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USA 2014Video Coverage

Bob Christof Dreams of Games | Casual Connect Video

August 13, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

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“Everybody wants to jump on the multiplayer train right now, right? Well, it’s not that easy,” Bob Christof warned the audience during his session at Casual Connect USA 2014. “It all comes down to two different, very difficult things: community is going to be really difficult to manage, and the technical part is going to be more difficult to manage than, for example, single player games.”

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Bob Christof, game director at Gamepoint, became interested in games in 1986. He was nine years old and started out with an Atari 800XL. Games fascinated him because he could become really immersed in them. He would imagine himself in the world of the game, and the game became more intense, interesting, and emotional. But games today have changed. He feels, “Current games are looking so good that they leave much less to the imagination.”

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Bob Christof, Game Director, Gamepoint

For The Fun Of Games

Christof began working for a game company while a student, writing news articles and reviews of games. For him, as a poor student, it was an excellent job, providing him with a steady stream of free games to play; writing about them was an added bonus.

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The fun of working in the games industry is what keeps Christof going, and the most fun comes from the creative people you work with in a market that is constantly changing.

The fun of working in the games industry is what keeps Christof going, and the most fun comes from the creative people you work with in a market that is constantly changing. He says, “When I was young, it was my dream to work in this industry, and the fact that I’m still loving it means I’m still living the dream. So, please, don’t wake me up!”

Constant Evolution

As game director, Christof oversees the development of multiple projects leading to new games, new features in the game itself, and community features. The community, games, and features change very rapidly, so it’s an ongoing process to become and stay successful

Besides developing new games, GamePoint is updating the look and feel of all its games once a year. Listening to feedback from players and knowing what the market needs is what makes this possible. Christof advises, “Change is very important to players, even more so it is important that they see that you listen. Don’t try to fake or over-promise in your community. Your core players know the game even better than you do, and they will be on to you if you make a mistake.” He recommends, “Just be honest and open to them, even in difficult times.”

A Helpful Start

Christof began working at GamePoint when they bought the company he had been with, gamer.nl, the biggest Dutch gaming news site. He started out doing game development, community development, and even help desk. Oddly enough, the help desk turned out to be very useful, allowing him to directly see the issues players had in the game; speaking to the players helped and continues to help development. He claims, “You solve major bugs this way. Other players won’t have this bug, and the player with the problem is happy someone from the development team personally calls him to solve it. It’s a win-win situation, so we still do it today.”

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The GamePoint team having fun

During his years at gamer.nl, Christof gained experience in managing communities and discovered that having and managing a large community is essential to your success. He emphasizes that a community is more than just having a chat and a friends list next to your game. It has to be integrated into the core gameplay of the game.

Strong Community

Christof believes that success with the community has been a major factor in GamePoint’s overall success. This is why they still strongly believe in and invest in community tools, both visible and invisible to players. GamePoint now has an entire floor of community specialists to manage their community, and he is now totally focused on game directing.

The most exciting time in Christof’s career came in 2005, when he took a risk to build a bingo game with multiplayer features that did not fit the company’s portfolio. At that time, there were only real money multiplayer bingo games. There were no casual bingo games, and certainly none with community features built in. Even though the company’s focus remained on other projects, he believed so strongly in the game that they worked in the evenings on it. When the game was done, they did a small test on it and the response was overwhelming. It became and remains by far the biggest game on GamePoint.

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Christof the pirate at GamePoint

Christof is still waiting for HTML5 to mature, but he expects it to become the biggest trend in the games industry because it supports all ranges of devices. It will allow development for multi-platforms devices to be much faster and more efficient.

In his free time, Christof watches TV and movies, admitting to being especially addicted to those that have a good story. He thinks it is a pity that the games industry has difficulty making games that are as immersive and emotional as a movie. Although The Last of Us and Telltale’s Walking Dead series are more immersive that most, it is not common to be emotionally attached to a game. And with casual games, the story seems to be considered even less important. While some games do have a bit of a story, particularly hidden object games, usually there is no intent to engage the players emotionally. But he is certain, “There are enough possibilities to tell a good story that will have your players coming back to the game more often or re-engaging if you update the app with new content.”

These days, Christof is playing Dota 2. He claims the game is wonderfully balanced and addictive, has an enormous user base, and has revolutionized e-sports. The downside is that it takes longer for him to play than the games he buys the first day of release.

