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Exclusive InterviewsIndie

Planet of the Apps: Winning With a Circle Sweep

March 31, 2017 — by David Radd

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Circle Sweep is a mobile puzzle game from developer Planet of the Apps. While mobile puzzle games is a popular genre, the developer feels like they have an original spin that people will enjoy.

“Planet of the Apps is a small studio and we love doing games,” said Ben Engel-Kacen, Planet of the Apps Founder and CEO. “Our strength and passion had always been innovating new gameplay mechanics. We have released over 30 different games and with each we did our best to create an original gameplay mechanic which we enjoy playing ourselves.”

“At one point, we saw that the matching puzzle genre is a very popular one but with very little innovation. Everyone just keeps copying the same mechanics, and sometimes even art style, from the leading games, making all games feel the same,” added Ben. “We felt the time is right for a fresh game mechanic, and that if we’ll manage to hit the right one, we may even win a large percentage of the players.”

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Eitan Reisel on How Google Can Help Developers Grow | Casual Connect Video

March 24, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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85% of app revenue has been from games. By 2020, that's a $75 billion ecosystem! - Eitan ReiselClick To Tweet

Data is key for better targeting, as you need to know who to monetize, Google Israel’s Head of Gaming Eitan Reisel suggests, and warns: small companies need to make careful decisions when addressing monetization issues, and it’s better to be cautious about what platform will suit you best. Solution? Break down the game to different stages along the funnel to maximize targeting and insights. They explain more in their Casual Connect Tel Aviv talk. 

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Mark Shovman and the Sci-Fi Feel of Designing for AR | Casual Connect Video

March 20, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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An AR gamer is a mix of a gamer and an athlete. - Mark ShovmanClick To Tweet

Right now it’s safe to say that Virtual Reality (VR) is redefining gaming like no other force out there. On the other hand though Augmented Reality (AR) is due to arrive in 5 – 10 years, so how will gaming change when it’s here? What new games and new breeds of gamers can we expect? Pokemon Go is the first little glimpse of that future according to Mark Shovman, who explains more in their Casual Connect Tel Aviv session,

Europe 2017Video Coverage

Guy Hasson and the Math Behind the Success of Social Slots | Casual Connect Video

March 19, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Guy Hasson is Social Gaming Consultant of Old Man Productions, specializing in game popularity

What makes a social slots game attractive to users? What are the factors that increase the chances of succeeding in this genre? Can the profitability of the game be improved? If these are questions that are important to your business, you can’t do better than to listen to advice from Guy Hasson, social gaming consultant of Old Man Productions.

While working at Playtech, Guy learned everything there is to know about how to create a good slot game. At Playtika their emphasis was on analyzing how to create the most popular games. And as a consultant, Guy can show you the important factors that can help a slots game succeed. You can discover how to tremendously improve the average revenue per user, to increase the time the user will spend on machine and to boost the number of coins the user will bet, all important measures of the game’s success. At Casual Connect Europe, Guy’s session demonstrated the mathematical model that can lead to these results. One point that Guy emphasized was “Rate of Exhaustion (ROE) represents the game experience, RTP doesn’t. If you leave here today with one thing: RTP doesn’t matter. RTP is passé.” To learn more, watch this video of the full session.

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For more about Guy Hasson, see this exclusive article.

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Omer Kaplan on the Best Practices for the Mobile Market in Asia | Casual Connect Video

March 18, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Omer Kaplan, CMO and co-founder of ironSource.

No one knows better than Omer Kaplan that Asia is now surpassing the West as today’s mobile epicenter. Omer is CMO and co-founder of ironSource and brings to his work experience in media buying for clients that include mobile publishers, game developers, retailers and major global brands. Omer was director of media at AfterDownload when it was acquired by ironSource in 2013 and uses this extensive experience to mentor early stage startups.

In Omer’s session at Casual Connect Tel Aviv, How is Asia Changing the Mobile Landscape?, Omer delved deeply into Asia’s growing global position and how that will influence advertisers and publishers in the future. As the mobile ecology evolves it is essential to shift focus and learn the best practices to take advantage of the changes. As he described, “Even if you are thinking you are localizing the product and you’re thinking you have the right people and you’ve translated everything, you need to be a ‘China-In’ or have the right Chinese partner to understand how to really reach and connect with Chinese users.”

