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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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:
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.
Games in education are not killing the passion for learning and that’s a huge achievement. - Amir DoriClick To Tweet
Amir Dori, Senior Game Designer for Matific, had strong advice: forget grades. During Amir’s session at Casual Connect Tel Aviv, he explained ways failing is important, how grading takes the fun out of learning and how games can help kids extend their potential with engaging educational content – without killing their passion for learning. Amir stressed, “They are teaching you to be afraid of being wrong rather than seeing your mistakes as an opportunity to improve. Failure is extremely important, especially for kids because if you want to better at what you are doing, you need to know what you are doing wrong.”
What are the latest developments in the social casino industry? And what do they mean for your business and future plans? There is no one better to answer these questions than Elad Kushnir, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Playtika which delivers premium games to more than six million daily active users and twenty million monthly active users.
Elad is responsible for all M&A activity and also heads up strategic partnerships and spearheads regional growth opportunities in new market areas. At Casual Connect Tel Aviv, they provided the most recent information, from the second and third quarters of 2016, on the social casino industry. They also offered key insights into what this data means for the future of the industry. To learn more, be sure to watch the video of the full session.
Casinos have been fighting an age crisis: 21-45 year olds generally do not gamble, admits Darion Lowenstein, CMO of Gamblit Gaming. They currently oversee marketing and publishing efforts for the company’s arcade style real money games for mobile and its upcoming hardware launch in casinos. A 20-year industry veteran, Darion has produced/directed some of the biggest video games in the industry at companies like Electronic Arts, Activision, Rockstar Games and Scopely.
Now, with Gamblit, Darion is leading the charge to bring mobile and arcade style games onto the floor with products that appeal to those 21-45 year olds. With announcements like Jetpack Joyride, Into The Dead, and Catapult King, at Casual Connect Tel Aviv Darion Lowenstein discussed the benefits and difficulties of taking hit mobile games into the casino world. “I think that partner content is a better offering for customers on the floor than licensed content, when you take a movie franchise, James Bond, Brides Maids, and slap it on the slot machine”, Darion explains.
Just giving girls a pink version of boy toys is not enough. - Shulamit FerberClick To Tweet
The current industry trend of “more women in tech” can easily be supported from the very beginning, by exposing girls to all kinds of games from a young age, so that they would get familiar with the medium regardless of genre. Educational game developer at Helen Doron Shulamit Ferber emphasizes: it’s important to provide them with relatable characters that wouldn’t be pastel-colored and overly feminized as this isn’t what all girls associate themselves with. Tips and tricks on correct game design for girls get explained in Shulamit’s Casual Connect Tel Aviv session.
There are markets that no one has thought to tap yet. They’re thinking inside the box. - Guy HassonClick To Tweet
At Casual Connect Tel Aviv, Guy Hasson offered tried and tested strategies on how to improve your monetization through economy. “Suppose you have the greatest content, great games, great graphics, great themes, great math. You can waste it all by having a bad economy,” Guy explained. Learn more specific tips on how to have a good economy and ways to dodge monumental mistakes in the video below.