In an engaging Fireside chat at Casual Connect Europe with Steel Media’s Jon Jordan and Zynga President of Publishing Bernard Kim, discussed the growth of Zynga over the last year and what’s next for the company. In FIRESIDE CHAT: The Evolution of Zynga and What’s Next, Jon and Bernard discussed growth in the increasingly competitive mobile games market and how a focus on live services, genre expansion and player engagement can fuel a company’s growth. “Our focus is always on players experiences and how to make them more engaging and enjoyable within our existing and upcoming games.” He also spoke about the importance of authenticity, especially regarding branded games, and games like CSR that have real cars in them. To hear more great quotes and insights, see the full session below.
Hyper Casual, the latest genre of mobile gaming, has caused a monumental shakeup in the app stores in the past year. But what exactly makes a game hyper-casual and why has this genre been seeing such success? How do we expect hyper-casual games to evolve? And, most important, what can strategies can you learn from the developers of hyper-casual games?
If these are questions that concern you, there was a session at Casual Connect Europe 2018 that offered some answers. This was a panel session, The Ascension of Hyper Casual Games, that brought together experts in the field to discuss all aspects of this new genre. These are the participants on the panel:
Eren Yanik, Chief Revenue Officer at Gram Games. Eren is responsible for both ad and IAP monetization, overseeing Gram’s ad business and the shift of the focus on IAP. Previously, Eren was a management consultant with McKinsey and ran projects in the US, Middle East and Europe.
Hugo Peyron, Head of Creation at Voodoo. Hugo co-founded publishing at Voodoo and has helped it grow to the number one ultra-casual game publisher in the world. As Head of Creation he is involved in the company’s reflexion on continuously creating the best performing games possible.
Nimrod Klinger, Senior User Acquisition Manager at TabTale. Nimrod, as a mobile growth expert, is responsible for managing the growth of more than fifty of TabTale’s games, including its greatest hit, Run, Sausage, Run. Nimrod is in charge of the entire conversion funnel, including briefing creative teams, managing channels and campaigns, until the final conversion, getting in and staying in the app store’s top charts.
The panel was moderated by Carl Livie, Senior Manager, Business Development at AppLovin. AppLovin is a comprehensive platform that helps developers of all sizes finance, market and expand their businesses. Carl leads the European Business Development team and is responsible for helping European publishing partners scale their ad revenue. As an avid gamer with a BA degree in Arabic, Carl has the perfect attributes for a career in performance marketing.
To learn more about hyper-casual games and the strategies you can take from them, be sure to watch the video of The Ascension of Hyper Casual Games.
Each medium has its own unique traits that allow for creating really strong emotional bonds between the consumer and the work of art. In games that’s interactivity – controls and mechanics. At Casual Connect Kyiv, a Game Designer at Ubisoft by the name of Stanislav Costiuc talked about the unique traits games can use to elicit feelings, emotions, and create strong bonds with players. Hear his full lecture entitled Show, Don’t Tell? Play, Don’t Show! below.
Alexis Kennedy has a storied career in gaming, literally. He has done guest-writing gigs for such prominent studios as BioWare, Telltale, and Paradox – and as the creator of Failbetter Games, he grew a two-person startup into a studio with 16 employees and over $1.3 million a year in revenue. As part of the Industry Insights track, Alexis will open the conference at Casual Connect Kyiv with a keynote lecture on game narratives and how to better marry stories with game systems. Many other experts will join Alexis in sharing their expertise with attendees over the conference’s three days of lectures and workshops.
How vulnerable is the game industry in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)? Its competitors in Japan and the US have an IP business foundation. Without the same foundation, Atsuo Nakayama maintains that ASEAN will lose ground in comparison.
Atsuo is President and COO of Bushiroad Singapore where they manage its TCG, Mobile game and Anime business that derives from the IPs they own, including Vanguard, Baddy Fight and BanG Dream. They also specialize in the IP business from their previous work as Studio Head and General Manager of Bandai Namco Studios in Vancouver and Singapore.
Atsuo described the process of creating the fan base for the game IP they were making, “It took a three year effort to crystallize IP with a certified core fan base.” Clearly this is not a quick and easy thing to do. But they insist that by following Bushiroad’s procedure in creating IP, developers will realize this is just what Singapore and the ASEAN countries should be targeting. Watch this video of Atsuo’s presentation at Casual Connect Asia to learn more about the importance of IP business.
To read more about Atsuo Nakayama including a lecture from Casual Connect Asia 2016, see this exclusive article.
What’s coming next in the game industry? It’s a vital question for all game developers and publishers; if you are not constantly aware of coming possibilities, you may not be able to profit from them or even stay relevant.
At Casual Connect Asia, Nelson Rodriguez, shared some exciting developments that will completely change how games are made, played and distributed. Nelson, head of Akamai Technologies media and games industry marketing strategy, has the experience and perspective to offer in how to be ready for the future. They have helped in the launch of dozens of games across every platform, from blockbusters such as Halo 3, Tekken 5 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood to the indie games Tweet Defense and A Kingdom for Keflings.
Nelson described an emerging revolutionary platform that very few developers have focused on. After talking with leading technologists and companies worldwide, they predict that within five years everyone will be rushing to catch up. Nelson pointed out, “GM attended DICE and created a research division to create gamification and infotainment for cars,” as an example of what to expect with car companies investing in game technology. This unique platform is just over the horizon, so be ready! To learn more about it and the possible effects, be sure to watch this video of Nelson’s full presentation at Casual Connect.
To read more about Nelson’s views and career, see this exclusive article from Casual Connect Asia 2016.
Mobile gaming gave development a medium to spread across the world. This presents a challenge for developers to generate jobs and interest in their games over the many evolving types of technology. The rate of change is accelerating and each region needs to be competitive. At Casual Connect Europe 2017, Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat at VenturBeat, guided attendees on a world tour and provided insight into how Europe fits in to this. During his presentation, Dean pointed out that “Mobile games now lead the game industry for revenue.” Furthermore Dean explained, “If there is a reason to change the order of things in the world, then new platforms are the way to do it. To maybe invest heavily, to dive into these new regions, new platforms in the game industry is a way to create new jobs.”
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!
Rujul Patel, Fyber’s SVP of Global Developer Relations, is on a mission to help mobile game developers make money. The key to mission success: balancing IAP monetization with ad monetization. ““We need to see how to have ads work better in mobile games,” said Rujul during their session at Casual Connect Europe. Many game developers, however, believe that ads hurt the game experience and could cannibalize IAP revenue. At their session, Rujul dispels these concerns with a few examples of developers who successfully added rewarded video ads to their monetization strategies.
In a lecture entitled Mobile UA Tips from the Inside Paivi Putsepp-Seufert, Business Development Officer of Unity Ads at Unity Tehnologies, Paivi described what people consider best practices for mobile UA. If you would like to know more about how to run a successful mobile UA campaign, be sure to watch the video of Paivi’s presentation at Casual Connect Tel Aviv below and note the tips she offers there. Some tips that Paivi offered regarding best video campaign practice: use multiple videos, targeting should be done based on data and not assumptions, and use an optimal video length of 22 seconds. To learn more, tune in to the full lecture video below.