For years, the terms “mobile” and “casual” have been closely intertwined, but Playtika’s Alex Galasso argues that you can no longer assume that all mobile gamers are casual. Player skill levels, logged hours and community involvement are all more consistent with definitions of the hardcore category than casual, he explained in a Casual Connect Tel Aviv lecture. “By not looking at your players as hardcore, you miss marketing opportunities,” Alex said. For more, see Alex’s full lecture below.
The mobile games industry is getting used to the average free-to-play game only converting 2-3% of its customers, but Amazon Developer Evangelist Mike Hines has a different figure in mind: 100%. How? Last year, Amazon announced Underground, a new app store for Android and FireOS with a new approach to monetization — premium apps are offered to users free of charge, and free-to-play apps are available with all content unlocked. Amazon instead pays developers for every minute every user is engaging with their app.
Mike explained some Amazon’s rationale behind Underground during his lecture at Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2015: “We would really like more developers to start businesses and submit their apps to our app store. And if we want them to do that, they’ve got to be able to stay in business.”
As for Amazon’s more direct benefits, the increased traffic Underground users bring to the company’s shopping app mean an increase in revenue.
The two-tenths of a cent per minute per user payment does mean developers make money on 100% of users, but it’s not necessarily the best option for every app maker. To help developers determine whether Underground is a good option, Amazon provides a revenue forecasting calculator.
In his session, Mike also described Merch by Amazon, a tool game makers can use to create branded content which Amazon will manufacture, sell and ship, sending royalties back to the creators. Due to unexpected high demand, the service moved to an invite-only system late last year.
To read more about Mike Hines, see this exclusive article.
Have you ever thought nostalgically about your childhood games? What made these games so fun and memorable, and how can we bring some of that magic into the games we design today? During his Casual Connect Tel Aviv talk, Goldy, game designer and founder of Playful Shark, explored how recent top-chart games draw their essence and features from real-life play experiences from our childhood and beyond. He showcased examples and demonstrations that introduce a new perspective for examining contemporary success stories. He explained how to use the same lens as a creative-thinking method for imagining possibilities for the next disruptive gameplay. One tip he gave: “Use the RELAI methodology! Looking back at our playing experience as a child. Reminence, extract essence of good games, look around for physical world solutions and implement the best in your game.” For more insights, tune in below.
When your cost-per-install figures rise above your customer lifetime value, as they have for most of the mobile games industry, that’s when you’re in trouble — at least according to Michael Velkes’ Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2015 lecture. “I would say that’s a broken business model,” Michael stated. “But we can overcome.” For Michael’s three tips on repairing your mobile games strategy, see Michael’s full session below.
Daniel Neumann shared some of ClicksMob’s secrets for attracting new users during his speech at Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2015. “Unlike in the past, where gaming back in the ’80s or ’90s was just for gamers, today everyone’s playing,” Daniel said. “(Whether) it’s my 94-year-old grandfather who lives in England, my parents, my uncles — everyone’s on gaming. And the figures are astonishing.”
During his Casual Connect Tel Aviv lecture, Mirko Topalski spoke about Eipix’s growth through hidden object puzzle adventure games and the company’s efforts to expand into free-to-play offerings. “You can’t understand how big of a challenge (free-to-play game development) is until you actually start,” Mirko said. “It’s hard, hard, hard, hard, harder than you think.”
Aarki’s Sid Bhatt described his company’s programmatic media buying technology and how they work to maximize benefit for developers during his Casual Connect Tel Aviv lecture in 2015. “Our entire thesis for programmatic buying is based on some sort of KPI,” Sid explained. “We tend to focus on ROI, to the extent the developer is able to share.” Find out more in the full session video below.
“The best way to get children to learn is to make them think they are playing!”, observed Julie Kuhn, founder of Super-Julie Apps during her session at Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2015. As a matter of fact, kids love apps that aren’t their parents’ favorites. Parents mainly see the tablet as an educational tool (and they can be skeptical, but minds are changing). The kids just want to play. The best apps use the best parts of the video game design to help children learn something new, step by step, challenge after challenge. Here are the ingredients of success you won’t want to forget. To learn more about what Julie has to offer, tune in below.
As a provider of player modeling services for dozens of social casino brands, Optimove has access to massive amounts of player data that reveals plenty of interesting information and patterns. As seen in this interview with Pini Yakuel and the video below of his speech at Casual Connect Tel Aviv, we’ll dive into the data to see what trends are occurring with players and what possible implications these changes may have on the industry. “Of all of the people who are going to convert (into paying players), 7-15% will do it on their first day. . . It is always faster on mobile so that is something to remember”, Pini advised. Pini also presented their findings, primarily around differences in player behavior between web and mobile platforms, as well as data regarding the actual growth rate of mobile in this space.
If you make kids apps, you may want to consider developing your intellectual properties through more media than just video games, according to Sebastian Wehner, who spoke on the subject at Casual Connect Tel Aviv 2015. “Developers of children’s apps should consider multi-media channels for their IPS,” Sebastian said. “IPs can extend beyond just apps into other platforms such as TV, toys and, of course, books.” See his full session below.