His favorite platform is definitely PC; he can get casual games, Facebook games, Steam, Origin, all with the best graphics. His second choice for playing is casual games on iOS, saying it is a closed platform, but the limitations you have to work with are easier for the average person to understand.

 

USA 2014Video Coverage

Rik Haandrikman – Reaching For the Goal | Casual Connect Video

August 11, 2014 — by Gamesauce Staff

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Rik Haandrikman spoke about multiplayer functions in games during Casual Connect USA 2014. “Chat is really important, so we try not to touch it, ever,” he explained. “When you break the flow of the chat, people are more likely to leave. You want to keep them engaged with each other more than the game.”

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In a way, Rik Haandrikman had been preparing his whole life for his job at GamePoint.

His life as a game developer began on his uncle’s Commodore 64 back in the 1980s playing games such as Boulder Dash. Eventually, he got his own Commodore and started coding his own games for family and friends. “I can still hear the sound the game tapes made as I copied them using a double-cassette deck stereo,” he says.

His reasons for enjoying games differ depending on the game. There are those that are a form of escapism, others that are a way for him to challenge himself, and some that are a way to socialize and share experiences with people.

Haandrikman spent close to a decade jumping majors after finishing high school – studying a range of subjects from marketing, psychology, and programming to Asian languages, cultural sciences, and trade management. While he wasn’t planning on going into the gaming industry at the time, he says that his schooling gave him a broad base of knowledge for pretty much every aspect of the gaming business. “(It) seems like I’d been unwittingly preparing myself for a fruitful career in the games industry,” he says. “Who knew?”

After tiring of working in the European club scene as a party promoter and organizer, he stumbled on to a position in community management at GamePoint. He says he was familiar with the company’s games because his mom had been playing them for years, and it seemed like it would be a fun place to work. “Turns out I wasn’t wrong, as I’ve been here for over half a decade now,” he says.

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A snapshot of Rik in a photobooth installed during a user meet-up.

Lessons in the Data

As director of business development at GamePoint, Haandrikman’s day-to-day work tends to be split between data analytics, user acquisition, and a grab-bag of miscellaneous projects – new games, new platform features, and anything else GamePoint related. Haandrikman likes to be involved with projects all over the company since growth is his job objective and it’s a company-wide undertaking.

There are also important lessons to be gleaned from data analysis, and some of these lessons have helped steer the growth strategies GamePoint undertakes. One of the most important takeaways Haandrikman discovered was that there is no single solution to issues such as retention or monetization. “We have a platform of interconnected games, so for a very long time we’ve held the belief that all those games should have similar features, similar layouts, and even similar business models,” Haandrikman notes. “It took us over a decade to take a hard, long look at the data and admit that how we monetize our social casino games doesn’t work for most other game types. We’re changing some things quite drastically on that front as we speak.”

Another lesson learned through data analysis is how to better retain players in their games. There was a long-held belief that more complexity in games created the “ridiculously high customer lifetimes” the company sees in the average GamePoint game. And while it’s true that veteran gamers do enjoy endlessly tweaking options to create a game custom-tailored to them, the data showed that the complexity and overload of options turned new users off from the game. “We’re only now tailoring the first-time user experience to better fit what that type of user needs and layering on complexity as they progress.”

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A user-meetup at GamePoint, where a certain amount of users come to the office and discuss coming features and games.

GamePoint and Gaming

The lessons learned from data have helped GamePoint stay creative and innovate as they get closer to achieving their long-term goal: to be the number-one multiplayer social game developer in the world. “There should be no question as to where you go when you want to enjoy a quick multiplayer social game with friends or strangers,” Haandrikman says. “We’re not there yet, but we will be.”

He notes that innovation and creativity both rely on inspiration and that, even though gaming companies may find themselves a little too inspired by each other at times, the industry still hasn’t scratched the surface of what games can and will be. For instance, while he acknowledges that imagining what GamePoint could do with new platforms like Oculus might not make a lot of business sense for the foreseeable future, it makes for a great exercise in creative thinking – which can lead to new and usable ideas.

He also believes there is a place in the gaming industry for all games and ideas, though the majority of games will obviously be tailored toward the masses in an effort to make money. “This means that the major publishers probably won’t be interested in your game about the experiences of a snowflake as it melts on the hood of a car that just crashed into a tree, killing a family of four,” he says. “That shouldn’t stop you from making it though. There’s room for big money and hobbyists alike in this industry.”

