As the dynamics of app stores change, what does that mean for developers and business models? At Casual Connect Europe, Head of Business Development at Toca Boca, Tarush Agarwal, highlighted how the company is leveraging partner networks and utilizing a diversified business model in order to reach new consumers across the globe. Afterall, for developers searching for creative solutions and to add value for their customers, developers should “Think global at a local approach to do global deals”, Tarush said. “We want to be where consumers are”.
Marc Hale is the Head of APAC at Liftoff where he oversees partnerships with mobile app advertisers and agencies across the region.
“We offer CPA-optimized mobile app install and retargeting campaigns to performance marketers looking to acquire and re-engage high-value users for their mobile apps,” said Marc. “Mobile ad tech is a dynamic and rapidly changing industry, and over the last 10 years I’ve been fortunate to have worked at some key players at the forefront of those changes. With its data-driven approach to user acquisition and retargeting campaigns, Liftoff particularly interested me.”
Blaine Graboyes is co-founder of GameCo and The Gamer Agency. He has many accomplishments to his name – including producing over 4,000 projects for clients like Blizzard Entertainment, Sony Pictures and Disney. He’s also an award winning producer and game designer with nearly 20 years of experience developing digital Entertainment. At Casual Connect Europe, Blaine discussed how casinos can become the VIP destination for gamers – and why it is vital that they do so.
By Matt Garrett, Writer for LaptopNinja
The indie video gaming market is booming today, but although times have never been better for indie developers, it can still be tough for new indie developers to get things off the ground. If you are an aspiring indie developer and you need just a little help getting that first game released, keep reading. Below you will find five tips to help you become the next successful indie game developer.
Since 2007, Sacramento’s active game developer community has fostered growth of game development throughout the region. In 2014, the Sacramento Indie Arcade, a community driven event, was created to help promote local game developers and show the world what is being developed in California’s capital city. Arclight Worlds recently won at this event with their game Venture Forth. As winners, Arclight Worlds has the opportunity to go and compete at Indie Prize Seattle at Casual Connect USA. The following article is a postmortem highlighting Jeremiah Ingham’s vision and search for talent.
By Jeremiah Ingham, Founder and CEO of Arclight Worlds
Deep & Dark
It all started down under, deep underground in Australia. In 2012, I had the amazing opportunity to tour one of the largest cave systems in the world: Jenolan Caves. As we traveled through these colorfully lit caverns, an idea sparked within me, growing, and ultimately evolving into what we now know as Venture Forth. That feeling of mystery and wonder, mixed with eerie suspense, never knowing what you will find down these dark tunnels was profound. I just had to try to capture this in a game. That night, still in the mountains of Australia, I started writing the first lines of code that would become the caves of Venture Forth. At the time, I was still in college, just starting to learn to program, but already addicted to using my new programming talents to create games. After returning to the US, I got one of my college friends excited about the project, and he took on the artistic direction for the game.
Bryan Mashinter is Game Director for DragonVale at Backflip Studios, with a major focus on the creative direction. At the time Bryan joined the company, they consisted of 14 people and were just beginning to focus on more than one project at a time, so it was essential to have someone who could keep things from falling through the cracks. Bryan filled this role at the production level, organizing projects, setting schedules and, in general, assisting the company in moving towards executing their creative vision goals. One of which, as for any company, is to keep users and encourage them to pay. The Backflip Studios team has discovered: lapsed users want to know elements of the game have changed but still feel familiar. “Don’t be afraid to make your players work harder in events but make it worth their efforts and watch out for fatigue”, Bryan advices. They explained in detail how to make the most out of events in their Casual Connect Europe 2017 lecture.
Indigo Entertainment was founded in 2007 with the dream of developing games that feature “awesome” intellectual property (IP). For several years Indigo Entertainment pursued that dream, creating games for clients with popular IP.
However, as Indigo Entertainment President and Co-Founder James Ronald Lo notes, “everyone in the game industry has hopes and dreams of building their dream game” – and, in 2016, Indigo Entertainment began its venture into independent game development.
Their first independent game, 2D mobile action platformer Agent Aliens, was born out of a studio-wide call for game ideas – “sort of like a game jam” says James. The only requirement was for the game to be fun because, as James notes, if the gameplay is done right, IP can be built around it.
Does paid marketing make sense in scaling your game? In a talk at Casual Connect Asia, Martin Macmillan (CEO of Pollen Velocity Capital) called How to Scale Your Game: Understanding the Metrics and How to Act on Them, Martin explained exactly that. He advised, “Here is a bit of marketing 101: unless you have figured out a way to spend profitably, you shouldn’t spend at all because mathematically you’re setting out to lose money.” First and foremost, possessing a good understanding of LTV is a must. Then you need to understand if the unit economics work in order to use paid UA as a viable marketing channel. To learn more about what your game’s metrics can tell you and how to finance growth, tune in to Martin’s full session below.
“The casino industry doesn’t have the depth of knowledge on who their future consumer is.” Those were the words spoken by Rahul Sood of Unikrn during GiGse 2017 in San Diego last month. Indeed, a major focus of the three-day casino gaming industry event surrounded video gamers instead of traditional slots and table-game players – showing that the door is open to a new and lucrative market for non-casino game developers.
In one panel, experts from UNLV’s Center for Gaming Innovation, GameCo, Rover Strategic Advisors, Zeal Networks, and Guru Games, barely touched on traditional casino fare and focused entirely on how to merge skill-based games with gambling.
GameCo’s Blaine Graboyes noted that the average gamer is 35 years old and is looking for VIP experiences that the casino industry is adept at – but with a video gaming slant. “I’ve been producing games for over 20 years and there’s just a level of interactivity and engagement that isn’t available in slot games.”