To learn more about how to adopt the best practices for this market, be sure to watch the complete video of Omer’s session below.

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More about Omer in this article.

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Shlomo Freund: The Challenge of Apps in China | Casual Connect Video

March 12, 2017 — by David Radd

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No Google - no payments. How do you buy an app, how do you make money? - Shlomo FreundClick To Tweet

Shlomo Freund is the founder of AppInChina. They work on the company’s general strategy and marketing focus, in addition to general product management. Shlomo’s favorite thing about the job is the constant challenge it presents.

“What’s the latest change in the market? How do we sell better? What else can we offer our clients to launch them to the next level?” mused Shlomo. “These are questions that come up every day.”


ContributionsPR & Marketing

TROPHiT Opens Up Facebook Offers for Mobile Game Giveaways

March 7, 2017 — by Sagi Mann from TROPHiT

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Facebook Offers Are No Longer Just for Brands

Value-Driven Marketing (VDM) has been part of retail for decades, however, as explored in my Gaming VDM intro, the road to its adaptation by mobile gaming has been challenging yet insightful.

In that context, Facebook Offers is a great tool to effectively target people with valuable offers. Back in 2015, convincing a mobile game publisher to use Facebook Offers as any other traditional marketing channel has proven somewhat challenging, and for a good reason they said: Facebook Offers are for brands, aren’t they? Naturally, as no industry standard existed to turn game virtual items into marketable offers (oh, and in-house attempts to do so have been too basic or too scarce), so how could any mobile game publisher consider Facebook Offers seriously as a valid channel? There was literally no accumulated marketing skills to even build a solid plan. We felt we had to pick up that glove.

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Barak Levanon: Understanding People Through Data | Casual Connect Video

February 9, 2017 — by Catherine Quinton

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Hollywood celebrity campaign: great to acquire users, didn't effect revenues dramatically.Click To Tweet

Gaining users for games is a tough business according to Barak Levanon, mobile UA Team Leader at Plarium. Despite the challenge Barak loves being part of the fast-moving game industry where every day brings new challenges and decisions. They especially enjoy the intensity and action, in addition to working together as a team. Plarium is their first entry into the game industry and, after five years learning the agency business, it seemed like the perfect new challenge. As user acquisition is getting tougher every year, Plarium decided to partner with Hollywood actress Megan Fox – “which performed great to acquire new users, although didn’t effect revenues dramatically”, Barak shared.


DevelopmentExclusive InterviewsIndie

Suhail Habib: Make Games, Have Fun

February 7, 2017 — by David Radd

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Suhail Habib is the sole game designer of 87, creating games for mobile, web, and desktop. Having worked with few resources and mostly solo, they noted that it’s a challenge to reach a level where you get success and recognition, but it’s worth it.

Suhail Habib is the sole game designer of 87

“My most successful game to date was a webgame I released in mid-2015, titled Drink Beer, Neglect Family. It went on to be played by several hundred thousand people, and was highly rated. When I think about what set it apart from other games I’ve created which did not go on to be successes, one thing jumps to mind above everything else: its personality,” said Suhail. “I feel that, for a game to be successful, it needs to be brimming with personality. This can manifest in either a quirky premise, striking visuals, or an interesting mechanic that is explored. This is the way small-time developers can set themselves apart from bigger studios, which are more averse to doing something that’s off the beaten path, and in turn garner some coverage as well.”

“I was inspired by a combination of elements. I was always into games and into programming, so my becoming a game developer was sort of inevitable. But here is what actually struck the spark:

Tel Aviv 2016Video Coverage

Ron Rejwan: Mastering Prototyping | Casual Connect Video

February 6, 2017 — by Orchid

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If it's ugly and people enjoy it, it will be much more enjoyable once it looks good. - Ron RejwanClick To Tweet

Jelly Button Games co-founder and CTO Ron Rejwan started learning to code at the age of 12 aiming to build games, and has been interested in it since they remember themself. At the age of 18 they were drafted to the ISR army as elite army programmer.

In 2011 Ron founded Jelly Button together with 4 co-founders, and since then has been the company’s CTO. While The Jelly Button team agrees game creation is based on feelings and instincts, they prefer playtesting at early stages to validate it. In their Casual Connect Tel Aviv Ron Rejwan explains their approach to playtesting and prototyping, and shares the tips and tricks one needs to know to follow their footsteps.


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