Having a good time at a company BBQ on the beach: Our office is a 5 minute walk from the beach, so most of our company drinks take place by the sea
Having a good time at a company BBQ on the beach. The GamePoint office is a five-minute walk from the beach, so most of the company events take place by the sea

Maturing Innovations

Haandrikman sees many innovations in the gaming industry beginning to mature. Digital distribution is becoming mainstream with products like the iOS App Store, Steam, Google Play, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network. He also wonders if platforms themselves won’t eventually get wrapped up into the digital world sooner or later. He points to OnLive as an idea that may have been before its time, but the type of service that might gain traction in today’s market. “I admit that, in true hardcore gaming fashion, I scoffed at the likes of OnLive when they first came out … (but) Facebook would have a field day if they could use an OnLive type service to run hardcore games from their web canvas or mobile apps. Imagine the size of that for a distribution channel.”

Haandrikman also expects to see a lot more casual/social/mobile game developers working with messaging apps. But he is personally most excited for 5G. “I know I should probably (be excited for) VR, Oculus, holograms or whatever, but right now the masses are (and will be) on mobile,” he says. “The faster and cheaper mobile internet gets, the better the mobile gaming experience will be. Who knows? Crazy fast mobile internet might even make browser-based HTML5 gaming on mobile viable.”

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Some of the GamePoint team at Casual Connect USA

Over the Horizon

As for things on the horizon for GamePoint and Haandrikman himself, they are currently looking at pushing GamePoint Bingo into the 50 highest-grossing games worldwide. More importantly, though, they just launched GamePoint Poker during Casual Connect USA 2014. “We’ve worked long and hard on making a poker game that’s also uniquely GamePoint and I think we succeeded,” he says. “Seeing GamePoint Poker join GamePoint Bingo as one of the best monetizing games worldwide would be a nice close to an awesome year.”

 

Europe 2014Video Coverage

Casual Connect Europe 2014: A Sweet Homecoming

March 10, 2014 — by Clelia Rivera

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This year was a sweet homecoming for Casual Connect Europe as it returned to the city where it all started: Amsterdam. It may have started with only a few hundred attendees back in 2006, but this time, about 2000 game industry professionals gathered in the beautiful Beurs van Berlage for three days to create new connections and learn more about the industry’s current trends. Over 120 lectures were presented by international speakers from companies such as Wooga, Youtube, Facebook, Google, and GamePoint. Lectures included information useful for the current game market, such as Godus creator Peter Molyneux‘s session on design re-invention, new technology, and mobile development.

Casual Connect isn’t just about the handy lectures, but also the professional relationships that are built through meeting and sharing with close to 1000 other companies in attendance. Whether during the day at the show or the sponsored parties at night, there is always the opportunity to reach out and help foster the growth of the game industry community. This was true not only for the seasoned veterans, but new developers as well. Over 100 indie developers displayed their work at the Indie Prize Showcase held at Casual Connect Europe. In addition, 13 teams won various awards, from Most Innovative Game to Best in Show. The winners can be viewed on the Indie Prize website.

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The Winners of Casual Connect Europe 2014’s Indie Prize Showcase

Looking forward to returning to Amsterdam next year, Casual Connect is currently focusing on the preparations for Casual Connect Asia, held in Singapore May 20 – 22, 2014. Check out the conference website if you are interested in more information: http://asia.casualconnect.org/

If you were not able to make it to Casual Connect Europe (or if you want to relive fond memories), videos of the presentation are available for free on Gamesauce and the conference website.

Casual Connect Europe Videos on Gamesauce:
Erik Goossens: Indie Developers and Advertising
Vicenç Marti: Community First
Inna Zaichenko: A Passion for Games
Scott Foe’s Evil Hilarity
Sebastien Borget on Educational Social Gaming
Yaniv Nizan: Don’t be Afraid to Win
Chris Natsuume: Making a Difference
Robert Winkler: Standing out with Substance
Cristi Badea: Opportunity for All, Even Underdogs
Teut Weidemann: Understanding Why Equals Win

More video articles can be found here.

