App Store.
At Casual Connect Europe, Mike discussed a new technology that is here to stay: Voice interfaces. Audio interfaces are already common in vehicles, cell phones and other consumer electronics. It will become essential for game developers to design audio interfaces, and Mike insists, do it sooner rather than later. In this session Mike offered the insights gained while working with the lead developer on Capital One Voice Skill for Amazon Alexa and showed some of the most common (and amusing) traps that ensnare developers who are designing audio interfaces. Leverage the lessons learned from developers like Capital One and learn the industry best practices of designing apps and games for Voice by watching this video of Mike’s session.
For more about Mike Hines, click here.
Traditionally in retail, there is a strict division between games for children and games for adults, with adults rarely buying kid’s games for themselves. But, according to Bjoern Bergstein, since the advent of free-to-play games and easy access to app stores, that line has blurred, and it is now common for people to try out many interesting apps.
Bjoern is Head of Games at Tivola Publishing, a company founded in 1995, and is responsible for all products and partners. Coming from a completely different background, Bjoern entered the game industry through studying game design and game production.
Tivola has been publishing games for twenty years, and for most of that time, thought their target audiences had remained constant. However, since noticing recent changes, they have been adjusting their target groups without really changing the games. For more information on how these changes will affect the game industry, watch this video of Bjoern’s presentation from Casual Connect Europe.
For an exclusive article about Bjoern Bergstein, click here.
Do subscription-based business and casual gaming go together? Discover the what, when, where and how to monetize one of the more alternative ways of working with casual gaming in this lecture from Casual Connect Europe by Kim Sloth Bengsten. As the CEO of Lotto24, Kim revealed that they try to be both in the emerging market and the established market. To do this, Kim advises, “try to outmaneuver your competitors by price and quality but also being innovative and thinking about new products that you can add to your portfolio.” To hear more insights, tune in below.