Other Coverage of Casual Connect Europe:
 7 upcoming indie treats from Casual Connect 2014 in Amsterdam – Pocketgamer.co.uk
Video: Evil Game Design Challenge winner pitches F2P Evil Minecraft – Gamasutra
5 things we learned at Casual Connect Europe 2014 – Pocketgamer.biz
The DeanBeat: Developers need platforms that aren’t always in flux – Gamesbeat
14. Februar: Casual Games Association zeichnet Indie Games aus; Microsoft muss Schlüsselpositionen neu besetzen – Making Games
What Games Are: Going Small – TechCrunch
Spil Games will trigger ads at ‘cliffhanger moments’ in games by indie developers – Gamesbeat
Casual Connect Europe mit neuem Besucherrekord – Gamesindustry.biz
Mobile game Shapist was inspired by ancient Asian block games – Gamesbeat
GameDuell: “Spielerbindung deutlich gesteigert” – Gamesindustry.biz
If you want to score a good publisher, you need to think like a publisher – Pocketgamer.biz
Nextpeer makes it easy to challenge your friends in mobile multiplayer matches – Gamesbeat
Molyneux: “Geld zu verlangen ist kein Recht. Man muss es rechtfertigen.” – Gamesindustry.biz
Casual Connect feiert in Amsterdam erfolgreichen Neuanfang – Gamesmarkt
Is Christmas losing its sparkle? Flurry points to drop off in yuletide download growth – Pocketgamer.biz
The Dutch want gaming startups to sprout like tulips (interview) – Gamesbeat
Casual Connect 2014 • Drie Nederlandse winnaars bij Indie Prize award show – Control
Portrait of a Pretentious Game – Rappler
Casual Connect 2014 • De succesfactoren van Reus, de godgame met een indieprijskaartje – Control
Grand Cru: Console devs are ‘utterly failing’ at in-app purchases – Pocketgamer.biz
Game makers beware: Virtual goods purchases are about to be regulated – Gamesbeat
Casual Connect 2014 • Een bedrijf opstarten doet niemand voor je, vergeet niet te relaxen en wees een ster – Control
Asian companies account for nine of the top 10 game mergers and acquisitions – Gamesbeat
The Godus amongst us: Molyneux talks free-to-play farces, winning without chasing whales and his top score on Flappy Bird – Pocketgamer.biz
Peter Molyneux believes ripping people off with free-to-play games won’t last (interview) – Gamesbeat
Size matters: How to scale your game for overnight success – Pocketgamer.biz
FlowPlay helps developers like Joju Games differentiate their social-casino titles – Gamesbeat
Molyneux: Free-to-play is like ‘smashing consumers over the head with a sledgehammer’ – Pocketgamer.biz
Dandelions benoemd tot beste indiegame Casual Connect – Gamer.nl
Share and share like: Why developers need to care about their sharers – Pocketgamer.biz
Mimimi gewinnt Indie Prize – GamesMarkt
Flappy Bird was the perfect accidental guerilla marketing campaign, says Creative Mobile – Pocketgamer.biz
Casual Connect Amsterdam – Freegame.cz
Mech Mocha Founder Arpita Kapoor Wins Most Prominent Female Indie Award at Casual Connect Europe – Animation Xpress
Casual Connect Europe 2014 – Амстердам – ITC.ua

 

Europe 2014Video Coverage

Rik Haandrikman: Enticing Players to Connect | Casual Connect Video

March 3, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

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Asynchronous multi-player is a genre that is big in the app stores and has proven to be very sticky. Yet, according to Rik Haandrikman, there can never be enough attention to the topic. At Casual Connect USA 2013, he presented a session on the genre, but felt that it needed a wider point of view than just his own. So he approached Casual Connect about presenting a panel on multi-player gaming for Casual Connect Europe 2014. The panel combined the knowledge of Phil Mansell (Jagex), Micha van der Meer (Exit Games), Jan-Michel Saaksmeier (BigPoint), Alfonso Villar (Playspace) and Haandrikman with the guidance of Paul Heydon, (Avista Partners) as host. Haandrikman believes the panel greatly outstripped anything he could have brought on his own. He hopes this panel will become a recurring part of the conference with more multi-player game developers participating in the discussion.

Rik Haandrikman, Director of Business Development at GamePoint, attributes his success in this career to “dumb luck.” He began doing community management at GamePoint, but was becoming restless within a couple of months. The opportunity to move up in the company came and, as he says, “I grabbed it with both hands.” His team’s responsibilities range from user acquisition to analyzing game metrics to improving every facet of the business. Most of his time is involved with growth strategy and operations.

He is ambitious for himself and for the company, insisting, “I want GamePoint to conquer the world, and I want to be there to lead the charge.”

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Attendees having fun at GamePoint’s Gold! Party at Casual Connect Europe 2014

“Market Research”

Of course, not all his time is involved in his career; he loves spending time with his family, claiming every minute he spends with his two-year-old daughter is a minute well spent. He also manages to find time for the gym. And he spends a lot of time doing ‘market research’, his name for his gaming habit.

Currently, Haandrikman’s ‘market research’ has him using his iPhone to play 99 Bricks, a game by the Dutch indie, Weirdbeard. He finds the game both addictive and challenging, using the strengths of iPhone perfectly, and he is excited to see what it will do after its international launch.

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Open days at the office, where players are invited to come and talk to GamePoint

For his mobile gaming, he prefers iOS to Android, although he recognizes that Android has become a sizeable economic opportunity in the last two years, and Gamepoint is definitely developing for it. But he prefers the more curated experience iOS provides and finds the UI preferable to what most Android devices offer.

Haandrikman tells us the most interesting place he has played mobile games was in the Banda Islands, a tiny group of Indonesian islands with no real connection to any of the larger islands. They also have no TV, no internet, and lights out when the sun goes down. When he and his girlfriend passed their time in the evenings playing Civilization Revolution on their iPhones, they suddenly became very popular and the center of considerable excitement.

Even with the amount of mobile gaming he has “researched,” his favorite platform continues to be PC. Some of his favorite titles can only be properly played on PC. The title he plays most intensely is Civilization, having logged many hours on every version of the game.

His console gaming is fairly limited; he is still satisfied using his Xbox 360 and PS3. But his daughter’s desire to play Dora the Explorer usually trumps his plan for GTA V. He does plan to get Xbox One when it comes out in the Netherlands, considering it a family-friendly option.

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GamePoint is involved in more than just digital games, they also have a beach volleyball team

Intersection of Creativity and Business

Haandrikman tells us what he enjoys most about the game industry is the intersection of creativity and business. He says, “We create things that bring joy to millions and get paid while doing it.” And wearing a Star Wars t-shirt to work is an added bonus.

Gamepoint is a good example of this at work. “We don’t simply build multi-player games, we sculpt an experience that entices players to connect,” Haandrikman says. “When you play one of our games, our aim is to have you enjoy that game, obviously, but more important, we aim to have you form relationships with other players. My proudest moments have been when I got to meet people for whom those relationships have been life-changing.”

Some of the Business Development Team at GamePoint
Some of the Business Development Team at GamePoint

As an example, he points to a family with two children who wouldn’t exist without the game that helped their parents to meet, saying it puts everything GamePoint does into perspective. He spends much of his time looking at data: seeing what the players do within the games, how much they chat and how many buddies they add. But he insists, “Seeing that data turn into actual people and change actual lives is amazing.”

Haandrikman has been in the game industry for seven years, and in that time he has learned it is impossible to predict what is around the next corner. So it is critical to be as agile as possible and always be ready to respond as soon as a trend emerges. GamePoint answer to this situation is investing heavily in research on new platforms, new concepts and new audiences.  As he says, “When they pop up, we’ll be ready.”

Europe 2014Video Coverage

Amon Endt: Be Ready for What Happens | Casual Connect Video

February 19, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

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Amon Endt is Founder and CEO of GamePoint, a developer and publisher of synchronous multi-player social games. Endt describes himself as determined, someone who makes things happen. Since GamePoint, after starting out in the Netherlands, now has a strong presence not only in The Netherlands, but also in Germany, France, Spain, the UK, the US and Canada, he clearly is someone who makes things happen.

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Endt now spends most of his working time on high-level matters such as strategy, finances, and planning. However, he admits he has a tendency to micromanage, and he also values interaction with the employees, so he can often be found on the floor working directly with his team.

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Taking a Break at Gamepoint

The company also knows how to have fun. At Casual Connect Europe, GamePoint hosted the official Casual Connect party, Gold!

A Growing Company

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Amon Endt, Founder and CEO, Gamepoint

The most exciting time in his career came in 2008, when GamePoint first started to generate revenue at a noticeable scale in a foreign country: Germany. It was a pivotal moment, marking the beginning of their international expansion.

The rise of Facebook as a games platform is a very significant development for the company, with a far reaching  impact on GamePoint’s distribution and internationalization. In response, they have changed their internationalization strategy from partner- and joint venture-based expansion with local partners to international expansion through Facebook.

When Endt considers the future of the game industry in the next three to five years he says, “It will be either make or break for all the walled gardens. We either see the end of the ‘web’ as we know it, or the walls come crashing down and we all turn to HTML5. The one important thing to us as a company is to be ready when that happens.

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“The one important thing to us as a company is to be ready when that happens.”

Life Away From Work

Away from work, he has a variety of interests, including skiing, racing at the track, spending time with family, and, of course, playing games. His favorite platform for games is still the PC, but he is currently playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a turn-based strategy game on iPad. And a PS4 is on the way.

Endt loves free-to-play, saying it is wonderful because it is free and widely accessible. But he is much less enthusiastic when developers balance their games wrong and consumers feel pressured into paying.

Studio Spotlight

A Day at Gamepoint

January 23, 2014 — by Carl Quinton

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Just after Casual Connect Kyiv, I visited our friends at Gamepoint in their offices. It’s a friendly little spot on the coast of the Netherlands, and frankly, I’m a bit jealous.

Gamepoint Team
Gamepoint – a friendly little spot on the coast of the Netherlands

I arrived in Den Haag Central station via train from Amsterdam. The convenient public transportation made my meetings very easy to get to. I decided to spend the time before my meeting walking from Central station to the Gamepoint offices, going from a modern downtown area through parks, historic houses and international embassies. The feel of the city was a wonderful balance of convenience, history, and open spaces.

When I arrived at the offices, I was greeted by Rik Haandrikman. If you have never met Rik, you should take the time to do so. He is a large, fit guy with a personality that leaves you at ease despite his formidable stature. We toured the offices, stopping in each of the departments, then had a nice chat with the CEO Amon Endt, and finished the morning by having lunch with the entire company in their cafeteria.

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Everyone enjoying a delicious lunch at the office

Downstairs, I saw the Community Management Office, run by Jeffrey Otterspoor. This group handles customer support by email, phone, and in-game. They also organize on- and offline support for the community.

Upstairs, I first met the Web Development Team, who are responsible for backend and frontend website coding; then the System Engineering group, who takes care of the hardware, as well as keeping two million monthly players connected.

One of the most interesting stops on the tour housed the Game Development Team, led by Bob Christoff, who also remotely runs the game development coding team in Kyiv .This is the group that conceptualizes the games. There were a couple of walls covered with the latest top secret games, and Bob came over to show me some of the challenges. We briefly talked about the difficulties of moving games from a big screen to small mobile screens. It was a very engaging conversation for me because it just felt like the puzzle-solving room. Have an issue, a goal, or an idea? This is the place to hash it out. Maybe they should rename it the crime-solving department.

I also met the Art Team, run by Lenart Poort, where every piece of 2D art and animation is created for the games, the website and other forms of communication, such as online ads and magazines. Currently, they are working on buses that the studio will be branding in the Netherlands. The HR Department is, of course, also very important since it pays all the salaries. This department is the responsibility of Fleur van Rijmenam.

Finally, Rik showed me the Business Development or Growth Team, which he runs. This team is responsible for all types of user acquisition, retention through CRM and product improvements and monetization improvements, both in and around the games. Rik tells me his team is highly data driven, spending most of their time with their many backend tools, looking for ways to keep players engaged and paying.

During the tour, I really sensed the energy and atmosphere of the company. The offices are laid out in a typical open office environment with conference rooms and departments separated only by glass walls. Desks are turned in on each other with only a monitor and a seam in the wood to separate you from your neighbors. With this layout, the lively and friendly interaction of co-workers solving the various issues of the day came through loud and clear. Entering a department area didn’t feel like an intrusion. I felt like Norm from the TV show Cheers, walking into a bar where everyone knew my name. Of course, they didn’t actually know my name, but that is how it felt.

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There is lively and friendly interactions between co-workers

Lunch time arrived, and I didn’t see anyone head out the door for food. Almost all of us went into the cafeteria where Anja Zoutenbier prepares lunch each day. One of her specialties is traditional Dutch fatty sausage, a favorite of the whole group. Once everyone had a plate of food, we all crowded into a spot around three long tables. Rik and I ended up next to a couple of people from the Customer Service Team. The conversation mainly focused on costumes and parties for Halloween (rarely celebrated in the area). Apparently some costumes of Sinterklaas are hanging around the office, which is an interesting story in itself.

While lunch was going on, another group was in the game room, playing Trials Evolution, intensely involved in the semi-finals of the competition. We finished eating just in time to see one of the competitors get knocked out of the tournament. Rik later told me the Halloween party included an epic competition of Trials Evolution, which had half the company crowded around the TV, watching a nail-biting showdown between the two finalists.

Tournament

Gamepoint is a place where you work hard, but you play hard, too. I could see making a lot of new friends there, given any time to stay.

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